Reforming Education: 5 trends which are disrupting the education sector


3 min read

“The Indian education market has a huge potential as it is expected to almost double to $180 billion by 2020” - Entrepreneur India

Research shows that the Indian education sector, in terms of revenue, stood at $97.8 billion in 2016. FDI in the education sector in India: $1.4 billion (April 2000-Dec 2016). India has one of the world's largest higher education systems with enrollments of 33.3 million students in colleges, institutions, across 50,000+ higher education institutes and 750+ universities.

The sector is huge, so is the opportunity that comes with it. Approach to pedagogy is evolving, today. Education is not about rote-learning anymore, and holistic learning which was only present in theory a few years back is mainstream and imperative in today's day and age. The current decade saw a shift in perspective towards streams like sports and performing arts, and are now an important part of education. Parents and students are going beyond considering just the traditional career paths, and graduates are picking up jobs which were not even heard of till a few years ago. With a sector expanding so rapidly, it opens many avenues for innovators and startups looking at facilitating change and enabling a fluent transition. And if you are looking at bringing that change, invest yourself in areas which are likely to disrupt the domain in the coming years.

Here are some trends that will transform the education sector soon enough

Personalized learning

Each child is unique. They have different interests, different learning methods, and learning pace. Education can no longer be one-size fits all. There is a need to focus on personalizing learning for each student, students with different skill sets, abilities, and special cases. But, to enable this broadly, there will be a comprehensive set of resources and extensive planning required - thus is a competent area to tap into for individuals working towards revolutionizing the sector.

Reforming Assessments

The last few years have rightly witnessed a lot of debate on the importance of learning outcomes. As a result, there has been an increased focus on assessment as a theme. However, the challenge lies in picking the right assessment solution.

Today, with the advancements in technology, remote classrooms and proctored assessments is another space to explore. Students can sit in India and attend a class and earn a degree from a university or school in the United States. This makes it easier for students from remote parts of the world to connect on a platform with institutions. Also it becomes a path for local players to bring international universities to India at an economical price point.

Integrated learning

The jobs of the future will require a hybrid set of skills from a variety of subject areas that will change several times over during one’s career. Which means concentrating on one subject at college may not make sense for all. But even before college, at schools, too, subjects cannot be taught in isolation anymore. The subjects need to be taught with a global view.

Schools need to move the focus to integrate subjects, combining English literature with maths, economics, geography, etc. Teachers too will need assistance to get innovative with their teaching methods.

Life Skills

Only preparing students for jobs and vocations isn’t going to cut it. Teaching life skills and imparting socio-emotional learning are equally imperative now.

Education underscoring life skills remains critical even today. The shelf life of hard skills will become shorter as technology advances swiftly, and inputs become more automated. Soft skills, or power skills, including collaboration; communication; critical thinking; and the ability to make quick decisions from a set of information will remain essential for all employees and will also be key factors sought out by hiring managers.

Interactive learning through technology

Pedagogy isn’t and shouldn’t be a one-way process. If students don’t actively engage with the curriculum, chances are they won’t understand it. With the attrition rate increasing in students by the day, it’s important to remodel the education style to sync it with the virtual/digital world children are hooked onto. And today’s technology has a provision for this development. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Gamification can extend immersive educational environments. AR & VR create life-like experience in subjects as diverse as history and chemistry. Gamification in Learning is another technological advancement to look out for. Children learn various concepts with the help of games. Instead of traditional rote learning, using video games and incorporating other game elements in education can motivate students to understand better

What major changes do you think the Indian education system will witness in the next 5 years?

Himanshu Bhalla