Having completed his CA at a young age, CA Rajat Singhal is a Serial Entrepreneur who has vast experience in multiple domains viz, Education, Finance, Hospitality, and Real Estate. He is an excellent Administrator and a Self-motivated Leader. From bootstrapping businesses; to mobilizing and completing stuck-up projects; to Land acquisitions; to turning loss-making ventures into profitable ones, he has an experience of turning difficulties into opportunities which is also the case in Cyboard School.
The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has been released by the newly renamed Ministry of Education (formerly Ministry of Human Resource Development) and approved by the Union Cabinet of India in July 2020. The vision of NEP 2020 is to reshape and transform the education system and structure in the country. It aims at universalisation of education from pre-school to secondary level.
NEP 2020 and online education:
The NEP 2020 has a special focus on online education. Universities and institutions like NITs and IGNOU will be conducting pilot research studies for maximizing the benefits of digital learning in India. Online tools and platforms like DIKSHA and SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active learning for Young Aspiring Minds) will be upgraded with new insight to training content, in-class resources, assessment aids, profiles, etc. that will allow seamless interaction. It also focuses on creation of public digital and interoperable infrastructure that can be utilised by multiple platforms.
NEP 2020 emphasizes the creation of virtual labs wherein students can practice their theoretical knowledge and make course content available in different languages. The newly renamed Ministry of Education proposes to set up a dedicated unit for promotion of digital learning. The dedicated unit will comprise experts from the field of education, educational technology, administration, and e-governance who will focus on online learning needs of both the school and higher education. More emphasis will be given to online assessment and examinations.
The present age is driven by digital technology and whole globe come under the influence of internet and World Wide Web. The internet equipped both the education seeker as well as education provider and laid them together under the virtual roof. Due to which the concept of virtual classroom is already popularized across the globe. Therefore, in the modern era, the role of online technology in providing the education is vital and with its flexible nature the online educational technology has gained popularity. The online education is now more accessible to the less privileged groups in comparison to the centralized classroom education system.
COVID-19 pandemic and the relevance of online education:
With the imposition of lockdown due to spread of coronavirus all over the country since March, 2020, attending online classes has become the ‘new normal’ and have taken centre stage in students’ life now. This ‘new normal’ is a transformed concept of education with online learning at the core of this transformation.
Online education allows students to attend classes from any location of their choice while it allows schools to reach out to an extensive network of students, instead of being restricted by geographical boundaries. Students can clarify their doubts through live chats or forums by staying at the comfort and safety of their home.
On the positive note, online learning has made both teachers and students become more technology savvy. Various mobile phone and computer applications and technology based programs have emerged as an alternative platform to regular classroom teaching during lockdown. Both the teacher and the student community were quick enough to acclimatize with computers and smartphones.
While on the other side, as we all understand the geographic and cultural diversity of India, it also suffers due to the existence of a huge economic divide. Access to online education still remains to be a challenge for many due to various issues like power supply, internet connectivity and affordability of necessary devices. A robust and comprehensive strategy is the need of the hour at an institutional level to address these concerns. Online education has emerged as a suitable alternative amidst this chaos caused by the pandemic. It has become more of a necessity rather than an option. Hence the quality enhancement of online teaching–learning is at a very crucial stage.
EdTech start-ups are fast entering the online education market with the intention to create disruption in the education sector. Many of them are tapping all the right opportunities by providing free online courses to students amidst this crisis.