As they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions, the pandemic has made us realize the importance of technology in the field of education and learning. The arrival of the pandemic brought along a huge disruption in every industry and part of society, but the most critical was the education and learning sector.
To date, the education and learning sector was limited to the brick & mortar setup. However, it suddenly had to completely shift to an online & digital setup. This opened many new frontiers and brought several opportunities for new companies, startups & institutions. The market was flooded with all kinds of apps and software for learning, connecting & sharing. Many new Ed-tech companies and startups emerged & the old ones came into the limelight.
It's just the beginning of a new revolution in the education and learning sector & the upcoming new National Education Policy 2020 will only accelerate this revolution.
The rise of ed-tech companies & brands like BYJU'S, UnAcademy, UpGrad, etc has shown that the Indian private sector, startups & entrepreneurs are capable enough to provide quality & affordable education to the masses with the help of the internet & digital devices. The schools and colleges have shifted to the online learning and teaching model with the help of the products and services of many of these companies and startups.
Also, as the unemployment rates have increased, people have realized the importance of continuous learning, upskilling & reskilling to be able to grow, be employable, competitive, and sustainable in their careers & profession. This has been capitalized by companies and startups by launching many specific & result-oriented courses, specialization courses, upskilling & reskilling courses, etc.
The continuous increase in the popularity & usage of apps and services like ZOOM calls, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace/Suite, etc is a proof that educational institutions, students, teachers, and other stakeholders are adapting to the change and are willing to shift to the new format & new reality.
AI & ML (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning) is penetrating the education and learning sector in a big way. When combined with the technologies like AR, VR, MR (Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality), and 5G, the possibilities in the education sector would be limitless.
Imagine a virtual classroom with real projections of characters of students & teachers, inside a wearable MR headset, connected to a fast & low latency 5G network, and running a learning platform embedded with AI & ML capabilities. All this while the student is sitting at his house. That would be revolutionary. It isn't any imagination, it's a future under development.
Governments & authorities, big MNCs, large corporates, Ed-tech companies & startups, higher education institutions, schools & colleges are realizing the need to take good quality and affordable education to every corner, every student, every child of the country, and to the people from every economic & social background. This is only possible with the help of mass adaptation of different technologies, digital devices, products & services, and fast & reliable internet connectivity across the country.
The upcoming technologies like satellite-based internet, affordable 5G chipsets and devices, countrywide fiber optics network, and online learning platforms will help in achieving the goal of an affordable, quality, and online-based education & learning ecosystem across the country.