When the initial cases of COVID-19 were documented in the Indian subcontinent in late January, few could have anticipated its impending course and impact on every aspect of human life over the following months. Yet here we are more than five months later, and our world has been transformed dramatically. Everything from board meetings to grocery shopping is now being conducted online via laptops or smartphones, exposing our heavy dependency on stable internet availability like never before.
Considering these massive shifts in the status quo, it is clear that technology—especially the Internet—has been central to our evolution and adaptability in the COVID-19 era. However, it is common knowledge that a tech-driven transformation was underway long before the pandemic hit us.
Take the online education industry for instance. The online education sector in India was not only valued at an all-time high of INR 19,300 crore in 2018 but it was also poised to reach INR 36,030 crore by 2024. Fuelling this growth was the rising Internet penetration, as well as simplified access to innovative technology.
More than anything else though, the online education industry was witnessing growth at a breakneck pace due to professionals and students looking to upskill themselves in order to thrive in the new-age business landscape, while balancing their careers with their learning endeavors. Simultaneously, students who attended classes regularly still leveraged online learning to augment their education.
The COVID-19 Impact: Causing Ripples in the e-Learning Ecosphere
While we have established that the online education sector was rapidly growing even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it is safe to say that the contagion has accelerated this growth at an unimaginable rate. Through online learning, being physically present in classrooms has given way to innovative new methods of education.
As students refrain from being physically present in the same room as their teachers and classmates, online education is inevitably the only way of learning during this age of quarantines and social distancing.
As a result, the scope of online learning has also expanded during this challenging period. From preschools to top-tier universities, most institutes of learning now offer online education to varying degrees. Schools and colleges are closed indefinitely, which means millions of students are now dependent on online learning platforms to further their education and make the most of this unprecedented situation. The e-learning space, therefore, is bound to skyrocket over the next few months.