Sample these facts:
- As of 2016, the Indian Edu sector was worth close to USD 100 billion which in a span of just 4 years would balloon to USD 180 billion by 2020
- India today has the highest population in the 25 to 35 age brackets.
- FDI in the education sector by the end of year 2016 was worth close to USD 1.5 billion
- By 2020, India shall have one of the largest populations in the world which would enrol into for higher education with numbers close to 35 million + who would go to 750+ universities and 50000+ higher education institutions
- Frightfully poor infrastructure
- Frightfully ill-trained, ill-educated and ill-equipped teachers
- Being stuck to age-old professions and fields
The solution? Go the whole hog and do the unthinkable! If emerging trends in the Indian Education Sector are to be believed, they include the following:
- Increase in the role played by technology
4G is still around and yet to show its true worth even though 5G is already making its presence felt in experimental roll-outs all over India. With 5G being rolled out, and if the Chinese experience and experiments are to anything to go by, the following would be the changes that could grace Indian Education:
- Robotic Education! If robotic medical operations can be done by surgeons being present miles away, why not education? Instead of appointing barely-educated personnel as teachers and ruining the education of millions, remote education with the assistance of robots could make more sense. Robots here may not be mistaken with the sci-fi kind of stuff which are almost human-like but with a more mundane machines which takes care of every day educational needs of children.
- Remote-accesses education! If the above seems too hi-fi, education can be imparted the same way as it is today done with the help of teachers. Except that teachers would be replaced by a TV screen of big size which with the help of a teacher located miles away, can teach the students on various subjects. The advantage of such a system where coupled with be VR and AR is that education can be made very interactive, informative and educative.
- Any-time, anywhere education! If it’s remote accesses, what stops technology from making education available as and when the student wants it! For young adults who work on the side either as a choice or as a compulsion, the anytime, anywhere education system works wonders. Late out of office, such individuals needn’t be constrained by space or time but only by one’s initiative to learn! Night schools or no night schools, the working population in India has found a cool, new kind of education
- Gadget-independent education! Education, at the end of it, isn’t like food or the other basic necessity of life that need physical elements. It’s more like a service. That being the case, it makes sense to take it out of the realms of 4 walls, infrastructure, teachers and all the usual physical elements (unless absolutely needed like a chemical science lab!) and keep it to just it’s basics to speed up imparting training. A lap-top or even a mobile-phone screen would henceforth be the venue which would make education a lot more interesting, thought provoking and available when most needed by the student(s)
- Peer-to-peer education! A field as fresh as digital marketing which keeps evolving almost everyday doesn’t have very few established teachers. The only way otherwise is for young experts to teach each other and that is best done over technology where precise information is shared in mediums and platforms which remain conducive.
- Adaptive learning using AR, VR and AI! AI has surprisingly caught the eye of education rather late but now that it has, you are promised of education like never before. Unlike the age-old system where the teacher with his/ her limited resources would try and make the class interesting, never mind that despite the former’s best efforts, students found it seriously boring, today, the entire scenario thru the use of AI and AR/ VR, has taken a very, very different and immersive experience where the entire curriculum is being designed keeping in mind the capacities of the student(s), their likes and dislikes, background and abilities to cope up.
- Increase industry-interaction
There was a time, not too long in the past that there was practically no connect between the industry and education, unless you spoke of industry-specific courses like CA, CS, ICWA etc which came about due to the need of the industry. As for the rest, new recruits HAD to find their own means, quite like ITI who despite everything, had to undergo further training at the employer. Today, that is changing with practically every field voicing their needs quite openly and even taking the efforts to design courses and train people. Two things have thus emerged. One, specialized industry-ready professionals at the very end of the the course, and, the end of generalist courses like B Sc, B Com, MBA etc which do not speak of any kind of specialization but churn out only generalists.
- Increase the number of job opportunity in unheard of sectors
Heard of “Pet Psychiatrists”? Yes, they are the ones who take care of the mental health of caged animals, given that with economic success, India has developed a liking for exotic pets without much of a care about their mental health. Not many know that animals too undergo psychological trauma the way we do. With so many animals now being reared in India, there is now a market for this profession! And that is just one of them! A Digital Marketing Expert, a UI expert who makes gadget screens look and feel impressive, useful and attractive, are some newer ones. These are some of the emerging fields besides a whole load of them which have come about due to the need of the economy! As for education, for a few, there are teachers and courses. For the others, one needs to get educated on their own!
- Educate for the sake of education and not simply to get govt jobs
The India of today wants to be educated and not simply be ‘highly literate’. Agreed that a large number still believes in Govt Jobs how-so-ever lowly they may seem but in the absence of large number of jobs, one is being forced to get creative. And the only way to get creative and educated is to learn for the sake of learning and not concentrate on rote learning. With most fields of employment asking for creative folks with high degree of positivity and confidence instead of highly-educated but poorly-equipped individuals, the trend is towards liberal and creative arts who can easily be moulded to one’s needs.
- Intellectual stimulation
Flowing from the above, the latest trend in the field of Indian Education is to promote intellectual stimulation be it learning history, music, arts, theology or even science. With the generation of the desperate almost out of the field of education and jobs, scenario is to bring education while maintaining intellectual stimulation or anything which brings a feeling of inner-peace which comes with hard, hard striving and at times has little to do with money or even position. In this part, public service is an important contributor.
India has discovered research and thankfully at the right time. With one generation all but killing itself with frustration holding onto jobs just so that days could be passed, the latest trend in Indian Education is to educated oneself for the sake of education, irrespective of fields. Basic Science, Medicines, Minerals and Metals, Life science etc are some of the fields where one finds huge numbers applying for responsible positions. This has lead to a start-up culture which is very, very encouraging for everyone everywhere.