This is part of a series of articles in Mint’s 10th anniversary special issue that look at India 10 years from now. The entire list of articles can be found here
"India need more and more young entrepreneurs to create products and solutions to solve core issues in the Indian education system" argues Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of Byju’s, The Learning App
Digital evolution and the boom in smartphone adoption are fast changing the way Indian students learn. Today, a three- or four-year-old child watches his/her favourite cartoons and rhymes on the screen. Videos and interactive features on smart devices have become a popular mode of learning among children, and the flexible and non-intrusive nature of this format makes learning interesting and captivating, thereby creating a seamless learning environment. In fact, children of all age groups are increasingly adapting to this format naturally and discovering the joy of learning things on their own.
With more than 260 million enrolments, India has the world’s largest K-12 (primary and secondary) education system. Learning in our system is often driven by fear of exams and a one-size-fits-all approach. Children are still being trained to solve questions, not ask questions. But with the advent of technology, Internet penetration and increased adoption of smart devices, the way they learn has started changing—and this sector will see bigger changes in the years to come. There has been a shift in the way learning is approached by children, parents, teachers and institutions. An effort is being made to shift the focus back on students and establish the importance of them learning at their own pace and becoming life-long learners. All this will lead to a behavioural change in how students learn and in the way learning is imparted. We will see students taking more of the initiative to learn on their own, and teachers moving to a mentor’s role.
At the same time, it is interesting to see how the Indian education technology ecosystem has been using technology as an enabler. Technology has played a key role in disrupting this sector and will continue to shape the teacher-student relationship by offering better accessibility, distribution and formats of delivery. It is only through technology that we can solve the three core issues of the education sector—access to quality education, effective learning and personalization—at scale. In addition, tech-enabled learning offers scope for instant interactivity, further opening up the route for quality learning for students irrespective of their geographical location. The use of technology has already shown some early signs of the traditional classroom teaching model being transformed into digital learning programmes that are highly self-driven and backed by active learning.