Setbacks of the Indian Edtech Industry
Edtech has been on the rise in India and in fact all across the world, particularly in light of the global pandemic. As everyone’s thinking changed to digital, online learning started becoming more popular. India has a population of over 1.39 billion people, of which over 50% are under the age of 25, and still require education in order to acquire skills that help them achieve their dreams. Thus, quite a heavy opportunity and responsibility lies in the Indian ed-tech industry.
While the test prep segment was already quite well-established in the Indian market, companies such as Byju’s and UpGrad have become household names over the course of the lockdown. This goes to show that ed-tech is growing and maturing as a market. But many students, teachers, and especially parents are concerned about online learning, considering it to be subpar to offline education and traditional schooling. What are the setbacks of the Indian ed-tech industry?
Lack of Trust
The biggest factor in forming parents' opinions about online courses is whether or not the product lives up to what was pitched to them. Online learning has been touted as a more-than-capable replacement for offline education, but poor trade practices and false promises made by aggressive sales and marketing teams have made parents lose faith in online learning and the ed-tech industry.
Students have not been provided adequate content, mentorship, or expertise in order to allow them to learn via online learning. There are several underlying reasons for this, all leading to the growing lack of trust in online courses and in the edtech industry itself.
A true educator should have their student’s best interests at heart. They should be experienced in their area of expertise, interact well with students, be approachable and be able to resolve any doubts regarding the course content. People with practical knowledge and competence in the subject bring out the best in students, and online platforms should facilitate this alongside an interactive curriculum.
However, that is not the case with the ed-tech industry today. A large number of people are approaching online learning as simply a business and not education. Very few platforms provide skilled teachers. Instead, they hire teachers at the lowest cost possible.
Such teachers are untrained, unprofessional, have barely learned their subject before starting teaching, and are unable to provide much-needed mentorship for students. Such courses and teachers occupy every corner of the internet, leading students and parents to doubt the veracity of even legitimate programs.
Lack of Quality Content
With the dramatic rise in the number of online resources, the quality of content has dropped. Numerous free and paid courses for all subjects are available online, but the quality of the content ranges widely from extremely basic to unnecessarily complex. It is difficult to choose a course which will provide students with an adequately in-depth understanding of the subject, particularly since many (smaller) courses don’t even list their curriculum.
Lack of Interaction
The idea of learning from the comfort of their own home at a fraction of the cost is appealing to students and parents alike. The flexible nature of online education eases learning, but it also increases the scope for distractions. Nowadays, students often join classes and remain silent spectators, often misusing class time. This lack of interaction is a failing on the teachers part and is detrimental to the student’s interest in the subject.
Even worse is the advent of video lectures, which deliver pre-recorded content to students. Recorded lectures and courses are even less interactive than live courses, and don’t allow access to mentors for clearing doubts. Many teachers are not comfortable teaching via a camera, leading to a lack of comprehensive content. It is imperative that interaction between students and teachers is maintained during online learning.
Malpractice and false claim
Many students and parents are worried about fraudulent courses and institutions. The fear of fraud is not baseless; several companies have scammed customers by not providing sufficient course content or guidance to students. Several industry leaders have been accused of this malpractice, which they follow in the name of growing their business.
One of the biggest issues is overpitching. As with any other educational institution, the best way of selecting a suitable online course is a demo class. They allow for an evaluation of the educators and the course content. Students and parents can conclude whether a particular course is worth considering or not. Nowadays, however, companies are promising an extremely high standard during the demo classes and reneging on their promises as the course progresses. Courses are no longer trustworthy, and this lack of trust has transferred to the entire industry.
Poor customer support and bad service quality have repeatedly failed the expectations of consumers. The security and transparency of online learning need to be restored. Furthermore, emphasis is needed on the upskilling of students in a time where over 50% of Indian graduates are believed to be unemployable. That’s where we come in. BuSkills Education is a startup believing in a new pedagogy, the importance of good communication and hard skills, and fully committed to providing students with skill training.
Teachers at BuSkills are experienced in their fields and help students learn using their own hands-on techniques. We at BuSkills are well aware of the current situation vis-à-vis the growing competition. Our teachers help students develop skills according to the requirements of the times. They are trained to provide the most interactive environment possible, be approachable and friendly, and ensure that they provide students with the best learning experience possible. We appreciate the importance of a teacher-student relationship and its role in the trajectory of a child’s social development and academic success.
BuSkills provides live courses which follow our new pedagogy yet maintain the flexibility needed to address students’ and parents’ concerns. Several courses have also been designed with extremely small class sizes, allowing far better interaction within the classroom, whether between teacher and student or between students themselves. Our content and curriculum are completely transparent, and are triple-checked and ratified first by developers, by course instructors and by our partners in placement assistance. We are committed to creating a new, upskilled India, and are associated with government initiatives such as Upskill India.
In case of any queries, you can connect with us over social media, our email firstname.lastname@example.org or you may contact us at +91 84009 33681.
Blog by Anushree Sinha