Are Edtechs Equalising Education

Edtech's contribution to equalising education is transformative; it has made education affordable, accessible and tailored to individual needs

In today's dynamic, technology-driven world, education has evolved, transcending the boundaries of traditional classrooms and textbooks. Educational technology or edtech, has emerged as a powerful force that holds the potential to equalise educational opportunities on a global level. Edtech's impact extends far beyond borders, providing affordable, accessible and customised learning experiences to learners across the globe.

In India, edtech has played a pivotal role and has contributed majorly to elevating the standard of education in the past few years. The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic also accelerated the growth of the Edtech industry in the country, which was growing at a moderate pace. It is expected to grow exponentially by dollar 30 billion by 2031. No wonder Edtech has a promising future and is likely to witness significant growth in the coming time.

Keeping in mind the growth of the Edtech industry by leaps and bounds, let's have a look at the profound ways in which it contributes to levelling the advancements in education, focussing on its affordable accessibility, global connectivity, faculty empowerment, customised learning, enhanced accessibility, language localisation and infrastructure elimination.

Affordable accessibility

Online programmes offer cost-effective learning solutions, ensuring maximum outreach.

The rise of Edtech has democratised education by making it more affordable and accessible. Online programmes offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional education, eliminating the financial barriers often hinder individuals from pursuing their academic goals. According to KPMG research on online education in India in 2021, online skill learning courses are 53 per cent cheaper than offline. These programmes provide flexibility in terms of payment options, reducing the burden of tuition fees and related expenses. As a result, learners from diverse economic backgrounds can access high-quality educational resources, thus narrowing the educational divide.

Global connectivity

Edtech companies bridge the gap by making high-quality education programmes from abroad accessible to Indian students at affordable rates, ensuring equality in education quality.

Edtech has erased geographical barriers, enabling students to access world-class education without leaving home. Through partnerships and collaborations, edtech companies bring renowned educational institutions and programmes from around the world to the homes of Indian students. This globalisation of education ensures that learners in India have equal access to the same high-quality content and resources as their counterparts in other countries, thus promoting educational equity.

Faculty Empowerment

Edtech companies empower faculty members in remote areas and tier 2 and 3 towns by providing them training via online platforms, ultimately ensuring inclusive access to the latest teaching methods and technologies.

Edtech is not just limited to benefiting students alone; it also empowers educators in remote regions. By providing online training and professional development opportunities, edtech platforms equip teachers in remote areas and smaller towns with the latest teaching methods and technologies. This upskilling of faculty members ensures that students across the country receive an equally high standard of education, irrespective of their location.

Customised learning

While physical classrooms allow for customisation, online education empowers individuals to learn at their own pace and tailor their learning experience to their preferences, fostering equality through personalised learning.

One of the most critical advantages of Edtech is its ability to cater to individual learning styles and paces. Online education allows students to customise their learning journey, allowing them to choose when, where and how they want to learn. This personalisation fosters equality by accommodating diverse learning needs, ensuring every student is included due to rigid teaching methods.

Enhanced accessibility

Online education provides high-quality programmes with good accessibility, even in remote areas, contributing to equitable access to education.

In a country as vast and diverse as India, physical access to educational institutions can be challenging, especially in remote areas, because of the need for internet access in some areas. This fundamentally acts as a hindrance, as the number of people using the internet is increasing rapidly.

According to a recent report named the Bharat 2.0 Internet Study conducted by Nielsen India, India has 646 million active Internet users aged between 2 years and above as of December 2021. Rural India registered 352 active million internet users, almost 20 per cent higher than urban areas.

Edtech platforms eradicate the accessibility barriers by delivering education directly to students' devices. With an internet connection, learners can access a wealth of educational content, regardless of their location. This enhanced accessibility is fundamental in promoting educational equality by reaching students without limited access to quality education.

Language localisation

Translating globally acclaimed programmes into vernacular languages ensures better learning and comprehension, promoting equal access to educational resources.

Edtech companies recognise the importance of language diversity in India and actively invest in localising content. By translating globally acclaimed educational programmes into vernacular languages, Edtech ensures that students more comfortable learning their native languages have access to the same high-quality resources as those who prefer English. This linguistic inclusivity plays a vital role in equalising educational opportunities.

Infrastructure elimination 

Edtech platforms eliminate the need for extensive infrastructure, making quality education more economical and widely available.

Traditional educational institutions often require substantial infrastructure investments, which can limit their growth, especially in remote areas. Edtech platforms eliminate this infrastructure dependency, reducing the cost and logistical challenges of establishing physical campuses. Consequently, high-quality education becomes more accessible to a broader spectrum of the population, levelling the educational landscape.

In conclusion, edtech's contribution to equalising education is transformative. It has made education affordable, accessible, and tailored to individual needs, breaking down geographical, financial, and infrastructural barriers. Edtech has up-and-coming prospects in India. According to Statista, in India, the EdTech market was worth $2.8 billion in 2020; by 2025, it is anticipated to be worth $10.4 billion. This indicates that EdTech will play a pivotal role in the growth and development of the country.

Today, edtech stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path toward a more equitable and inclusive educational landscape.

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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