Why EdTech Sector Has Been A Boon In Rural Areas?

Edtech offers a way that each child can be taught in his or her home language or mother tongue and at one’s own pace.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created unimaginable havoc in all of our lives. However, as the saying goes ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, the Covid situation has also created a lot of opportunities in the technology space that has made life easier for consumers. One such service that is paving its way and growing rapidly is the Ed-tech sector. A report by The Economic Times states that in the next 10 years the industry is expected to become $30 billion in size. One of the primary factors which have led to the demand for this sector is the increasing acceptance by the parents and students to switch to an alternative learning mode by using technology.

But when it comes to India, the situation is a bit different. One can’t ignore the fact that a considerable chunk of the Indian population still lives in rural areas. Traditionally, students from rural India were unable to get a basic education due to the paucity of infrastructure and other facilities. There are millions of such students, whose only fault is that they were born in distant villages of India. Though they are smart, want to study and maybe can even afford to go to better schools, yet the nearest school could be tens of kilometres away.  If we look at the statistics, India has about 8 lacs primary schools (Grades 1-5), 4 lacs middle schools (Grades 6-8) and 1.6 lacs secondary schools (Grades 9-10) out of which most are in cities and towns. So, what would the students in villages do in the pre-ed-tech era?  They would just give it up due to the unavailability of schools. But thanks to ed-tech all this is changing. 

Ed-tech, powered by increasing smartphone and connectivity penetration, has taken the school to the homes of students who are not able to go to school for various reasons, especially in rural India. It’s true that not all of them have got access to smart devices and maybe the internet is patchy but they could see the glimmer of hope on the horizon. Mobile phones took India’s telecommunication connectivity from a paltry 4-5 per cent with landlines to almost 100 per cent today and internet connectivity skyrocketed with smartphones as 80 per cent gets consumed using them now as compared to just 15 per cent population having access earlier with computers. It also offers a way that each child can be taught in his or her home language or mother tongue and at one’s own pace.

With Ed-tech a child can study anytime anywhere without the constraint of location, finance or work constraints. A child sitting in the remotest corner of northeast, to a child forced to sit at home in Jammu, to a farmer’s child helping his father in Bihar, to a child travelling a long distance to attend school in Uttarakhand, now don’t have an excuse for not continuing their schooling. Digital education has truly served to be a hope to the crores of children who are not going to school or are not getting a proper education, connecting 'Bharat' with India as the power of e-learning is for the masses.

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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