EdTech Can Be a Key Enabler for India’s literacy, Numeracy Mission

11 Oct, 2021 15:59 IST|Sakshi Post
90% of children with disabilities from vulnerable backgrounds said their teachers were unable to participate in online classes

In addition to the urgent need for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the ECCE space, Beijing’s new ECCE directive may just shift investor focus back to India.

EdTech has moved to the centre of the education discourse as online learning became the de facto standard. India’s National Education Policy (NEP) states that tech integration in classrooms is instrumental in bridging educational gaps to make learning outcomes more refined and impactful in a shorter period of time, and will be crucial to drive literacy and improved learning outcomes. 

What we need to address however, is that in India, digital education is an unequal playing field -

Almost 60% of children cannot access learning resources

90% of children with disabilities from vulnerable backgrounds said their teachers were unable to participate in online classes

Over 90% of teachers said no meaningful assessment of children possible in online classes

Close to 50% teachers reported children were unable to complete assignments shared during online classes

Given this, the Centre’s mission to ensure that every Class 3 child has achieved foundational literacy and numeracy within five years by 2025 has been pushed back to 2026-27. 

Ashish Jhalani, MD, Square Panda India says, “COVID-19 has already disrupted two academic years for our students. Experts have warned about academic regression among children, and EdTech will play a major role in arresting this regression. Its scope is not limited to the classroom either; the goal is to democratise learning, making it more joyful and engaging while at the same time engaging all stakeholders. New areas of influence are expected to emerge, allowing EdTech to reimagine traditional education systems to suit the needs of a new generation.”

There's also the fact that India can be a home to the world’s best EdTech minds. Beijing's recent restrictions, issued by the State Council in China, outlines that companies that teach school subjects can no longer make profits or raise capital from foreign investment or even be barred from going public.

"After the restriction, investors who have put money into China's EdTech sector may see India as a land of opportunities in this sector and may have added advantages for Indian EdTech startups," Gaurav Garg, Head of Research at CapitalVia Global Research.

This may be a great time for PPPs in EdTech to help steer India toward achieving its ambitious literacy and numeracy objectives.

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