E-learning essential if India is to cash in on its demographic dividend

02/26/2015

The study suggests that e-learning looks set for a further boost in India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration launching the “Digital India” campaign in an effort to bring rural India in to the digital age. The campaign’s targets include providing broadband connectivity to a quarter of a million rural villages by 2019 and making wi-fi connections available in schools

India faces a potential shortage of 250 million skilled workers by 2022 unless young people in the country are educated properly.

That’s according to a new report from the UK India Business Council which explores how India can meet the education challenge through e-learning, and how UK-India collaborations can help.

The study suggests that e-learning looks set for a further boost in India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration launching the “Digital India” campaign in an effort to bring rural India in to the digital age. The campaign’s targets include providing broadband connectivity to a quarter of a million rural villages by 2019 and making wi-fi connections available in schools. The report finds this expansion in connectivity will allow e-learning to further realise its potential in India.

What’s more, the report finds that these trends present an opportunity for UK e-learning businesses. India is already the second largest market for e-learning opportunities and e-learning content to be deployed in other countries is already being developed in the country.

Realising this opportunity, many foreign and domestic training providers already offer online education opportunities in the country. Yet efforts are still fragmented and many of the more advanced innovations in online education technology remain the remit of private enterprises.

While providing tips for a successful India strategy in e-learning, the report shows that it is essential to avoid the trap of letting the technologies prescribe the education. Successful e-learning is essentially about going back to basics: identifying the problem, putting education at the core of the strategy to solve the problem, and choosing the technology that works best to deliver this strategy.

Speaking about India’s education sector, Richard Heald, CEO, UK India Business Council, said: “Despite India’s massive, young population, the country faces a 250 million shortfall of skilled workers by 2022. With government campaigns such as Make in India, the country aims to transform itself in to a manufacturing powerhouse. It needs skilled workers to drive this change. To play their part Indians need quality education wherever in the country they might be.

“The UK’s experience with e-learning makes it an ideal partner for India. Its excellent academic capabilities, assessments methodologies and a thriving technology sector make its proposition attractive.”

By Seun Robert-Edomi

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