The recent pandemic has started a conversation among educationists on what the future of education looks like. People across all the sectors are looking to find ways to recover from this situation and similarly people in the education sector are looking at how to make education accessible to students in such situations.
As we always say that difficult times teach us some valuable lessons and when we talk of education space then the pandemic has taught everyone the importance of having a virtual learning space. Pictures are floating on the internet of students taking online classes. People are realizing its potential more than ever now. Several edu-tech companies have come forward with free content available on their platforms. The question stands in front of us is what the education space in the future looks like.
It definitely will be a complementing mix of classroom and online learning. Time and again it has been proved that virtual learning or online learning is here to stay and this needs to be accepted and integrated by education administrators. Online learning has many advantages such as low cost, personalized content, innovative learning, effective monitoring among others and carefully blending it with classroom teaching can help in making impressive strides in education.
In the Indian context, looking at the vernacular diversity and different needs of learners, the learning solutions need to be highly personalized after clearly understanding the ground situations of the demography.
The education sector in India lacks adequate research and performance evaluation of models to enable policymakers to know which programs really work. Models based on evidence need to be implemented on a large scale. The adoption of such models needs to be done at the school level and schools should own the entire process. The government’s role must be to act as a catalyst in the system by providing encouragement to such schools but the entire ownership must be given to schools.
However, for anything to work, there is a need for greater investment in the education sector, more than ever. Education deserves the priority, as much as any economic sector and sometimes even more.