The Online Education Business in India
The online education business in india is growing rapidly and presents significant opportunities for eLearning companies that offer products or services based on digital platforms. However, it requires substantial time and resources to succeed in the industry.
These challenges are being overcome by innovative EdTech start-ups that are reimagining the online learning space through new approaches and technologies.
1. Increased demand for online content
As students and teachers found themselves unable to attend classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning apps became beacons of hope, allowing them to continue their education. This sparked a significant growth in demand for educational streaming platforms and spurred the eLearning industry to evolve.
In an effort to improve India’s education system, the government is allowing universities to offer fully online degrees—a move that will expand access to higher education in the country. The change will also allow massive open online education providers like Coursera and edX to strengthen their presence in India, which was previously limited by the country’s restrictive educational policies.
However, the online education market is still facing challenges in terms of affordability and accessibility. For example, rural areas face issues such as lack of internet connectivity and less or no power supply, which may make it difficult for students to access study materials or attend live sessions. Additionally, language barriers can pose a challenge to the success of an online education business in India.
2. Lack of formal recognition
Despite the increasing popularity of online education, there are still some concerns regarding its legitimacy. Some critics argue that students do not get enough interpersonal interaction and cannot maintain engagement with an online class. Additionally, they say that the e-learning approach is not suitable for subjects like science and technology, which require practical laboratory sessions, field trips, and thesis projects.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of online learning apps found new purpose. When schools and universities shut down, these mobile applications became beacons of hope for students, teachers, and parents across the country.
However, these learning apps do not address the needs of all segments of the population. They do not cater to rural areas, where many students struggle with internet connectivity and limited or no access to digital devices. This is a key concern as it could undermine the overall value of online education. However, there are ways to tackle this issue, including providing subsidized devices and offering online courses with low tuition fees.
3. Language barriers
Online learning has been around for a few years and gained enhanced acceptance post the coronavirus pandemic. But the industry is still facing challenges – primarily, language barriers.
The problem stems from India’s vast and varied demographic, which includes both rural and urban areas. Most eLearning products use English or Hindi as the primary language for teaching, but this excludes many Indians who are unfamiliar with these languages. The lack of a common language can also lead to misunderstandings and gaps in communication.
Even for those who can speak both languages, there are nuances and dialects that create a barrier to understanding each other. It’s important for companies to develop tools and techniques to help students overcome these barriers. Without a solution, this could slow down the growth of online education in India.
4. Lack of digital infrastructure
As the demand for online education continues to grow, it is important to have robust digital infrastructure in place. This includes both high-speed internet and digital devices. This is an ongoing challenge that many companies face. However, there are some solutions to help with this issue. For example, some platforms partner with organizations that provide digital empowerment. This can help bridge the digital divide between students from disadvantaged groups and those with access to advanced technology.
As more universities move to offer fully-online degrees, the market for online education is expected to continue to grow in India. However, only a few institutions have done so thus far. Most of these programs are graduate level, but some are offering undergraduate courses as well. Some of the most notable programs include E-Pathshala, NISHTHA, and UpGrad.