India being a developing country holds immense potential for its youth to grow & prosper with giant strides. The country has been facing an acute demand supply gap in terms of number of eligible students’ vis-à-vis number of seats in educational institutions such as schools, colleges, university etc. The public and private sector investment has been increasing however it has not been able to keep up with the widening demand. The Government having realized this lacuna has decided to focus its efforts on online learning (Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs) and Virtual Classrooms.
The introduction of online education has transformed the entire learning landscape of the country thereby making the lives of student’s a lot easier and more productive. The vast penetration of mobile phones, tablets, phablets etc have also contributed to the popularity of such programs.
With just a decent internet connection, students can now connect & learn from the best of faculty, access quality reference material, research, puzzles etc to enhance their learning manifold. They can browse through various online study portals, enroll for online programs, refer to e books and much more. Students residing in small towns have especially benefited as they do not have access to quality learning infrastructure. Online education will serve as a surrogate for such students till the time infrastructure is developed. In the near future, barriers to quality education will be completely removed and students will have the power to pursue the best of education at reasonable costs.
The Government of India needs to take charge to conceptualize and implement reforms to meet the “Need of the Hour”. Some of the changes which may be on the anvil are:
- Increase in Public Expenditure on education
The public expenditure on education has been in the range of 3-4% of the GDP over the past few years. The expenditure is clearly insufficient given the status of education in the country. There is likelihood that the public expenditure may be doubled to 6% in the next 1-2 years. The increase in spending will reflect the commitment of the new government in reforming the education sector to a new level by instilling change in educational infrastructure, outdated courseware, policies and access to modern pedagogical techniques.
- National Commission On Education
A well-regulated National Commission on Education (NCE) is expected to transform the regulatory landscape by focusing on “More Governance, Less Government”. The main objective behind setting up NCE is to ensure advancement of the sector and monitoring of quality education being imparted to the students. This commission will deal with the challenges which arise from lack of quality, creativity and research.
- Reduce Illiteracy
More than a quarter of Indian population is still illiterate. Successful and efficient implementation of marquee programs such as Sarva Shiksha Abhigyan, RTE etc will help the Indian Government to keep a check on literacy levels and ensure access of quality education to people of all sections of the society.
- Encourage Online Education
The new Government has initiated setting up of digital libraries to empower the youth to read more and embrace latest technology. Influencing the demand for online education courses will also let working class and housewives to pursue their academic interests lifelong and become capacitated to lead their lives independently.
- Setting Up Massive Open Online Courses & virtual Classes
The new government has stressed the need for nurturing youth by providing access to right kind of technology to meet learning demands. The decision to set up massive open online courses (MOOC) and virtual classes will benefit the students at large who in spite of having an academic interest, cannot study due to various social factors. This will hopefully break all the barriers between formal education and skill development by placing a lot of significance to vocational education. We hope that the present Government will leave no stone unturned for the development of youth.
- Improving Educational System
The educational infrastructure of India needs to be recuperated and modernized in line with international education system. Such an enhancement will enable us to contest globally by improving our position in global rankings, tying up formal and vocational education programs and providing flexibility to students to pursue their career of interest.
MyEdge is a social learning initiative to provide effective and coherent learning opportunities to every student, passionate for learning. MyEdge has developed the first of its kind online virtual classroom tool for teachers to impart online education to any student residing in any part of the world. The initiative also encourages networking amongst teachers, learners and parents to enhance productivity.