India, an emerging nation, has the opportunity and potential to reap the demographic dividend. However, it is the country’s education sector that determines the potential of its workforce. Thus, it is important for the education sector of a country to thrive in the competitive world. The Indian education system is characterized by certain significant shortcomings in terms of infrastructure, quality of teaching, curriculum, rote learning and methods of imparting education.
These shortcomings were highlighted during the pandemic but so were the rise and importance of the E-learning industry. With the increased penetration of internet access, reasonable data plans and increased use of smartphones, online learning has increased significantly, even more during the pandemic. Technology being the way forward can remedy these shortcomings through the E-learning industry.
Even the Government of India is taking measures to encourage the digitisation of education. The surging technological advancements in the education sector together with the pandemic, have made the government prioritize this digitisation. The recent National education Policy has also emphasised digitization, especially for Tier-2 and 3 cities and villages. Digital education infrastructure is being promoted and measures to increase technology reach to students are being undertaken in the country.
Self-paced courses: The future
The self-paced e-learning market is forecasted to grow significantly between the period 2021-2028. These courses are likely to serve as a potential tool to upskill the workforce as well as prepare the students to face the highly competitive global market. The technology is updating every now and then thus, the self-paced course market is not limited to schools and colleges. It goes beyond that to include employees and employers who need to be well updated with the ever-changing market technologies.
As per Technavio, the market for self-paced courses is likely to grow by USD 6.71 billion by 2024. India’s market for online education has also shown remarkable growth in recent years. This implies that the education industry of India has a potential market to capture where small-scale investment in the industry could result in a multifold reach to the learners. Today learners can access engaging self-paced courses online, at the ease of their home. So, if an opportunity could help us to establish ourselves in a highly competitive global market, then, it’s wise to grab it.
There are organisations in the ed-tech industry like Tutorialspoint that are gearing up to compete in the aggressive market. Tutorialspoint is changing the dynamics by creating self-learning materials for the learners. It allows the learners to access the text content as well as resources for free with no preconditions or impediments and also provides video courses and e-books at a very nominal cost. With simple easy learning as its aim, it has attracted users from India, The US as well as China.
What advantages do these courses offer?
Self-paced courses can be studied at one’s own pace. These courses can be used to learn, relearn and upskill. They offer better insights because of ‘no time-barred learning’ and allow unlimited access to the coursework. Where on one hand unlimited access allows for revision there on another hand better insights boost confidence and strengthen the willingness to participate further. These courses are engaging and aim at developing the ability to reason, question and avoid rote learning. They offer ease of learning and ease of earning certificates and degrees.
These courses are likely to bridge the geographical disparity that is prevalent in India. Varying from entry to advanced levels they will engage a wide lot of learners. Also, as the users will be able to access these courses for little to no cost it will be a feasible option for all income groups. These are some very important reasons ‘why self-paced courses are going to be important to the Indian Education Industry’.
Pandemic has made it clear that future education will be a blend of traditional as well as online learning. Even the Indian government is encouraging e-learning. So, in order to have an edge over others, the Indian education industry will have to brace itself to not only adapt to present education needs but also to the needs of the future. The introduction of self-paced courses will not only increase the literacy rates but will ultimately contribute to the economic development of the country.