Edtech & The Digital University
How can EdTech companies help the government at creating a Digital University?
Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced the inauguration of a digital university in India earlier in February 2022. The announcement has onlookers pleasantly surprised, as India is carving a niche in the education sector.
The statement was made after due consideration and planning, keeping in mind that education even needs to reach the underserved pockets of India. The news has given impetus to enhance and improve the existing telecom infrastructure and overcome the digital divide that would deprive citizens of the basic right to education. It has also allowed EdTechs to spread their wings as they can work in conjunction with a profound governmental body and get involved in the co-creation and co-certification of courses at a mainstream level, allowing EdTechs to expand manifolds.
What is a Digital University?
A Digital University includes numerous universities from around India, coming together as a single unit on a virtual platform. This means that students from anywhere across the country can seek admission and take to a degree, diploma, or certification course in the gamut of segments offered by the university. The digital infrastructure has its own set of advantages. These include the following,
- No capping will be imposed on the number of seats. Any number of learners and professionals can join this university if they have attained a Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC certificate) in the passing category.
- It is an indirect way of the government stating that any skilling program or certification course will require a minimum criterion of 12th pass, propelling students to study further.
- The right to education will be duly exercised as every individual can suitably skill themselves, acquiring a recognized certification from a university of their choice, even as they take instructions from remote locations.
- In 2020 NEP has restructured the academic model from the grassroots level to suit the new-age requirements of corporate enterprises. This means that the curriculum is focused on the growing importance of skilling, and understanding concepts that will be involved in real-life situations.
- The birth of a Digital University has given rise to the futuristic concept of a ‘Classroom without walls’ where learners are granted greater flexibility with the subject of their choice.
- The course pedagogy will be uniformly centralised. Learners' progress will be tracked and monitored using sophisticated software, and applications.
- Students will be able to access their chosen programme from anywhere and conclude the same in the desired time frame.
The role of EdTech Companies (Reimagined)
The role of EdTech companies will advance significantly as they work together with Digital Universities. EdTech companies can help the university to open up to a plethora of courses for students to choose from. EdTech companies will also help in the co-creation and co-certification of courses to cope with the ongoing demand of the industry. This will add much more importance to the course that is being conducted.
EdTech companies can aid in catalysing the development of the digital university by dutifully lending manpower, tech support, and other resources that can be delivered at a scalable level. Integration such as this will not only prove to be advantageous to the EdTech company but also to the Digital University. The challenges that could arise during the formation of the Digital University could be eliminated faster with the involvement of EdTechs.
EdTech will meet with the opportunity of exploring a nuanced target audience. The Digital University will be a centralised entity. Educational prospects will improve significantly. The faculty will be top-notch, giving an impetus for the government to open doors to foreign nationals. This will emerge as a win-win for the government and EdTech bodies. The fruitful collaboration will introduce Indian and foreign learners and professionals residing overseas to a chance to interact with prolific professionals from India.
Acceptance of such a compelling change will be slow but will emerge as an integral part of the process in the years to follow. EdTechs can work collectively with the Indian Digital University, to mobilise placement options for learners and professionals, bridging the gap, that is created owing to the economic lull caused by the pandemic, and the current global ongoings.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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