Imagine a sector which has languorously adopted technology over the past decade and is now coerced to embrace it completely. No prizes for guessing this sector – It’s Education!
The recent COVID-19 crisis has thrown the sector into a tizzy, with most part of the world under some form of a lockdown and an estimated 91 percent students away from schools and colleges. How can an entire sector pivot to a totally different model of delivery? What are the challenges for the students and the trainers and educators? Will a new model emerge?
The K-12 segment ("K-12" being an acronym for kindergarten through Grade 12) in India is the largest in the world, with more than 300 million students. It is estimated that roughly 25 per cent of the total number of schools are private schools, but they account for 40 per cent of the enrolment. Quality of education has been a pervasive issue in government schools, with some islands of exception like Delhi.
In the K-12 segment, teachers have only known the face-to-face (F2F) model of teaching and in some private schools, technology has been used more to support the functioning of the school. There was never a need to bring it to the core. Until now! For a start, F2F has a new avatar – a virtual meeting! A huge effort will have to be made to infuse technology into delivering content online. For a start, teachers have started online classes using popular platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, etc. These classes have tried to mimic the real world classroom, albeit in a virtual environment. While there have been several challenges, online delivery has proved successful on several counts and will certainly become mainstream in some shape and form, post the current crisis.
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