Online Education: Opportunities And Challenges In The Aeon Of COVID-19

There is an entire change in the education system with online education in the picture.

The COVID-19 outbreak has compelled the world to stand still and confine our horizon. Almost, every country to each section of the society in the world is suffering from the pandemic. Students comprise a major part of most countries in the world and hence is one of the biggest community to be affected lockdown. Students are physically bound and confined to their homes and cannot attend schools and colleges. But this cannot be a reason for them to stop learning. According to UNESCO, over 32 crore students are hit by Covid-19 as schools and colleges are shut in India. There are countries in the world that have an entire population lesser than this count.  

Considering the number given by the UNESCO, it is a very big total to deal with. While some anticipated that the situation may get under control in the near future and awaited the pandemic to end. Most of the schools and institutions decided to not halt the system for long and moved their classes to feasible mediums like online learning and distance education. However, unfortunately, we still don’t have the tech-savvy infrastructure in most parts of the country hence the struggle.  

Now, certainly, the time is harsh for the entire world but alternatively, it has also open doors for the opportunities that we had in our minds for long but couldn’t execute. The online education market in India was valued at Rs 39 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach Rs 360.3 billion by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of ~43.85% during the 2019-2024 period. These numbers talk a lot about the paramountcy of online education for the institutions in the country even during the pre-COVID phase while we still had our traditional way of physical education as the primary medium.

The transformation can not be done overnight and it may take a lot of push in embracing and executing the desired result. But this pandemic has taught the industry that the scope of online education is extensive and it has to run in tandem with the traditional learning. As per reports, India has over 560 million internet users which is the second-largest market in the world, ranked only behind China. It was estimated that by 2023, there would be over 650 million internet users in the country. This means a large population in our country is already digitally sound, at least with the basics of it. So, making them learn about online tech stack such as Google Classroom, Blackboard, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams will not be as challenging. There are several EdTech start-ups in India that have already floated the knowledge about e-courses, e-books, e-classes, etc.  

Alongside all the opportunities there is also a lot of embog. A large section of our society lives in remote locations and do not have enough infrastructure to be a part of mainstream education. However, with the current situation, the government has to double the pace of their projects and introduce required mediums like better telecom networks and faster internet speed to the remote areas.  This will enable the online education providers to get far and maximise the reach to every corner of the country.  

In the coming decade, the number of students in India is expected to rise by 50 per cent which will eventually push the demand of educational needs. Online Education has a huge scope considering its vast library for learning. It's not just physics, chemistry and maths. Students can apply for a lot of other courses that have a huge scope in the marketplace. Tomorrow, it will no longer be about the percentage scored in a board exam. There is an entire change in the education system with online education in the picture. And this has been an only silver lining in this pandemic. 

The quick turn-around from traditional to online sources in the education industry during the lockdown proves that we are ready to learn the unlearn. What's holding us is the mechanism that is required to streamline the process. Here's where the heed from the government comes into the picture. The government needs to help educators with the infrastructure and policies to install things in order. 

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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