As we all know COVID-19 became pandemic from an epidemic situation, affecting 209+ countries. Education sector is one of the major sector got affected, thus affecting millions of aspiring young generation. India has the second largest population of school going students over 260 million students.
In India, almost all the schools and educational institutions are closed due to COVID-19 lockdown preventive measure. This has resulted in a complete stop on studies including examinations. The nationwide 21 days lockdown ensured that 1.5 million schools/colleges come up with creative ways to provide online lessons. CBSE national level board of education in India for public and private schools, conduct their 10th and 12th board final examination around February and March. But due to pandemic lockdown situation exams has been postponed till further notice.
With the available technology it is easily possible to convert a traditional classroom into virtual online classroom. Our education system needs adapt latest technologies to build that vision and break the stereotype thinking. Today almost every family in India owns a smartphone capable enough to access internet and able to do video conferencing. We simply need to upgrade our education system, create blueprint for connecting students, teachers and faculty members with each other. Classes, attendance can be easily managed using video conferencing. Instead of traditional text books, e-books can be offered. Many reputed educational institution has already implemented this methodology and are providing education flawlessly even during this situation.
A report by Google India and KPMG estimated that around 73% of the Indian internet users are going to interact in a regional language by 2021. There is a massive opportunity in the space of vernacular content. Amid this, having an English-only approach for the platform will limit the consumer base to a significant extent. Therefore, there is a lot of scope for business in the vernacular market, and further scope for them to play a role in bridging the country’s digital divide.
Top school ERPs like Entab, Edumarshal, Francisian, Fedena etc have integrated with the free online tools like zoom, Google hangouts and Microsoft teams. To overcome communication gap, well number of schools are integrating with free open source like Moodle or they are asking their ERP vendors for building a learning management system (LMS) or tools for online study. Chinese government working together with tech companies like Baidu, Tencent and telecom providers like China Mobile, China Telecom to create a National Online Cloud Classroom. The platforms run on 7000 servers and 90 terabytes of bandwidth, for simultaneous use by 50 million learners.
Grades 9 to Grade 12, students need immediate attention in terms of their syllabus completion. And if this lockdown continues even the lower grade classes will move more swiftly to online classes. The major challenge in conducting online classes is adoption both from teachers and students/parents point of view. On the other hand, I have seen some of the English learning classes for kids starting from 4 to 13 years have already started online classes.
This alerting situation is something wherein we need to re-think of our approach towards an uninterrupted education service. It’s time wherein we move out of traditional approach and accept the technology available to digitize our education facilities.
Classrooms along with workplaces, and job markets changing owing to the rapidly emerging technologies, among all edtech has become more relevant today, and will continue to positively impact more and more people nation wide in 2020 and beyond.
A tool for online classes that educators and students can use to teach.