Education trends that will create ripples this year

Written By: / Career Guidance and Education / Monday, 10 January 2022 17:08

The education sector has witnessed many developments in the last two years, from the rapid growth of the EdTech industry to the large-scale adoption of remote or hybrid learning and the announcement of the National Education Policy in 2020. These events are still reverberating in the education sector and are expected to further change its landscape.
Cashing in
Investment in the EdTech industry went up significantly between the period of January-August 2021, with an almost four-fold upswing at roughly USD 3.81 billion compared to USD 971.5 million in 2019. Three of the startups achieved unicorn status, with valuations above USD 1 billion, while one became a decacorn, valued at over USD 10 billion, within the same period.
At the same time, there has been consolidation within the industry with mergers and acquisitions picking up pace. As the Indian market reaches its full potential, larger companies are looking for inorganic avenues of growth. This trend will likely continue in 2022, as the bigger players consolidate their position further by acquiring, or merging with, other companies. Along with these developments, we will also witness more exits as early investors cash in on the growth.
NEP in action
More than a year after NEP2020 was announced, the momentum is likely to increase in 2022, as state and education boards race to implement the policy within the stipulated time frame. School rationalisation has to be completed by 2025 and, by 2040, all higher educational institutions have to become multidisciplinary.
Apart from sweeping changes in the educational ecosystem, some of these guidelines will require legal amendments from some of the states, as well as the Centre. For instance, the categorisation of universities under three categories will require legislative action. The education sector will continue to see sweeping changes as states work to achieve the NEP goals. However, the timelines for the implementation of these guidelines will vary across states as each region deals with its unique demographic and political compulsions. These can include factors such as the number of private and public schools, literacy levels, and the percentage of minorities and backward castes.
Chinese EdTech industry
The Chinese government’s crackdown on its USD 100 billion-strong EdTech market can benefit the booming Indian industry, at least in the short term. Since the Chinese EdTech sector was significantly larger than the Indian market, the inflow of capital can be significant, and investments may pick up even this year.The Chinese crackdown had another impact. There is now a rising consciousness within the industry to include public policy initiatives to counteract any negative action by the government. Accordingly, we may see more public-private partnerships on education or skilling programmes.
Mainstreaming of hybrid education
A recent survey predicts a further 14% dip in attendance due to fears of the Omicron strain. Most schools and colleges have switched to a hybrid approach, with online and offline classes being conducted simultaneously. This approach involves both in-class and remote learning, with online assignments and projects. While hybrid learning is not a new concept, Covid-19 has made it mainstream.
Lifelong learning
Reskilling programmes received a boost during the pandemic, as companies focussed on bridging the skill gap in their workforce. A global survey by McKinsey revealed that 69% of respondents took up skill-building programmes during the Covid-induced lockdown. This push for upskilling is expected to gain further traction in 2022, as Indian corporates continue to focus on learning and development of their employees. Lifelong learning is now expected to be the new normal as professionals continue upgrading their skills in the course of their careers to retain a competitive edge. Other than improving the skill levels of its workforce, HR managers will also look at online upskilling programmes as a more economic means of boosting employee morale, ensuring their retention.
Learning in Metaverse
The Metaverse, or the confluence of our physical and digital realities, is closer than we imagine and is expected to go mainstream in the next five to 10 years. Consequently, teaching/learning in the domain will also pick up in the near future. This can have long-term implications as institutions leverage the metaverse for imparting immersive experiences, using both augmented and virtual reality to further accelerate learning.
The education sector is going through quite an upheaval, with policy initiatives, the rise of the EdTech segment, and emerging modes of online/hybrid learning. These ongoing changes will have a long-term impact that will be critical in equipping our students with future-ready skills.

About the Author

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg is a regular contributor of Imphal Times, mostly related with Education. Vijay is a resident of Street Kour Chand MHR Malout-152107 Distt Sri Muktsar sahib Punjab. Vijay Garg, Ex.PES-1 is a retired Principal from Government Girls Sen Sec school Mandi Harji Ram Malout -152106 Punjab. He is also the author of Quantitative Aptitude, NTSE , NMMS, Mathematics of XII, ICSE numerical physics and chemistry many more books.

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