Edtech, or educational technology, refers to the use of technology to enhance and support teaching and learning. From online learning platforms to educational mobile applications, it has been rapidly evolving and has become an essential part of the education system.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sudden shift to online learning for students in India, and while it was a difficult transition, it has ultimately led to positive changes in the education system. The rise of EdTech has allowed for a more flexible and adaptable approach to learning.
The significance of this technology lies in its ability to provide students with a more personalized and engaging learning experience. Students can now access a wide range of digital learning materials, including online courses and educational videos, which can be tailored to their individual needs and learning styles.
Technology will play a critical role in bridging the gap, resolving the challenges of the K-12 model, and creating new opportunities for students in India. It will also help the country achieve a globally recognized standard of education.
Overcoming The Challenges: How EdTech Is Driving Change
Infrastructure deficiencies continue to impede India's education system, particularly in rural and remote areas. During the pandemic, students in urban areas were able to adapt to online learning quickly, while those in rural areas were left without access to education due to decaying school infrastructure, lack of internet connectivity, and lack of devices.
For decades, the way learning has been approached in the country has been textbook-intensive coupled with a rigid curriculum, which has led to a generation of professionals who are limited in their career options. However, with increasing global exposure and access to information, the professional world has become more diverse and demands a wider range of skills. EdTech can provide the resources and specialized courses necessary to prepare students for careers in fields such as STEM and expand their employment possibilities.
To bridge this gap, technology must be adopted more widely and a hybrid approach to pedagogy should be implemented.
Edtech can help to overcome these challenges (and more) by supporting blended learning, which combines traditional classroom teaching with technology-based instruction, leading to a more efficient and effective learning process.
EdTech can also help to improve the quality of education by providing teachers with digital tools and resources to enhance their teaching methods and make the learning process more engaging and interactive. The government is also prioritizing digitization and encouraging partnerships with private organizations to improve e-learning infrastructure and provide specialized training for them.
Usage of the appropriate technology can also provide a cost-effective solution to the problem of higher education costs for families as online platforms offer a range of free resources for students, allowing them to learn at their own pace- not limited by geography.
Harnessing The Power Of Technology: India’s Growth Aspects
The Edtech market in India is experiencing significant growth, driven by the increasing adoption of technology in various industries in the country. In 2020, it was valued at US$ 750 million and is expected to reach US$ 10.4 billion by 2025
, making India the “EdTech capital of the world!”
One of the key factors contributing to the rapid growth of this sector is the growing awareness of the benefits of combining technology with education among educators and students alike. This leads to an increase in the demand for such a model, which gradually has led to a dramatic increase in the number of startups in this space that are backed by venture capitalists and investors that wish to disrupt traditional education models and make the process of learning more effective. Byju’s, Unacademy, upGrad, Vedantu, and more quickly emerged and took the centre stage as market leaders.
There are well over 5000 EdTech startups in India that utilize IT tools for inclusive learning, assisting over 300 million students to receive a top-notch education in today’s age, and bridging the gap between the rural and urban. According to reports, over the past five years, the industry has received an investment of around $4 billion, and it is projected to grow even further, with an estimated expansion of $30 billion in the next decade
. This significant level of investment suggests that the future of the edtech industry is highly promising.
Additionally, research and development is being conducted on using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and extended reality (XR) to make online courses more cost-effective, dependable, and engaging.
The growth of India's edtech sector has attracted the attention of global universities, leading to an increase in their presence in the country. These universities recognize the potential of India's large and rapidly growing education market, as well as the country's strong technological capabilities; thus, they are now establishing partnerships and collaborations with Indian institutions and companies.
Some of these global universities offer joint degrees or certifications, while others are setting up satellite campuses in the country.
This trend is a reflection of the progress that India has made in the field of education technology. The country's start-ups are developing innovative solutions that are not only meeting the needs of Indian students but also have the potential to be exported to other markets.
In addition, the Indian government's efforts to promote EdTech through policies and initiatives have also played a key role in attracting global universities to the country and are likely to further drive innovation and growth in the sector.
Leading The Way: The Government Of India’s Role In Fostering EdTech
The Indian government has been actively working towards the development of the digital ecosystem in the country, which has served as a catalyst for the growth of the Edtech sector.
Some of the key initiatives include:
DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing): A nationwide platform for school education that was launched in 2017 to provide students, teachers, and parents with curriculum-based engaging learning materials. The portal supports more than 18 Indian languages.
PM eVIDYA: A program launched in 2020 to make e-learning more accessible for Indian students and teachers. The scheme aims to benefit 25 crore pupils by bringing together all online and digital education-related activities.
SWAYAM PRABHA: A collection of 34 DTH channels that were inaugurated in 2017 that broadcast educational content around the clock. The channels broadcast new material at different times of the day to allow students to choose a convenient time to watch.
E-Pathshala: A government-introduced portal in 2015, as a resource hub for instructional materials such as flipbooks, audiobooks, films, etc. available in Indian languages like Hindi, English, and Urdu that can be accessed through mobile devices like smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, and tablets.
NISHTHA: A National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) program which was launched in 2021 to create modules for online education at the secondary level. According to the Union Budget 2021-2022, 5.6 million teachers were trained through this program in FY22.
National Education Policy 2020: It emphasizes the use of technology and digitization to advance education, particularly in rural regions. This will help bring high-quality education to all regions of the nation, particularly Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, and villages.
National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR): was established by the government in the Union Budget 2021-2022 to develop digital infrastructure and support educational planning initiatives. It seeks to provide a unique educational ecosystem architecture to progress the nation's digital infrastructure and ensure the autonomy of all stakeholders, particularly states and UTs.
The National Knowledge Network (NKN): is a government-initiated program designed to connect all knowledge-creating organizations, including institutions such as IITs, IIMs, universities, research labs, and e-governance institutions, up to the district level. The network aims to foster cooperative learning and the creation of a comprehensive knowledge base.
Empowering The Future: Career Prospects In EdTech
An increase in operations often means an increase in hiring. The EdTech industry is creating a wide range of job opportunities for professionals with relevant skills and expertise, particularly in the field of technology.
Technical Architects: EdTech platforms are often used by several hundred and thousands of people at the same time, which means that there is an increasing demand for professionals that can ensure the systems and resources are properly configured, maintained, and supported and that they are accessible to all users through various scaling methods.
Data Analysts: These professionals are required to analyze the data, interpret the results and provide key insights that can help growing EdTech companies improve their products and services
Informational Security Analysts/Engineers: Anything for a younger audience needs to be well-guarded and secure. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand to monitor networks and systems and identify any threats and potential vulnerabilities.
AI/ML Engineers: As mentioned above, there is a growing trend of merging emerging technology with industries such as education to reap maximum benefits of the process and make it as engaging and fun as possible. Thus, there is an increasing need for AI and ML experts in India to develop intelligent tutoring systems and adaptive assessments to suit the diverse requirement of the nation.
Cloud solutions architect: The cloud is in high demand! There is an urgent need for professionals to develop and implement cloud-based solutions in educational settings such as online storage and remote learning.
Shortage of Skilled Talent: A Roadblock To Growth?
Despite the rapid growth of EdTech in India, there is a significant shortage of skilled talent in the country. This lack of expertise is becoming a major bottleneck for the growth of the industry and is holding back the full potential of the sector.
One of the main reasons for the shortage is the limited availability of experienced and qualified professionals in the field. Many professionals are not well-versed in the latest technologies and trends, which makes it difficult for them to adapt to the rapidly changing environment of the tech industry. This lack of skilled talent is also affecting the quality of products and services offered by companies, which can lead to a decline in customer satisfaction.
The government of India is taking some steps to address this issue, such as launching initiatives to train teachers and students in technology, but more needs to be done to ensure that the country has a sufficient pool of skilled talent to support the growth of the EdTech industry.
Significant growth and progress could be achieved by acquiring the right talent. With more advanced and innovative products and services, revenue would increase which would in turn lead to more job opportunities and economic growth for the nation. It would also drastically improve the quality and reach of education, leading to better student outcomes and a more productive workforce.
Lastly, having a sufficient pool of skilled talent in the field of technology would help India to become a leader in the global EdTech industry.
The Power Of NRI Tech Talent
As the industry continues to grow, there is a pressing need for skilled and experienced professionals to drive innovation and development. NRIs, with their unique combination of global expertise and deep understanding of Indian culture and society, are well-positioned to play a key role in this growth.
With their international experience and knowledge of the latest technologies and trends, they can bring new perspectives and ideas to the table. They can also serve as role models and mentors for young Indian tech professionals, helping to inspire and guide the next generation of leaders in the field.
Furthermore, the Indian diaspora can also contribute to the development of products and services that are better suited to the Indian market. They understand the needs and challenges of Indian students, teachers, and parents and can create solutions that are tailored to their specific requirements.
Returning to India to work in the EdTech industry is not only an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of millions of students and teachers, but it is also a fulfilling career move. It’s a chance to be able to work on cutting-edge technology and be part of an industry that is shaping the future of education and society.
It’s also a chance to give back to their motherland.
Are you ready to play a key role in changing the face of education in India for the better?