Strategic Outlook of the Indian Education Sector, 2019
Education—what was once a largely philanthropic activity has now become a lucrative business with opportunities from pre-school right up to higher education. A considerable portion of India's population is below the age of 25, which highlights the large addressable market. Globally, the Indian school system is the largest, with around 260 million children attending school compulsorily. While enrolments have been on the rise, it is quality that is lacking, mirrored in the lack of employability of most graduates.
The education market can be classified into formal and non-formal. Formal is regulated by the government and educational bodies such as the University Grants Commission (UGC). It comprises K-12 (elementary education, secondary education) and higher education (university, college, distance education, and research). Non-formal is highly unstructured, with a few legislations. It consists of vocational training, skill development, pre-schools, online, coaching, and so on. Increasing disposable incomes and willingness to spend on education are key factors driving investments into the sector.
Active encouragement from the government has helped increase the number of Public-private Partnerships (PPPs) as well.
Collaboration with universities is expected to help in faculty development, curriculum development, enhancement of entrepreneurship skills, and research. Academic partnerships imply positive academic engagement between universities that are mutually beneficial.
Continuous learning is a fast-catching trend. While working executives regularly upgrade their skills, college students opt for additional employable skillset learning through the online medium.
However, for digital education to gain momentum, infrastructure for technology implementation is required. Frequent power cuts, voltage issues, and lack of funds from the center have impeded growth. A one-size fits all approach will only impede digital growth, considering the vast differences in curricula, language, and teacher-student ratios.
There is a need for greater allocation for education in the Indian Government’s budget.
The system in its present state requires an urgent overhaul. Obsolete, static, bookish, and lack of market-drive, are just some of the reactions Frost & Sullivan received from several stakeholders.
It is hoped that The New Education Policy 2019 will answer and fix many of the deep-rooted problems and issues that ail the education sector in India. For the creation of a million productive jobs, India has to build at least 1,000 quality universities in the next 10 years and 50 times as many technical colleges. This is just one step in making India’s education future ready—a complete change in the DNA of the system.
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