“E Learning Brings Host Of Opportunities For Aspiring Student And Workforce”: Hughes Global Education
Mr Partho Banerjee, President, Hughes Global Education opens up to BW Education regarding India’s recent surge into E learning and how online education is transforming the Indian Education sector.
How e-learning is getting its sheen back with increased focused on business led education?
Today, e-learning is being recognized as one of the most important technological aid in academic and corporate training world. As of 2016, India’s growth rate of self-paced e-learning was at 55% which makes India as one of fastest growing e-learning markets in the world.
In anticipation of this growth; government, businesses and professional associations are increasingly looking towards e-learning as an effective and efficient tool for bridging the education and skill gap. Over the past few years, business education has witnessed growing interest among working professionals looking to fuel their career and take up higher responsibilities in their respective fields. With emerging technologies and growing debate around re-skilling, e-learning brings a host of opportunities for both aspiring student and workforce with lucrative prospects of jobs and career growth respectively.
Most professionals today are looking to develop specialized skills amid the growing debate around automation and changing workforce environment. Aimed at corporates and working professionals, we are continuously working to provide real-time interactive onsite learning from prestigious including Indian Institute of Management, XLRI, and IIFT. Hughes is mostly participating in the executive education space with premium content & delivery, simulating a face to face learning to the maximum. With a swift delivery cycle, many times higher than traditional classroom-based instruction, it improves profitability for an organization. Infact, more than 2000 students including those from known corporates choose to pursue various courses including business led education on Hughes platform every year.
To stay relevant in the internet age, there is an increased focus on continuous re-skilling. What are your views on this?
I believe, technology is at the core of development across sectors and the boom in digital revolution has triggered dramatic changes in how we view, ideate and share content. Naturally, the shift is also seen in learning. Today’s workforce realizes that merely moving up the hierarchy is not enough. What keeps a career vibrant and increasingly relevant are the experiences that employees gain through different on-the-job opportunities for learning and career building. On other hand, organizations experience client demands for more specialized skill-sets, and re-skilling through e-learning can help them perform better in sustaining business momentum.
Putting this into context, there’s been increasing demands for re-skilling in areas such as design thinking, payment card security, administration, integrated customer experience, cybercity and data analytics. We aim to bridge the gap between these two entities by seamlessly integrating the strengths of the traditional method of education — classroom teaching — with the latest in technology. This in turn will signify an employee’s commitment to self-learning, discipline and the ability to upgrade their skill set, while they continue to fulfill the corporate’s demand.
How govt. push for digital teaching will further accentuate the growth of e-learning in India?
Over the past few years, we have seen a strong surge in demand for quality education. Today e-Learning is being recognized as one of the important technological aid in academic and corporate training world. Not just the private sector, but even the government is pushing its investment on technology and drive quality education with a clear emphasis on skill building. Indian government has been a key player and a strong supporter in accentuating the growth of e-learning. As part of the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives, the government has introduced multiple initiatives including Swayam — an indigenously designed massive open online course (MOOC), Swayam Prabha — a project for transmitting high-quality educational content through 32 Direct-to-Home channels, and National Digital Library – online collection of over 6.5 million books.
Major initiatives like National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) by IITs and IISc are aiming to develop quality content for engineering students by world renowned experts in their respective fields. Parallelly, efforts are being made to reach all the engineering colleges using National Knowledge Network(NKN) of providing quality educational resources through high bandwidth networks. This has created significant resource pool for students across rural and urban geographies to benefit from the digital technology infrastructure.
How can online education transform the Indian education sector?
India has a multi-layered formal education system with ~ 260 million students enrolled in more than 1.5 million schools and ~39,000 colleges catering to 27.5 million under graduate and four million postgraduate students. But still, the education sector has tremendous potential to grow due to the huge demand-supply gap. Even with the existing school infrastructure, most student still struggle to gain quality education in the lack of available resources including critical infrastructure, learning material and even teachers.
As per a report by KPMG and Google, India’s online education market is set to grow to USD 1.96 billion and around 9.6 million users by 2021, which is almost 8x growth in next 5 years.
According to India Ratings and Research, part of Fitch Group, the country needs a further 200,000 schools, along with 35,000 colleges and 700 universities. Online learning has largely been seen as a supplement to school learning for students enrolled in primary and secondary classes in school. Beyond, the supplementary role, the potential of e-learning has also been seen to provide an alternative to traditional higher education courses including the test preparation and online programmes aimed at coaching students in preparation for competitive examinations. The story is not limited to schools alone. Indian companies are adopting e-learning platforms as continuous employee learning has become a strategic necessity, which will help online learning make further inroads.
While online education cannot replace traditional learning methods, it continues to evolve in playing a significant role in transforming the overall education sector in India by raising the quality, level of education, literacy and economic development in India.
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