On February 9, 2020 pre-COVID, I had written a post on Global Village and Aspirational India where we talked about India being aspirational and how technology makes it a level playing field. During the start of the COVID crisis, people including Bill Gates were concerned about lower-income families and kids not having access to computers and how it affects the learning of the children. The lower-income families are always at the receiving end.
LKG Admissions: Even if you are from a medium to high-income family and are looking for an LKG admission for your child in India, you can relate to the pains the parents go through to get their child admitted to a prominent school. I wrote a post on this in 2013 and seven years later the situation is no different. Seven years is not a long enough time for things to change.
What is good news for kids? It is said that the school you go to does not matter to be successful. You have to be self-driven. I strongly believe prominent schools will become irrelevant. I was spending some time with my daughter and looking at her lessons using Microsoft Teams. The teacher is able to explain the lessons well and it is easy to understand. This thing works.
Transformation: One of the biggest challenges is that not all kids get the same quality of education. If you have access to capital and a better education you always have an edge. We have seen children from remote villages suffer because of this. In the State of Tamil Nadu, there are also severe concerns with NEET (an exam to get to medical school). However, we could be at the start of an educational revolution.
What is different? There are great teachers available in the country. The biggest challenge has been that not all the kids have access to them. With this new way of learning, it is easy to create access to great teachers for kids across the spectrum. All we need to do is record the videos and play them at the different schools. All schools will have access to the same core content and we could also be building an interactive platform that encourages peer learning. The dependence on a good school system or a good teacher will reduce significantly. All kids (does not matter if the child is from a higher income or a lower-income family) will be watching and learning from the same core content. This will be a significant shift from what was pre-COVID. India or the world 20 years from now will be different. Bill Gates’ prediction of there will be no poor countries by 2035 will actually become true.
I am excited and the aftermath of COVID19 will be good for India in the long term.
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