The humongous rise of e-learning and app for teaching online due to the pandemic is not lost on us. There are however many other critical factors to consider in order to assess the reason for the huge attention and support that the Edtech industry has garnered, from users and investors alike. In fact, the ed-tech industry had been registering a healthy double-digit growth year-on-year until COVID, when it skyrocketed. According to a joint report by KPMG and Google, the online teaching industry is en route to achieving 8x to 10x growth in the next 5 years. There are currently more than 4000 ed-tech startups in India out of which more than 400 were founded in the last 2 years alone. With so many apps for teaching online, the HRD ministry estimates that expenditure in ed-tech will reach $10 trillion by 2030. In fact, India is currently the second-highest, if not the highest-ranking nation in terms of the number of tech companies and investment in ed-tech.
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So, what reasons, apart from the pandemic and an existential need for social distancing, lie at the heart of this massive growth of ed tech in India? Let’s find out….
Government’s vision of a Digital India-
The digital India initiative, geared towards progressive digitalization of public systems in India, improving digital literacy and to a lesser extent, attracting foreign investment proved to be a guiding light for the ed-tech industry at large. Among other things, it also aims to provide broadband and WIFI connectivity in schools and colleges which will go a long way in changing student learning behavior. It also aimed at developing the best app to teach online and large-scale pilot online courses for skill development among masses and the like.
A Huge Mobile Internet User Base
As of 2021, the Internet penetration rate in India stands at 45%. With such a large number of internet users, India was like a honeypot for the ed-tech industry. Many online classes app for teachers provide features of e-learning through mobile to encourage a large number of mobile internet users to try their app for teaching online. Especially since 2016, the cost of mobile internet has plummeted to one of the lowest in the world. Consequently, the internet penetration rate has skyrocketed creating in turn, big opportunities for the online teaching industry.
High-Cost Efficiency compared to Offline Teaching
With nothing but a mobile phone and a decent internet connection, one can learn or teach just about any subject of any standard on an app for teaching online. The amount of money saved from having to buy no books and minimal stationery provides enough motive to promote online education. We all are aware that our country has a great demographic dividend. Scaling up education for a large population of students, especially considering students in far-flung and lesser developed areas, is a very time-consuming, arduous, and economically intensive task if it involves only traditional offline education. However, online education with its obvious benefits of mass communication, easy access, and cost efficiency is a viable and preferred medium of education in a developing country like India.
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New Education Policy 2020
The new education policy launched by the government in 2020 was quite conducive to the development of the online teaching infrastructure in India. Upon successful implementation, it will encourage the development of the best app to teach online and with a focus on starting virtual labs, providing training to teachers to make them capable of operating various online classes app for teachers, etc. It called for increased public spending in the field of education and maintaining a balance between the pros and cons of digitalization in education. It also focused on a more multidisciplinary approach towards education which provides a greater deal of liberty to students in choosing their specializations. Certainly, it has largely garnered praise and approval from students and educators alike.
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These are only some of the reasons behind the stupendous success of the ed-tech industry and apps for teaching online. It would be interesting to see what the future holds in store for the Indian Edtech sector. It is evident that pandemic, though critical, is not the only important factor dictating the massive growth of ed-tech in India. The underlying reasons, like a huge number of mobile internet users, government interest in digitalization, cost-efficiency, and simplicity over offline education coupled with the pandemic situation we all are currently facing, suggest that the ed-tech sector will continue to propel towards new heights in the foreseeable future.