Yeshwanth Raj Parasmal, co-founder, principal director, 21K School
The global Covid-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of digital technology in all spheres, including traditional teaching methods.
The countrywide lockdown forced educational institutions to move away from a brick-and-mortar format to a virtual world where regular classes were conducted online, and the usual chalk & board was replaced by PowerPoint presentations. According to a report by BARC India and Nielsen, there has been a 30 percent increase in the time spent on training applications on cell phones since the lockdown. This unprecedented digitization of all industries including the education sector has been welcomed with a multitude of arguments from both supporters and non-supporters who aptly back their claims with real life examples.
However, it cannot be denied that this push towards virtual learning has introduced the Indian audience to a new way of operating that is faster and more efficient than previously used methods.
India has one of the world’s largest education network spanning every nook and corner of the country. However, despite the high degree of value that is placed on learning, the teaching methodology has remained fairly unchanged over the past few decades. The stereotypical classroom is often perceived as a room where a teacher is incessantly writing notes on the blackboard and 30 to 60 students vigorously copying every bit of information, which is then rote learnt at home to pass theoretical exams. The overnight digitization of this sector transformed this image of a classroom to one where a teacher from the comfort of her home, spends a dedicated amount of time on the laptop conducting online classes for students who are equally focused for a specific duration, learning concepts with more focus under parental guidance.
The physical barriers for providing excellent quality education to students in every part of the country have been broken because of this sudden shift. The evolving education landscape now requires us to overcome mental barriers and accept that this transformational change is here to stay. Aside from a wide array of benefits for students, working with online schools has proven to be beneficial for teachers as well for the following reasons.
Industry Growth – India is a country with more than 290 million learners across all age groups. After the pandemic there has been a huge demand for online teachers, which triggered a lot of jobs and working opportunities even in the covid-19 pandemic. A recent report by Naukri.com, highlighted that they have witnessed job listings for work from home roles in the education industry have gone up by 4x as compared to 2019.
Greater Flexibility & Efficiency – When teaching online, travel time significantly reduces allowing teachers to put in more time in curating class modules that can be taught with ease. The saved time can also be utilised to achieve a work-life balance that can often go missing in the hustle bustle of the day to day.
Better Reach & Impact – Teachers passionate about impacting the lives of more students, can expand their horizons and reach students who are often cut off from accessing high quality of education because of their geographical location/economic status. By accessing technology and tools that are provided by digital schools, teachers can significantly contribute to shaping better future for students who otherwise would not have gotten the opportunity to learn from highly qualified professors.
Higher student engagement – In a classroom with over 40 students, the student teacher ratio falls drastically. However, virtual teaching allows teachers to communicate with pupils in their classroom on a more personalized level. Students are also more focused when learning online as they aren’t distracted by other students in the class and dedicatedly learn under parental guidance.
Better Remuneration – Since online schools are not bound by demographic limitations and ensure extremely high quality of education, they are often open to paying higher salaries to attract the best talent in the industry.
To conclude, online teaching allows teachers to teach effectively, while leading a healthier, balanced and stress-free life – which in turn culminates to more satisfied and learning hungry students.