EdTech 2020: Why India’s New NEP Is A Boon For Software Enterprises
The Indian Government recently released the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. This policy, touted as a “…new education policy for the 21st century,” opens several opportunities for service providers in EdTech.
Outlined in the policy are several initiatives to encourage online and distance learning. At the heart of it, the goal is to make education more holistic, integrated, learner-centered and flexible.
With over 4000 startups, the EdTech scene in India is unmistakably overjoyed. The race towards online learning started by the coronavirus pandemic will now be sustained by the NEP 2020.
A few key highlights of the policy are:
- Academic Bank of Credits(ABC) to digitally store the academic credits earned by a student
- Students in tier 2 or tier 3 cities can use online learning to earn credits and transfer to other courses using these credits
- Enabling multiple pathways to learn. This includes development and sharing of e-resources, promotion of e-learning, and introduction of assessment on demand, and
- Meeting the growing demand for MOOCs through the SWAYAM platform by the MHRD.
However, such digital transformation measures by the government are not unique to India.
Governments in conflict-affected countries like Sudan, Uganda, & Lebanon have been leveraging educational gaming content for children through their Can’t Wait to Learn Initiative.
As a response to COVID-19, some governments have also started to air school syllabus over television programs as well.
Meanwhile, Surrey School District in BC, Canada, adopted Microsoft 365 districtwide as a holistic solution for administrators, teachers, and students.
From Learning to Administration
E-learning has opened up a whole new world of innovation for learners and education stakeholders. With over 3 million learners on their platform and over 200 million assessments done till data, TCS iON, a strategic business unit of TCS has their eyes firmly set on capitalizing the EdTech boom.
iON focusses on government, K-12, higher education, and even corporate learning on a platform and product dimension.
On the administration side, blockchain technology presents a secure and verified identity tracking mechanism for students. Much of the bureaucratic paperwork related to transfer of credits or exam score re-evaluations are removed from the picture.
A blockchain-based identity system also helps teachers keep-up with their certification and qualification details. They can easily transfer jobs from one state to another, provided the government adopts such a system as the standard.
Scheduling, data keeping, and other organizational tasks are now being taken care of by EdTech solutions. This leaves a lot of free time for students to engage in classroom discussions.
Deep learning algorithms are now being used experimentally to track a student’s cognitive capabilities and suggest suitable learning tracks. By pairing data from these algorithms with EdTech solutions, educators can make learning recommendations that perfectly suit the student, both in terms of style & content. Startups like Knewton are already offering this solution.
Career counselling, perhaps the most crucial but overlooked aspect of education is also getting an AI-powered fillip. Mumbai-based, EdTech startup Klarity is developing a proprietary algorithm to match students with mentors who are high achievers in their niche. Kindle Career, another startup in the same niche, provides psychometric tests and multilingual assessment reports to help with career guidance for school students and working professionals.
Promising Edtech Adoption Rates Among Governments
Educators were initially caught off-guard with the pandemic forcing them to abandon physical classes. With the chance of a COVID-free near–future decreasing with each day, state governments in India have accelerated their adoption of EdTech solutions.
Service providers who have a proven track record in delivering such solutions are being tapped to develop similar solutions for the public education system. Given that everything from primary education to university-level education falls under this ambit, service providers are looking at a massive scaling exercise ahead of them.
Key solutions that governments are looking for include:
- Content delivery in vernacular languages
- Infrastructure-agnostic, cloud-based delivery models that can be accessed from anywhere
- Digital tools with a smooth learning curve to encourage rapid adoption by educators & students
- Seamless administration solutions that can keep track of a learner’s growth from primary to university level
- Intelligent counselling methodologies to identify the right learning track for students
- Smart reskilling suggestion for educators to bridge the gap between classroom and industry
What This Means for Service Providers
Leading software providers are capitalizing on the EdTech boom. Since almost every EdTech solution relies on the cloud, Infrastructure-as-a-Service vendors are seeing full order books. The business outlook for cloud migration, cloud development & data warehousing is picking up as both the public & private sector look for disruption-proof education services.
Education ERP systems are finding increasing use among administrators. A few established service providers have built ERP platforms to address the unique needs of the education sector. These platforms are then sold as whitelabel products to other schools/universities/governments.
Service providers who keep their ear to the ground, recognize industry signals, and deliver first-level services stand to win lucrative public sector deals.
To understand true–value sectors within EdTech, service providers need to carefully analyze digital transformation signals across industry accounts.
Draup for Sales features a proprietary Signals dashboard that monitors real-time signals across various digital themes for the right opportunities. These signals are categorized, contextualized, and quantified using machine learning, human-curation, and selling expertise for service providers to develop niche value proposition.