In a bid to address the significant challenges faced by education sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman laid special emphasis on online education and skilling programmes while presenting her fourth union budget. The union minister proposed to set up a digital university to provide education that will be built on a hub and spoke model.
FM Sitharaman said, “one class, one TV channel’ program of PM eVIDYA will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels. This will enable all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12.” The move will help kids make up for the loss of formal education due to the pandemic.
The Centre is also taking steps to develop high-quality e-content that can be delivered through various modes. Teachers will also be equipped to use such digital tools, Ms. Sitharaman added.
Here are the post-Budget reactions from India’s education sector
Paridhi Khaitan, Managing Director at ProTeen.
“The Union Budget 2022’s push for high-quality e-content in regional languages is a very welcome allocation, given that it allows our multilingual youth to thrive and grow in the language they are most familiar with. The proposed e-content delivery and personalized learning will also help dissolve geographical boundaries and make learning more effective, allowing students to learn at their own pace and time. We foresee more students getting equal access to quality education, which, in turn, will push up overall learning outcomes. The Union Budget 2022 today further reiterated that the path to India’s economic recovery also lies with India’s student community. The Budget’s blueprint for skilling programs through ITIs and the new digital DESH e-portal will help deliver the most vulnerable students from losing out on employment opportunities and will reduce the skill gap to a great extent. The Budget’s positive schemes are indeed commendable, and we hope to see them transform our education sector and our nation into a much larger global superpower.”
Nitesh Jain, Founder & CEO, BeSingular
“This is a forward-looking budget which is both inclusive and progressive. Thrust on digitalization of education and focus on upgrading syllabus across colleges will equip upcoming human talent with the right tools. The use of high-technology such as Kisan drones as well as battery-swapping will turn out to e growth engines for both agri-based and service-based economies. The introduction of a regulated digital currency is forward-looking and is in the spirit of harnessing blockchain and other exponential technologies.”
Vaibhav Singh, Co-founder, Leap Scholar
“The 2022 budget is promising for the education sector in promoting digital learning. Initiatives announced like the PM e-Vidya programme and setting up of a digital university will strengthen the broader vision – accessibility of education for all. The proposal to roll out e-passports is a welcoming gesture as it will enable a seamless experience for the travelling population, especially the large section of students flying abroad for their studies. Extended tax benefits for startups announced in the budget will further boost the ecosystem and drive the economy’s growth”
Ms. Shweta Sastri, Managing Director, Canadian International School, Bangalore
“The budget 2022 for the education sector rightly focuses on upskilling and digital learning. The announcement of one class one channel and expansion to 200 channels under e-vidya will enable the reach of online education to a vast body of students where online education is still not widespread. The push to regional education is welcome as this will once again enable people in the rural areas to access quality education in their languages.”
Osborne Dsouza, Director and CEO, Edufiq
“The Union Budget 2022 for Education is continum for potential GDP growth in India over the next 25 years and it reflects very good governance. Digital Desh, dDigityal University, one class one TV channel program of PM eVIDYA and supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12 are great initiatives. In terms of infrastructure, fiber optic connecting for last mile reach is also a welcome step.”
Mihir Gupta, CEO & Co-Founder, Teachmint
“Given the level of disruption the education ecosystem has seen over the past couple of years, it is safe to say that the Education Budget 2022 was one of the most eagerly awaited. And it is heartening to see that there is a significant provision for education in the budget and a strong focus on empowering teachers through digitization. From the expansion of PM E-Vidya to 200 channels to the setting up a digital university, the initiatives indicate that the government has put the spotlight on digitization to boost the penetration and access to education across Bharat.”
Ankit Maggu, Co-Founder, Geekster
“The biggest challenge that our youth face is the lack of in-demand skills, the reason for this is that our higher education has not been able to adapt as per the changing Industry requirements. The new age entrepreneurs are trying to address this gap through different models making skill based education accessible to the masses but a lot more needs to be done. The launch of digital university is a great step, as it will increase the penetration of quality education even in the remotest areas at affordable price points.
“Additionally, Digital DESH e-portal will help further refine the skills of the youth making them more employable and will reduce the skill gap, benefiting both – jobseekers, and employers. ”
Mr. Pawas Tyagi- Co-Founder -Edustoke
“A clear emphasis on digital content development and delivery and overall efforts to digitize education is applauded as is the upgradation of Anganwadi. Coupled with 5G roll out – this budget should accelerate more accessible quality education in the country”
Mr. Himanshu Tyagi, CEO & Founder of Digikull
“The long prevailing skill gap in the market was a challenge for both- the recruiters, and youth of the nation too. With the launch of Digital DESH e-portal we can expect to fill in this gap to a certain extent. The interesting part is, that following the lockdown, adoption of digital medium had increased. The budget has leveraged this shift in behaviour to add to the ultimate aim of digital India. If the execution is right, we can gradually expect digital learning to become the primary education system 5 years down the line.”
Karanvir Singh, Founder & CEO Pariksha- Vernacular Edtech Platform
“Digital education became the familiar way of new-age learning following the lockdown. The new trend has been well accepted by the government as the way forward for upskilling, widening access to education, and strengthening the higher education system in the country. Additionally, the budget too circumscribed the fact that in a diverse nation like India, education can only be delivered by understanding the vernacular requirements of every region. The expansion of ‘One Class One TV Channel’ to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1-12 will boost the early and secondary education in the country. And the proposed launch of the digital university will simultaneously cater to the requirements of higher education. Thus, the budget has served, end-to-end, to raise the education system in the country in a holistic manner.”
Piyush Bhartiya, AdmitKard- Edtech for higher education abroad
“The budget has been very much in line with the latest trends and changing paradigm in the education system. We are glad that the government is promoting digital education in India. The budget mentioned the launch of a nationwide digital university, which might be the answer to the long prevailing gaps in the higher education system. What initially started as a result of the global lockdown, has now been acknowledged as the probable solution to the difficulty of accessing higher education in the country where 65% of the population resides in the rural region. Simultaneously, stressing on Higher education will reflect in the next generation’s culture and quality of skill-set in the employment market.”
Mr. Nitish Jain, President – S P Jain School of Global Management
“From the standpoint of higher education, the budget is headed in the correct path by focusing on improving the digital infrastructure in the country. Moving ahead, the execution, and how quickly these things move will be the most important factors to watch. Education is what propels the economy and the country forward, and I am confident that Budget 2022 will go a long way toward ensuring that education remains at the top of our country’s priorities.”
Mr. Rajeev Tiwari, Co-founder at Stemrobo Technologies
“Although what we had expected from the budget hasn’t been addressed but we should look on the positive side, One Tv One channel programme of PM eVIDYA the government is definitely somewhere trying to mitigate the learning losses which students had to face due to covid induced lockdowns and the content through regional languages would circumvent the language barrier, ensuring the knowledge has no limitations. What should be noted is that the govt did emphasize on the digital adoption through its E-content delivering mechanism, imparting knowledge through various mass media is something that govt should be applauded for. But it would have been great if the special attention had been on the training of teachers with adequate resources and the leveraging of technology should have been more emphasized, as education is one of the important pillars for the upliftment of the society. The budget did touch some important areas but what the real picture comes out on the ground would help us to get into the crux of the issue.”
Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-Founder at Vedantu
“The COVID-induced gap in learning needs to be addressed on priority and EdTech platforms should continue to ensure that students receive uninterrupted learning in such challenging times. By providing students easy access to quality learning, this year’s budget lays a clear emphasis to reduce the gap between students in remote areas and education. Initiatives such as the ‘One Class One TV Channel’ and the E-Vidya scheme is a welcome move that will drive impact at scale and bridge the language divide amongst students from small-town India. We believe that this budget rightly aligns with our vision of democratizing education by providing students access to high quality learning, improving learning outcomes and thereby contributing to a vibrant knowledge economy,” said Vamsi Krishna, CEO
& Co-Founder, Vedantu.