India/September 28, 2022/By: Prajodh Rajan/Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
While the world nearly came to a standstill owing to the pandemic-induced lockdown, India’s education sector remained resilient in its mission to continue its path. For a country having the second highest population in the world and boasting of a lion’s share in the youth population aged 10 to 24 year olds, a pause was out of question, at least as far as education was concerned.
Innovators and educationists worked their magic to create tech-infused solutions, striving to introduce a new normal for students who were confined to their homes, thus paving the way for digital tools, remote learning, and more such disruptions to help continue their pursuit of learning. All this has led to the process of learning to turn into a journey that is much more interesting, engaging, and futuristic. And the result was commendable: India’s education and skills market is all set to double in this decade.
This resilience brings to fore a question – can the education industry work as a catalyst to bring to fruition India’s $5 trillion economic growth dream? Could this be the bigger picture that we are working towards?
The Indian education system: Where it stands today
We can collectively agree that the traditional education system is being replaced with a new avatar, one that is not restricted to classroom chalk and talk. To begin with, we witnessed the emergence of virtual learning, where anyone can make use of digital resources to be a part of a classroom without physical walls and stringent timings stopping them. Online education allowed for flexibility and a wide range of opportunities waiting to be explored both in India and abroad. The numbers are a testimony to this fact: with a CAGR of 20%, the online education industry alone is set to touch a staggering $2.2 billion between this year and 2026.
But that is not all that is changing. There seems to have erupted an emphasis on concept-based learning as well, powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Another rising trend observed is that of gamification of the learning process which increases engagement and effectiveness. The focus of India’s education system is now on critical thinking and problem solving, a move that is necessary in today’s day and age. In 2020, when the Union Cabinet approved the National Education Policy (NEP), it clearly outlined the vision of “new education” and it looks like the nation is at the threshold of a new and futuristic education system.
India’s $5 trillion journey: How education works as a catalyst
Accelerated internet penetration, coupled with a rise in the number of smartphone users are the two main causal factors that are contributing to the growth of the sector. The rise and transformation of India’s education landscape has further accelerated the creation of jobs, emergence of start-ups, and overall tidal waves of growth for the economy. At the most basic level, education is essential to help people function as members of society, but beyond this, better educational outcomes can transform the country into a haven for economic growth.
The government, in an attempt to make investment opportunities more accessible, is taking measures that can favour the growth of its economy and its education sector. One notable step in this direction is the go ahead for a 100 percent FDI under automatic route. We saw close to $6.74 billion in FDI for the same purpose, between the years 2000 to 2021 alone. In addition to this, was the implementation of the New Education Policy in 2020 which looks to revive the framework of the country’s education system.
With the education market growing in leaps and bounds to touch $313 billion by 2030, close to five million incremental jobs will be created, further impacting close to 429 million learners. This will further pave the way for affordable loan and housing platforms for students, a thriving gig economy, development of skills and training (of both teachers and students) and an inflow of investment opportunities. Tapping on this market that promises immense potential, start-ups and innovators too will jump on the bandwagon, further creating waves of transformation.
A thriving ecosystem is in the works, one that will set the wheels in motion for India to become a $5 trillion economy: and at the core of this, would be the nation’s education sector, its innovators, as well as emerging players waiting to disrupt the space.
Prajodh Rajan, Group CEO & Co-Founder, Lighthouse Learning.