Ed-tech promises to bring a ray of hope for not just the at-risk youths, but the entire student community at large.
A strong education system is one of the pillars of any civilized society. The Indian education sector is, however, riddled with multiple infrastructural holes. The case is especially grim in Tier-3 cities where students are mostly underserved on account of the unavailability of basic educational resources, the presence of poor or no physical infrastructure, and the absence of committed teachers and reading materials. In addition to this, a dearth of credible after-school coaching facilities for students in Tier-3 cities and semi-urban areas preparing for competitive exams like UPSC, CAT, etc., causes them to shift to metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Pune in search of better educational resources.
Although big metro cities offer improved lifestyle, and better learning and job opportunities to the Indian youth from across the country, the cost of living in such cities proves to be too much to manage for those not belonging to affluent economic classes. From the expense of paying for tuitions and housing rent to buying basic living provisions like food and paying for necessities like transportation, the daily expenditure puts a hefty financial burden on to non-earning students especially, often causing them to go in debt.
Furthermore, since youths from all over the country flock to the numbered professional coaching institutes in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, only a select few students are able to stand out in the overcrowded milieu. Only those who have either had a firm educational foundation or those who are fast-learners are able to cope with the fast-paced curriculum that is designed to focus on drilling information into the masses. It, therefore, leaves out at-risk students to fend for themselves who then find it difficult to keep up with the course and thus have to constantly deal with the fear of failure. Additionally, the impersonal teaching methods of the teachers who do not pay attention to individual students further end up diminishing the self-esteem of stressed-out students who eventually end up depressed when unable to perform well.
To such a grim picture of the education sector in India, ed-tech promises to bring a ray of hope for not just the at-risk youths, but the entire student community at large.
Multiple ed-tech platforms provide personalised learning experiences to students through which they can engage in self-study and self-assessment more effectively. The most enabling feature of ed-tech is the provision of video lectures. Most platforms offer multiple video lectures on the same topic taught by different instructors thus allowing a student to choose the instructor whose teaching style is most agreeable to their learning sensibilities. Video lectures also enable learners to watch and re-watch any lecture as many times as they want until they feel comfortable with a certain topic, something which is not practically possible in real time. This feature is especially empowering for those students who may feel uncomfortable engaging in constructive discussions in the crowded and oppressive classroom environment.
Edtech platforms also enable a student to interact with their seniors or subject experts online, thus eliminating the fear of being embarrassed in front of other students in a classroom setting. The online engagement also helps them to study at their own pace without having to worry about catching up with fast-paced lectures and rushing to be up-to-date with the vast syllabi.
Another empowering aspect of ed-tech platforms is that they leverage cutting-edge AI-based technologies like deep learning and data analytics to map a student’s learning journey. Based on the analysis of these patterns, ed-tech companies offer personalised test series and assessment tools to each and every user. A student can thus identify his and her weaknesses and strengths with respect to specific subjects, and work on them during their learning trajectory.
Education sectors across the world have already integrated ed-tech into their operations, thereby enhancing the teaching and learning experience of educators and students respectively. The Indian education sector, too, is poised to be disrupted by this revolutionary learning and teaching tool in the coming years. This presents an optimistic picture of the educational prospects of millions of students across the country.
-- Anil Nagar, CEO, and Founder of Adda247