What NEP means for EdTech startups in India
Recently, the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was announced by the Ministry of Education. The policy is aimed at transforming the Indian education system to meet the needs of the 21st Century.
The new policy targets rectification of poor literacy and numeracy outcomes associated with primary schools, reduction in dropout levels in middle and secondary schools and adoption of the multi-disciplinary approach in the higher education system.
Apart from this, the policy also focuses on early childhood care, restructuring curriculum and pedagogy; reforming assessments and exams, and investing in teacher training and broad-basing their appraisal.
Though the NEP 2020 seeks to bring a holistic change in the education system of India, its success depends on the will and way in which it will be implemented. It is obvious that the government can't do this alone. They need help and that's when the EdTech startups of India step in. Let's dig in and find out more features about what the NEP has in store for those who are at the helm of the intersection of technology and education.
1. Use of adaptive software to provide tailored and flexible lessons to students
Every student is unique with different capabilities and different approaches to problem-solving. This has brought to fore the concept of personalised learning. Considering the student needs and moulding the course as per their individual abilities has immense potential to do wonders to their future growth.
Self-paced courses provide flexibility to the learners in terms of time, effort and commitment.
2. Blended learning and the use of AI to track student's performance
Blended learning is a modern educational strategy that has evolved from e-learning. It delivers better results at a lower cost as compared to the traditional learning methods. It aims at interactive learning, resulting in the blending or mixing of a teacher's role in a traditional classroom with that in the virtual one.
With the entry of AI, a probable course would be to build a dynamic learners profile that mimics their learning pattern and behaviour, allowing the content to be tailored for the student.
3. Coding skills to be taught to students since 6th standard - Early beginning
One of the most significant reforms introduced in the final draft of NEP 2020 is that students will now be taught 21st-century skills from Class 6. Coding is one of the subjects that is a part of these 21st-century skills and students will have the option to choose coding as a subject from Class 6.
We are living in a digital age in which most of the revenue pie is shared by the digital services as compared to the physical products. As a result more and more companies are shifting towards online platforms to do their business.
Mobile applications and websites are everywhere. From social media, education, games and shopping to training and delivery of services, everything can be accessed online.
As the reach of AI expands, it will find its application in automation to increase the efficiency of manuals tasks. Students as skilled coders will drive the revolution in education through technology.
4. Enabling aspect of digital technology for quality education at all levels
Digital models and simulations to aid the understanding of concepts are must in every classroom.
For example, online degrees, e-books, MOOC learning through open-ware courses and easy access to high quality research papers have virtually turned the world into a global village.
5. Setting up of National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) and a dedicated unit to setup digital edtech infrastructure
As per New Education Policy 2020, the NETF will have the following functions:
a) provide independent evidence-based advice to Central and State Government agencies on technology-based interventions.
b) build intellectual and institutional capacities in educational technology.
c) envision strategic thrust areas in this domain
d) articulate new directions for research and innovation
Through the technology forum, new technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning, smart boards, computing devices, adaptive computer testing for student development and other forms of educational software and hardware will be integrated into all levels of education to improve classroom process, support teachers professional development, enhance educational access for disadvantaged groups and streamline educational planning, administration and management.
NETF will also facilitate decision-making on the induction, deployment and use of such technologies by providing educational institutions, governments and other stakeholders the latest knowledge to consult and share the best practices.
This could prove to be a boon for the Indian Edtech sector as it opens more avenues for Edtech startups to bridge the education gap in the country.
Overall, the NEP 2020 is a step in the right direction. It pushes towards a more learning-centric approach to education and it has the potential to improve the quality of education in India.