An Outlook On Education Sector In 2021

The higher education sector in India is set for major overhaul and development in 2021.

The education sector awaits a revival after the upheaval unleashed by Covid-19 pandemic. A key learning during the entire phase, however, has been the digitalisation of education, which is likely to continue. In fact, the online education market is anticipated to grow manifold with the number of new EdTech start-ups rising introducing innovative e-learning solutions and apps. Similarly, with online mode of learning gaining prominence among several educational organisations, the higher education sector in India is set for major overhaul and development in 2021.

It is anticipated that even if schools and educational institutions are reopened in 2021, the format of learning will continue to remain heavily dependent on the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Blended learning, which is a hybrid form of teaching and learning that involves both classroom and online learning, will hold the way forward. This has immense potentiality to provide quality education to children.

In India, however, elementary education ails from a plethora of problems in spite of the best efforts undertaken at various levels by the government all these years. Issues pertaining to lack of infrastructure, insufficiently trained teachers, high teacher absenteeism, and low teacher accountability and motivation need to be addressed suitably. Similarly, unequal access to devices and the Internet risks exacerbating unequal learning outcomes. Besides, there is a need to rapidly upskill teachers and provide resources such as smartphones with updated educational software for remote learning. The focus should be on equitable access to education even for those belonging to the vulnerable and marginalised sections of society.

The government can look towards harnessing the considerable experience of public-private partnership (PPP) entities in school education, while seeking an arrangement for collaborative engagement. A strategy could be devised for the PPP initiative to adjust with the overall scheme of things while addressing the pressing needs of the education sector.

While the framework has already been set with the introduction of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the actual ground work starts now; this remains the most challenging aspect, though. It is expected that the government initiates rapid but smart investment decisions for technology, private-public partnerships, and innovation in 2021.

It is expected that the forthcoming Budget 2021-22 should suitably address the needs of the education sector. Overall, efficiency and transparency in the use of budget allocated to the education sector remain a key aspect. The focus should be on getting more children benefitted per rupee spent.

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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national education policy NEP 2020 education sector 2021

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