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Rise of online education in the midst of the COVID-19


The Coronavirus has led to the closure of almost all colleges and schools, leaving 1.2 billion children out of classrooms globally. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the Indian education sector, accelerating the transformation of online learning while educational institutions remain locked.


Our schools, colleges, and other educational institutions are naturally organized for large gatherings and have very little provision for social-distancing. Therefore, they are very dangerous and unsafe for our students and youth in the midst of the COVID-19 situation. Online learning, however, provides in-house flexibility or infrastructure by providing access to online formats, tutorials, resources, and references. As per a report by BARC and Nielson, it is estimated that there is an increase in engagement of up to 30 percent on educational programs from the time lockdown commenced.


Journey of homeroom turning into the classroom


As classroom sessions could no longer work during the lockdown period, educational institutions had to establish an immediately virtual way of learning to make up for lost teaching hours. Many private educational institutions in Indian cities have started offering online classes that support student-teacher interactions on a real-time basis.


During the lockdown, India's leading educational technology start-ups are brought to the limelight of those who began providing free access to their learning platforms. There is a rapid increase in the number of downloads of the EduTech applications since the lockdown phase commenced placing India in one of the World’s Top 10 apps for technology usage in the education sector. DIKSHA, a free application to provide free education for all aims to introduce digital infrastructure for school education, registered over six million downloads during the first three weeks of lockdown.


Other ed-tech apps are " Edubrisk” and "Classroom.Live" has built up the classroom infrastructure for teachers, principals, and students by turning their classroom into “Virtual Classroom”.


IITPAL is also a specially designed platform for IITJEE/NEET preparation. The differently-abled persons can access learning resources in terms of audio from the Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) platform and also content in sign language on the NIOS site or YouTube helps India to expand the e-learning ratio. Therefore, one can say that merging education with technology has opened new gateways in terms of reach, quality, and awareness.


Rising EdTech demand and economic growth


At Present India has become the third-largest online learning platform with 1.3 lakh students. KPMG report says that at present India’s Education-Technology sector is worth 150 billion.


The online education industry will become a $ 1.96 billion industry by 2021 according to a KPMG survey, as well as insights from Google search. Meanwhile, the paid user domain will grow six times faster e.g. From 1.6 million users to 9.6 million users next year by 2021. In addition, government efforts to monitor the use of technology in education will have a positive impact on the market and contribute to its significant growth in the upcoming days.


In early May, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the 'Pradhan Mantri' VIDYA 'digital education program to promote "technology-driven education equally after COVID."


There have been many infrastructure reductions since the education sector was transformed into e-learning platforms but this has led to poor access for the underprivileged students who are not well-equipped with smartphones or laptops.


To overcome this, many government initiatives are brought up. One such is the government of Kerala which has announced the establishment of educational centers adjacent to students who do not have access to television, smartphone, or the internet. These initiatives will lead to a plethora of opportunities for the implementation of homegrown technologies and help India become AtmaNirbhar by targeting the reach to a larger span of society.


Conclusion


We as a human element in the education industry will hold a significant place hopefully as we explore this impactful change of e-learning. However, current trends and improvements for EdTech companies indicate that digital formats will become an integral part of the global educational institutions of the COVID-19 world. The popularity of technology-enabled learning solutions in the Indian education system will only increase as educational institutions, teachers, parents, and the government becomes more willing to embrace technology in the ed-tech field.

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