TED NewsDesk, New Delhi: One of the sectors to suffer the most during the COVID-19 pandemic is the education sector. Consequently, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom at present. To alleviate this situation and make the most out of it, education is seeing an adaptive change with a tilt towards dedicated online learning courses.
With this sudden shift away from physical classrooms in most parts of the world, one must wonder whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist in this ‘new normal’. It remains to be seen how such a shift could impact the worldwide education market.
Ramesh Pokhriyal, the Education Minister of India spoke about the importance of online courses in the country. He said,
“…one of the key learnings of COVID-19 has been the need to promote online learning. The government has always believed in the power of the internet to take education to the masses and coming up with different initiatives towards the same. With the impact of COVID-19, these efforts are doubled.”
The Prime Minister had announced a national lockdown from March to the end of May 2020. There very slight chances of educational institutions and physical courses opening anytime soon, despite the Unlock process underway. It should be noted that the education sector is an everchanging industry. Even before the pandemic, education technology was already a dynamic industry with global edtech investments reaching their optimum strength in 2019.
Recently in May 2020, the e-Vidya programme was started by the government of India to combat restrictions enforced due to the COVID-19 crisis. Under this programme, the top 100 institutes of India’s National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) were allowed to offer entirely online degrees from May 2019. Besides, one designated TV channel per class from 1 to 12 also named as ‘one class, one channel’, was also introduced.
The union government stepped up to further online courses for students with the Edtech companies also speeding up their operations. They have been especially responsive in these trying times, some even announcing free live classes for students.
Availability for courses via online media has never seen such a boom before. According to Mrinal Mohit, the Chief Operating Officer at BYJU’s, the company has seen a 200% increase in the number of new students. BYJU’s recently announced free live classes on its Think and Learn app.
The online courses are beneficial in several ways. Edtech companies do not use a one-size-fits-all method for imparting education, hence courses don’t just race past students who cannot match the standard pace. Courses via online platforms are much more comprehensive as compared to the physical ones. They are specially designed by subject matter experts on secure platforms that make students access it anywhere and any time. Further, re-skilling and up-skilling for working professionals have become hassle-free and easy-to-use ways to keep their education going. Those looking for professional courses can now apply for University-offered courses from a plethora of options on both national and international levels.
The world looks in dismay at a landscape of restrictions, precautions, economic shifts, and an increasingly disrupted workforce. This does not stop those who want to change the education sector and introduce innovative ways of learning.
Although a huge bane for the civilization in general, the pandemic has paved the way for innovative ways of sharing knowledge. Whether it’s acquiring additional skills to climb that professional ladder, exploring talents, making a career shift, or just going about school and one’s needful academic life. There is an online course for each of these requirements.