Post COVID Future of K12 Education in India
The Ed-Tech players will play a big role here in improving the overall learning experience of students and the efficacy of the education system.
Dr. Madam Grace Pinto
Ryan International Group of Institutions
The present pandemic situation has disrupted the entire educational system. It is commendable though that various government bodies and educationalists across the country are working towards finding ways and means to help students continue their learning process while they are safe and secure at home. As soon as the lockdown was announced, schools already having integrated E-learning portals were able to embrace the change quickly and adapt to the new situation through the E-learning platforms and ensured continuity of the teaching-learning processes. For these schools, the major challenge was to enable acceptance of the new normal by the parents and the students. In the initial stage there were difficulties, seeding issues but the stakeholders adopted the change and fortunately many parents opted to be co-learners to enhance the e-learning outcomes among their children. Over the passage of just four months, we have witness a significant growth in the shift to online education.
In this Covid-19 era, the obvious focus of schools will now be on innovation in leveraging technology, active collaboration and capacity building to deliver an immersive learning experience online. 'E-learning' is the way forward as an essential aspect of education system. This is going to continue to remain as the top priority in the K-12 sector. Also blended learning model of merging classroom engagement with an e-learning support system will enrich the K12 teaching-learning space. The present situation has given an opportunity for digital transformation of the education system and the future will witness not only virtual classrooms but also parent teacher interactions on virtual platforms whenever needed. The Ed-Tech players will play a big role here in improving the overall learning experience of students and the efficacy of the education system.
As the community of educationists moves ahead adapting themselves to the new normal, there will be several challenges that they need to face and issues to address.
- The challenge of training the educators across the rural urban spectrum on the emerging technologies will be a continuing issue, but teachers being lifelong learners too am hoping will stay ahead of the learning curve.
- The possibility of widening gaps between the have and have nots in the learning outcomes because of lack of infrastructure and facilities, especially in the rural areas where stable internet is an issue. But with the improvement in the connectivity and the e-learning ecosystem, hopefully it will provide a viable plan to bridge the divide.
- Yet another ongoing challenge will be of coming to a consensus between the stakeholders and the schools' views on various important aspects of school's smooth functioning and finding a middle path and fair solutions that will benefit both the school teachers and parents.
- Also a greater need to address the mental health issues arising from this pandemic among staff and students.
What we now perceive is that hybrid blended learning with 'face-to-face classrooms and virtual lessons' is the future of education that will provide engaging and meaningful learning experiences for our students. Schools and educationists on their part need to make every endeavour and think of reducing the impact of the present situation on the young minds while adapting to the new normal and exploring other practical alternatives to continue to make education engaging, meaningful and relevant.
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