Skill development and e-learning in post-Covid-19 age

January 11, 2021 3:30 AM

The prospect of ‘anytime, anywhere’ skilling has immense potential: Skill development through e-learning is gaining momentum for both domain as well as soft skills

The government is formulating policies to foster digital skilling.The government is formulating policies to foster digital skilling.

By Sunil Dahiya

Skill development through e-learning has gained increased importance and acceptance in view of the challenges posed by Covid-19. The rapid adoption of digital technologies is redefining businesses globally. However, in the current business environment, digital is not only about technology, it also encapsulates how work is done, how data lies at the core of decision-making, how innovation is approached, how best practices are applied, and how cost and efficiencies are rationalised. As a result, the talent landscape in this new e-environment is being re-imagined and digital education has opened a window of opportunity for both teachers and students, ensuring greater participation in the learning process.

With advances in connectivity and aspirations of tailor-made learning, skilling through e-learning is becoming an integral part of the training methodology of most organisations. These organisations are also leveraging multiple learning channels and focusing on a hands-on project-based training and social learning approach for skill development.

Skill development through e-learning is gaining momentum for both domain as well as soft skills. According to a study by KPMG in India and Google, the Indian e-learning market will be worth a staggering $2 billion by 2021. Delivery of soft skills competencies is moving towards the digital mode with the help of short concept audio-videos, real-life scenario-based AI solutions, secondary research projects, and smart gamified solutions.

Education in India needs to improve by leaps and bounds, especially in remote corners and rural areas. There is a need to upgrade teaching methodologies, plug the shortage of teachers, improve the student-teacher ratio, and enhance knowledge resources. E-learning is going to be the face of future education in the country. Currently, both the learner and the academia are embracing e-learning methodology more as a temporary solution for Covid-19 times, but the need is to take e-learning forward and add it as a long-term framework to existing learning models. With the internet becoming affordable and more accessible, we will have a greater convergence of digital and traditional teaching-learning mediums.

The government is formulating policies to foster digital skilling. There is a concerted effort to enhance the digital infrastructure to help facilitate the use of innovative educational tools. In the near future, digital skilling will no longer be a novelty but an essential mode of imparting education. With digital transformation, the education sector is bound to readjust itself by redefining how we learn and what we learn. Digital technology is also helping overcome language barriers, for learning material to be made available in multiple regional languages is a more feasible option when effected digitally.

Innovative e-learning platforms have been gaining popularity. Students can attend classes and participate in discussion forums online, at their convenience, from their offices, homes and so on. Over the past few months, millions of students and teachers have adopted online education and skills. This includes the vocational education apparatus like technical training institutes focused on practical and shop-floor training, which have also transitioned to online delivery.

E-learning and e-skilling signifies a paradigm shift in the development of India’s talent landscape. We are transitioning to a new phase, where online learning and digital tools may prove to be the answer to the vexed question of skilling India’s burgeoning youth population for quality jobs and employability.

The author is executive vice-president, Wadhwani Opportunity at Wadhwani Foundation

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