New Delhi: As we battle the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, the Education sector, has seen a huge change just as other sectors of the economy will see in the near future. Children across the country are being tutored via e-learning with daily classes and online school programmes.
"COVID-19 may bring in a paradigm shift in the way professional courses are taught. The adoption of the digital platform to impart teaching will gain significant traction. A study on enrolments in the universities which offer both distance and regular modes of education indicates that distance enrolments proportioned about 53 percent to the total enrolments in FY19. Undergraduate, post graduate and certificate courses are in demand for the distance mode by students in remote areas," says a report by research agency India Ratings.
Virtual masterclasses and interactive sessions, free access to global courses, career mentoring, counselling support are some of the options premier education institutions offer to boost the skills of the current and prospective students.
"In the current challenging times, we have ensured that their (students') learning does not stop. UPES was prepared to face this since we have been inducting new technologies in our education system since the past couple of years. We have implemented the world's most advanced Learning Management System (LMS) and trained all faculty in online teaching through this LMS. Before COVID-19, 20 percent of the overall curriculum was digitized and taught online, which has now been scaled up. We are currently conducting 95 percent of all classes successfully online and as per the schedule," says Dr Sunil Rai, Vice Chancellor University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun.
Beacon of hope
COVID-19 induced nationwide lockdown will adversely impact household incomes, especially at the bottom of the pyramid and may lead to school dropouts. The ongoing initiatives such as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Samagra Shiksha and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme would support the education sector, along with expectation of a sustained increase in enrolments in higher education, says India Ratings.
What to look forward to
Large institutions with diversified program offerings reported a shift in demand, away from engineering courses to arts, commerce and science. Even demand for the Ph.D. program has increased as the degree has been made a mandatory qualification for academic staff in higher education by the University Grant Commissions.
The budgetary allocation towards education has also increased to Rs 993,115 million in FY21 (BE; FY20: Rs 948,536 million). This will improve the infrastructure and quality of education. The government initiatives towards the new education policy and emphasis on research-oriented higher educational institutions/ universities are likely to improve the educational standards in India. Also, the government initiatives towards increasing funding options for educational institutions through external commercial borrowings and foreign direct investments will positively impact the international positioning of the Indian education sector, rounds up reports.