EDUCATION – A journey of 3000+ years!

As we all know, education was born with the Vedas. They were called “Shruti” as they were only meant to be listened to while it is was being recited by a Guru. Dating back more than 3000 years from now, the “Gurukul” system was hence established. The students who wrote on leaves were punished and banned from education. This was necessary as there was no such mechanisms of protecting one’s copyright.

With technology, we evolved. From those early form of pedagogy in Vedic Age, we have now reached to what is being called as, Information Age. There is free flow of information across continents, sometimes anonymously, without any infringement on the ownership of the information. We are now equipped to interact and transact our thoughts freely and be heard all across the world.

Education has always been and will remain to be one of the pillars of such explosive growth of human capabilities. Having said that, the education industry has taken a sharp turn in this information age. Traditional pedagogy of an education being imparted by an instructor is being complemented with Self-study concept. The aim for self-study is to enable students to implement and learn practically.

As it is said “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime“.

So there were two type of models here:

1. Traditional Mode – Majorly theoretical and the practical if displayed was demonstrated by the instructor. In India, this is followed till the primary education.

2. Hybrid Model – Theoretical + Practical. This is more prevalent in Higher education.

But what about the 3rd segment of people. Yes, there was a 3rd segment who had appropriate practical knowledge and needed very little instruction. This segment lacked attention till the late 2010 because the world was not well equipped with such technology.With time, Hardware and Software innovation boomed and internet penetration increased. Distance Education was born.

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In 2014, the current year, the internet penetration is 16% and we are already reaching out to many parts where education is a latent demand. The distance education is making a huge turn around in terms of building a nation full of employable citizens. It can be used for delivering theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills.

Medical industry is using this tool to reach out to remote village. Employed personnel who work for more than 8 hours are using it to gain extra-qualification. Students are using it to gain new skills and knowledge and help them grow as an individual.

Distance education is a concept of studying on the go. It is still new and a lot of innovations is going on. The traditional institutes are also using such technology to complement them. As every new innovation has a scaring factor. So does distance education. The government has already built the frameworks and structured them well. The structures are still being optimized . The student enrollment is increasing exponentially. The drop out rate is also increasing but slower than rate of admission.

The distance education industry is growing well and is gaining popularity. I would like to close the topic saying this. With free flow of information comes knowledge, with knowledge comes broader horizon of thought process, with broader choice set and rationale people will be able to discard the sub-optimal choices and bring fruitfulness in every action.

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