Over the years, several types of research have been conducted to determine how Indians feel about their education system and to solicit suggestions on how it can be improved. As it turns out, most Indian citizens are rather satisfied with the type of education that is provided in our country.
On the global front, India’s education industry holds a pivotal place. After all, India has one of the largest networks of higher education institutions in the world!
The Indian Education Industry: Market Size
According to IBEF, the Indian education sector stood at a value of US$ 91.7 billion in FY18, and by 2025, the higher education segment is projected to reach US$ 35.03 billion. Not just that, India boasts of harbouring nearly 500 million individuals between the 5-24 years, making it the country with the largest population in this age bracket.
Also, there are more than 250 million school-going children in India, more than in any other country in the world! India is the second-largest e-learning market following the US. By 2020, the Indian e-learning market is projected to grow to US$ 1.96 billion with 9.5 million users.
These statistics only prove that India’s education industry depicts immense potential for growth and development.
The Current Scenario of Education in India
For a long time, the education sector has remained a top priority for the Indian government. Since 2002, the government has allowed the influx of 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the education sector. Between April 2000 to March 2020, the total FDI inflow in the country’s education sector was US$ 3.24 billion.
The present government launched the National Education Policy 2020, thereby paving way for large-scale reforms across schools and higher education institutes. The core tenets of this policy are designed in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability. Furthermore, the government has allocated Rs. 59,845 crore (US$ 8.56 billion) to the Department of School Education & Literacy and announced the Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) scheme under the Union Budget 2020-21.
However, despite many such efforts to upgrade and improve India’s education system through comprehensive policies and schemes, a significant portion of the country’s population does not have access to primary schooling. This is because even today, many remote areas lack proper school infrastructure and qualified teaching staff.
Apart from lack of infrastructure, the quality of education delivered at the grassroots level (especially through public education institutes) and the general lack of enthusiasm for education across rural India are two major roadblocks.
What Can We Expect From the Education Sector in the Future?
Online learning and modern innovations have brought about a major shift in the way society and students perceive education. Combine that with technology and we have a new pedagogy structure for the Indian education system. As education practices are being recalibrated to complement technological capacities with the emergence of the National Education Policy 2020, the future of the Indian education system appears bright.
Several developments are expected in the education section with respect to students, teachers, learning/ teaching methods, and institutions. The focus points are:
1. Students’ syllabus will be designed to prepare them for the ongoing digital era through exposure to key technologies that are shaping the world we live in. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual and Augmented reality, and Big Data shall play an important role in this new-age education framework. Coding and computational thinking skills will be promoted so students have diverse career options before them.
2. Solutions in the education sector will be beneficial on a global scale. As the world resorts to the digital medium for sharing solutions and ideas, education henceforth will promote career objectives and goals, and other practices & policies that target the global audience. These tools will be used to serve general human interest to promote diversity in the social and cultural domains.
3. The proposed changes will reflect in the way we evaluate public, private, and higher education institutions, and help implement a student-focused framework that will bridge the gap between regional and sub-locale institutions.
4. Since the pandemic pushed digitisation into the education sector, remote learning became a norm for over 1.5 billion students in the world. 92% of Indian citizens welcomed this as a positive change. Naturally, this trend is bound to continue. That doesn’t diminish the crucial role teachers play in education practices though. However, there will be practices in place to ensure capable teachers are recruited through meticulous consideration of their past experiences and positions held.
5. Another significant change will be the adaptation of blended or hybrid learning practices to offer a more flexible and efficient system of education. This will include online teaching techniques, e-courses, and learning applications as digital education extends its scope to include at-home learning services. Partnering with content creation agencies will ensure digital content is provided in a diverse range of languages, further boosting the growth of India’s EdTech sector.
6. Classroom time, on the other hand, will be reserved for practical work, discussions, and case studies. The new educational program has envisioned an immersive learning experience for classrooms through the use of competent technologies.
7. A strong focus on extracurricular activities and science, arts, and maths clubs will promote a generally positive attitude towards education and impact the overall development of students.
8. Sports and arts will be promoted as mainstream options instead of alternative subjects. This will result in more motivation and engagement from students who will have greater control over their career choices. Employing psychometric analysis will also help determine competent domains for students to pursue.
9. Effective vocational training targeted at developing industry-related skills and expertise will be mandated to help students land their dream jobs.
10. Educational institutions are now placing more emphasis on teachers’ upskilling and training to facilitate the development of flexible and improved teaching practices.
Online education platforms like upGrad have risen to the occasion with their interactive certification programs to promote a modern and innovative approach towards designing courses and carrying out student assessments. An M.Ed or PG Certificate Education Program can help teachers include Open Education Resources (OER) like downloadable lectures and course contents in their teaching methods, and pave the way for new accreditation methodologies for students’ performance assessment.
These reformative changes demand to be executed successfully with full cooperation from collective government bodies for an effective online pedagogical structure to drive innovations in the Indian Education System.
Technology Will Pave the Way for the Future of the Indian Education System
Even though there is still uncertainty in the education sector, rigorous steps are being taken to streamline the process and make education accessible to students belonging to all cultural and social groups. There is also a positive shift in the direction of equality and diversity. With technology offering solutions at a tremendous pace, it looks like things will only get better from here.
1. Work experience vs Education, which one is essential?
The ongoing battle between education and work experience has always been a point of discussion. However, there are a few major highlights. When you acquire higher education, it is primarily because you want academic growth. Higher education never teaches you ways to deal with real-world practical situations. When you succeed in your work, your employer automatically understands your potential to achieve big things. In today’s competitive world, job experience aligns you with a potential match for a specific job. However, if you do not have a higher education, you can lack the necessary skills that you will need to progress in the future. Finally, a degree speaks on your behalf. It tells your employer about the specialised skill or knowledge you possess and how you can practically use it. They can further use your knowledge extensively by providing you with the required training.
2. How is education transforming the world of students?
Students plan to study in universities despite the expenses. The college and tuition fees altogether may or may not guarantee you a good job with a handsome salary. However, education is the only way to drive yourself to success as it will change your life for the better. If you see yourself as a nurse, doctor, or engineer in the future, your chances significantly increase if you pursue your education at a renowned university. Many students find themselves lost post-graduation and struggle to find the right career option. Students spend their time in the classroom to gain the necessary skills and abilities that will help them to prosper. Education assists by offering alternative choices to students which will give them a different perspective on the world.
3. Is it possible for education to replace experience?
There is a possibility of education completely replacing experience in the upcoming future. If you complete a certification or course that your employer needs, it is almost equal to the work experience. Depending on how beneficial the course is, it is sometimes even given more importance than actual work experience. The only drawback is that education gives you a theoretical perspective on your work whereas experience means you learn from your own mistakes on the field.