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Regulating the "Self Regulated": The Impact of Edtech Industry in India



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Executive Summary:


  • Government should address the lack of policy/standard guidelines in sector of Ed-Tech.

  • Government should be able to adapt Ed-Tech to its conventional education over and above the hurdles present with the current Ed-Tech scenario.

  • Consumers / Ed-Tech users should be satisfied not only on cost front but also on ethical and moral fronts.

  • Disclaimer: This research paper highlights the issues concerning across the value chain of Ed-Tech and lists down various frameworks and examples by world organizations on dealing with these issues and thus, suggesting strategies and goals towards which Ed-Tech policies should be driven to.

  • The targeted audience of the research paper are:

    1. Policy makers

    2. Ed-Tech Policy Makers/Administrators who wish to provide better user experience.


1. Introduction- A Catalyst For 21st Century Indian Education


With education, health and defense expenditures taking the most of the budgetary allocation of the government, it is not surprising for us to see a very strong influx of private players in these sectors. When it comes to education, the government left no stone unturned. In the last five years, the govt. has allocated thousands of crores from the budget towards the education sector. This allocation showcases the priority of the government and with such a strong commitment towards the education sector, the government has been on its toes to open new schools, colleges and universities for the betterment of society. The government plans majorly on providing multiple benefits to the stakeholders involved in this sector of which the majority lies with the teachers/professors.


Fig.1- Source- Impact and Policy Research Institute, Union Budget 2022-23 from the lens of Social Sector. (https://www.impriindia.com/insights/budget-social-sector-india/accessed on 20th September 2022)


Talking on the priority side, the budgetary allocation of the government remains more towards school education as compared to higher education.


Fig.2- Source- Education Services-British Council, (https://education-services.britishcouncil.org/insights-blog/indian-government%E2%80%99s-national-education-budget-2022 accessed on 21st September 2022)


1.1. The Emergence of Ed-Tech


With the phenomenon increase in mobile phone/digital users in the country, internet penetration has seen a huge jump in Indian Society. As per the IAMAI-Kantar ICUBE 2020 report, India has 622 million active internet users where maximum penetration is seen in the urban areas accounting for 67% of active internet users. The numbers are expected to increase to 900 million by 2025.



Fig. 4- ASER 2021 report


The information from ASER does provide us with a useful insight towards the fact that the smartphone penetration in India has been increasing on a yearly basis. Looking at the graph from ASER 2021 we can see how smartphone owners have increased compared with the three years. Enrolled children who have at least one smartphone available at home on the basis of Parents' education-


These data substantiate the exponential rise of the ed-tech industry. As per projections from multiple research institutions, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2020 to 2025 has been projected to be 39%, well enough with strong double-digit growth with an expected valuation at $4 billion by 2025.


Fig. 5- (Source-https://www.ibef.org/blogs/india-to-become-the-Ed-Tech-capital-of-the-world accessed on 26th September 2022) (Valuations can vary)


Another major reason for the rise of Ed-tech was the pandemic. The pandemic propelled a new demand for hassle-free delivery of education through a strong technological upgradation. Comparing the years 2019 and 2020, we can level the increase in the user registration for the top three ed-tech in India.


Fig. 6 - User growth of Byjus, Unacadmey and Vedantu


Fig. 7 - Valuation jump for India's top 3 ED-tech companies


This data reflects the “sudden” heavy increase in the user base for the Ed-tech industry. Undoubtedly, with an increase in the user base, valuations are bound to increase which too saw a steep rise as we compare the data of 2019 and 2020 with Byju’s valuation taking the lead.


These data provide us with a way better inference regarding the rise of ed-tech during the pandemic. Some other reasons such as embracing remote learning as more comfortable than physical learning, more sense towards upskilling due to competitive landscape and becoming more technology friendly can be attributed towards the rise of Ed-tech.



2. Ed-Tech scenario in India


2.1. Current picture of Ed-Tech in India


2.1.1.Conventional schooling and Ed-tech:

21st century has been focusing on strong access to digitization with the government focusing on Digital India policies. Digitization supplemented the Ed-Tech rise along with meeting the demand of parents regarding the especially “tailored” classes, focusing on comfort zone. Students who are weak are benefitted from the slow pace and stop-start-pause and students who excel will fast-forward the content thereby saving time.


Ed-tech has even reported a success rate of around 7% in competitive exams as compared to 1% from the conventional method of teaching. The projected market size in India has acted as a catalyst. Moreover, the consumption expenditure by the high-value parents on the education sectors will never lead the demand side to struggle. The supply side is nowhere to halt owing to digitization. As per a few estimates, the broader domestic demand opportunity is expected to be worth of $30 billion dollar by 2030 and with 100% FDI permission, the number still seems small enough.


The National Education Policy, too, focuses on technology driven education standards among educational institution. The major initiative is for the effective utilization of technology platforms for teachers' training and thereby creating high-quality deliverable content alongwith designing online assessments. Moreover, the focus also relies upon online teaching platforms and tools.


We address the major challenges with the rise of ed-tech and observed data which helps in furthering our objective in comparing the Ed Tech-Post Pandemic, with the conventional method of teaching. Our second part will mostly relate to the problems under the operational part of the ed-tech primarily focusing on the operational supply chain.


Fig. 8 - Digiatilisation India's teaching community


2.1.2 Ed-tech: Post Pandemic growth:

As stated earlier, ed-tech emergence post-pandemic has been exceptional in many ways such as increase in user base and valuations. A major point that can be well noted is the growth in the funding of Ed-tech. which saw a 4x growth in funding.


Fig. 9- Amounts raised by Indian Ed-tech in last 5 years (Source-https://www.consultancy.in/news/3485/how-the-pandemic-has-caused-a-surge-in-Ed-Tech-investments accessed on 29th September 2022)


Comparing the funding of major players of ed-tech in India, Byju’s taking up the share of 57.5%, Unacademy with 10.5% and Vedantu with 9.5%.


Fig. 10 - Market captured by Ed-tech companies


Fig. 11 - Type of skills taught by Ed-tech companies


Supplementing to what we noticed in the funding, category-wise, the figure shows that the investors have sought to focus more on funding for K-12 and test prep.


In 2019, the ed-tech saw funding of $553 million which raised to $2 billion in 2020 with K-12 and Test preparation-based ed-tech taking the most out of it. Even though the advantages of ed-tech over the conventional method were only a few still it got a remarkable push in its revenue. Moreover, this rise does raise eyebrows concerning the gaps at the policy and regulatory level across the value chain of the Ed-Tech to avoid these incidents from recurring again.


2.2 Ed-Tech Problems in India


In this day and age, where technology is a necessity and not just a luxury. Some of the common challenges faced by students are the lack of quality teachers and infrastructure. It is important that children are taught how to use technology responsibly at an early stage, so they can get used to it and know how to leverage it properly.


However, in spite of the relentless optimism that has characterized the movement for education technology, its results have been mostly disappointing. This might be because of various reasons, such as the ease of use with conventional systems or competence differences between teacher/student or the non-perceivable commitment of the government in taking Ed-Tech to grassroots levels. Whatever the problem might be, it is evident that Ed-Tech is not being utilized efficiently to cent percent across the value chain of the Education system.


In a report by the Asian Development Bank, it is stated that, during unscheduled visits of their team to a number of schools in Asia, it was found that unused laptops are stored in a cabinet, projectors have not been used, computer labs have been locked for months, and the assistant programmer provided by the Computer Council was absent. Under these circumstances, a national, provincial, or district arrangement for systematic monitoring and consultation becomes very important. Unfortunately, the current inspection and monitoring mechanism is inadequate and could not evaluate and identify the factors that facilitate and hinder the use of the existing ICT infrastructure, hardware, and ICT-mediated resources by teachers and students. Also in their report on interviews with education stakeholders (students, teachers, and parents) have highlighted the lack of use of these infrastructures and hardware and their lack of impact on teaching and learning in schools.


This throws light on the issue with the operation chain of Ed-Tech.


When we see the organization as a whole not utilizing the infrastructure and the governing body not taking the feedback from the students and teachers as a checkpoint on effective utilization of the Ed Tech. This clearly results in the following concerning issues across the following areas in the value chain:


1. Issues with the Administration - Data Privacy, monetary regulations course structure and feedback mechanism.


2. Lack of Quality/Content Curation - Synergy between teachers, students and Admin, constant upgradation of study materials and standards, feedback loop closing mechanism, content deliverables and quality orientation.


3. Pedagogical upgradation of Teacher - Technical upgradation and compatibility with the current Ed Tech standards, and effective utilization and leveraging of Ed Tech tools, burden of content curation and delivery, disruption in the student- teacher interaction, impacting and catalyzing unequal growth of students in terms of critical inputs from SMEs.


Fig. 12 - Teachers interest in using Digital tools


2.2.1 Issues with the Administration

Depicting problems generated due to lack of regulation:


According to a report in September 2020, the personal information of over 2 million EduReka members, including their age, gender, phone number, and parents’ details, was made public because of server vulnerability. Users are in danger of being targeted by hackers, tricked into financial scams, targeted by exploitative advertising, and subjected to personal abuse as a result of these breaches.


This created a new narrative that highlighted the privacy shortcomings of Ed Tech companies, which led new-age students to look more closely at the privacy practices of the products they use. These factors prompted vendors to update their policies at an unprecedented rate.


According to the state of Ed Tech privacy report, during this day and age of Ed-Tech and Data Privacy, users’ data is only 20 % safe and 80% of the data is being shared and 30% of data is being sold, out of which only 60% has parental consent.


Fig. 13- Sources: Kelly, G., Graham, J., Bronfman, J., & Garton, S. (2019). 2019 State of Ed-Tech Privacy Report. San Francisco, CA: Common Sense Media


That being said, there is a widespread lack of transparency, and inconsistent and unclear practices for educational applications and other services, most of such services are evaluated, but they either do not adequately and clearly define safeguards taken to protect the child or student information, or they lack a detailed privacy policy.


Concerning this lack of transparency, the present Information Technology Act 2000 has not been able to keep up with the changing technology, and therefore, the Indian Government issued the Information Technology (Reasonable security practices and procedures and sensitive personal data or information) Rules 2011 along with the clarification dated August 24, 2011


These Ed Techs will have personal information and also sensitive information which consists of passwords, financial information, health conditions and medical history, etc. As per the above-mentioned regulations, the body corporate must take the consent of the user prior to the collection of such personal and sensitive information. But these regulations are applicable to body corporate collecting such information through electronic mediums located in India. Therefore, there is an imminent need for wider data protection laws to bring in Ed-Tech Platforms located outside India.


Along with the responsibility of data privacy, Ed Tech Administration is also responsible for monetary issues resolution, feedback mechanism, grievances escalation mechanism and redressal. Hence, it is important that the upcoming policy will also formulate regulations for these roles played by the Ed Tech Administration


For the above discussed issues we found certain frameworks adapted by international government and agencies such as:


A) For policymakers:


  • The SABER-ICT Framework is primarily intended for policymakers and governments to aid their process of designing and assessing key policies linked to the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in K-12 education.

  • The UNESCO Framework provides policymakers with policy objectives to reform teacher capacity and professional development. It has been used to develop nationwide Ed-Tech policies in Guyana, Bahrain and Russia. It can also be leveraged by teachers and teacher training experts.

  • The Asian Development Bank Framework for policymakers provides guidance on establishing the coordination between policy direction and teacher capacity building along with a focus on infrastructure development, student learning outcomes, and private-public partnerships.

  • The PISA ICT Framework gives a complete picture of students’ access to, and use of, technology as well as their learning outcomes. It also identifies how educational institutions and teachers incorporate technology into the classroom. This information, allows policymakers to explore the influence of system-level factors on students’ and schools’ use of ICT. It also helps nations and individual educational institutions understand their position in comparison to others).

  • The Development Framework aims to help policymakers analyze the context in their country, develop suitable goals, and coordinate policies and programs which lead to systemic change.


B) For Educational Institutions and Heads of Institutions:


  • E-Learning Stakeholders’ Responsibility Matrix is responsible for e-learning and aims to ensure coordination amongst stakeholders. It is designed for higher education institutions to understand, integrate, and adapt Ed-Tech initiatives. It highlights that each stakeholder plays a key role by outlining their key motivations and concerns.

  • The Holistic Integration Framework guides educational institutions and provides them with a system to improve the evaluation of student learning and enhance the education system. It can be adapted to suit the needs of varied contexts.

  • ICT for Education (ICT4E) is a conceptual framework that contributes to the design of activities that lead to sustainable change in pedagogical practices in schools. It focuses on the integration of technology into teaching and learning,

  • BECTA, suggested a working organizational structure/working model which was successful during its time in Great Britain while it was aiming to inculcate Ed-Tech into its conventional education. Even though it was discontinued; World Bank in its research has mentioned that this organizational structure was actually fruitful in bringing awareness and also ensuring effective utilization of Ed-Tech at the grassroots level. So, similar to this, our Indian ministerial sub-functions and offices can be remodified or restructured.

  • The ISTE standards which clearly draw the lines between the roles, KPI’s and KAI’s of the Ed Tech Administration/Ed Tech Leaders, are annexed herewith in the Appendix-1.


2.2.2. Lack of Quality/Content Curation

Quality Problems-Expectation vs. demand mismatch across the supply chain due to ineffective monitoring of content leading to the quality altercation.


With the introduction of Ed-Tech, the burden of searching for information and resources and saturating them into a structured education module falls over the educator who in turn is already occupied with the effective utilization of ICT tools. Thus, educators need a helping hand with content curation and quality control. Also, students need someone who is out of the education line but an SME to handle them with other trivial issues and act as a bridge between all stakeholders (Admin, Educator, Parents) which is where the role of Coach/ mentor/Content Curator becomes the need of the hour.


As we addressed the requirement of the Content curation it is also advised to underline the roles of the Content Curator such as follows:

a) “Critical knowledge broker”.

b) “Critical intermediaries of knowledge”

c) “Critical feedback mechanism and competency development”


  • Promote what is expected of the student’s work - To meet the expectations of the students.

  • Assess its execution - Evaluate and analyze the outcome of the student’s performance.

  • Encourage feedback - By providing upfront and critical feedback which would help the students improve their performance by clearly knowing what is expected of them.


Fig. 14. Sources: Aguilar-Peña, J.D.; Rus-Casas, C.; Eliche-Quesada, D.; Muñoz-Rodríguez, F.J.; La Rubia, M.D. Content Curation in E-Learning: A Case of Study with Spanish Engineering Students. Appl. Sci. 2022



Common attributes of a good curation tool are those that allow you to:

Table-1



When the above mentioned practices are adopted as a research experiment on the Spanish engineering students, the academic results showed a decrease in the dropout rate from 42.6% to 28% in the academic year 2019/20. The performance rate increased from 53.2% to 68% and the success rate increased from 92.6 to 94.4%.


Since these quality/content curator role is new to the conventional educational system there is grey smeared line between the roles and responsibilities of the Educator and Content curator. With the advent of technology, the burden really piles upon the teacher and the sheer amount of data that is available on the internet and the usage of ICT tools makes educators go bonkers. Therefore, it is important for an SME to lead the department of content curation; quality management and to work as a feedback mechanism among the stakeholders. This being a new concept, it demands setting up new standards and ensuring that they become collaborators with conventional educators. There is a thin line between the responsibilities of the educator and Coach/Curator. These concerns are well articulated and addressed in the ISTE COACHING STANDARDS wherein the ISTE has drawn boundaries on the roles, performance index and activities of the Coach/Content Curator. It is a sensible and sense-making job that will become a key and fulfilling role in the integration of Ed-Tech into the conventional educational system.




2.2.3 Pedagogical upgradation of Teacher

Lack of standards and guidelines for today's day & age teachers to get acquainted with technology in their mode of teaching.


As discussed about the Asian Development Bank surprise visit, it is evident that the lack of ICT literacy and awareness also impacted non usage of the Ed Tech infrastructure provided by the Government resulting-a gap between the Ed Tech requirements and teacher standards.


Supporting this, the study conducted in the USA by Jackson and Bruegmann 2009; Papay et al. 2020, reinforces the potential of high-quality teaching and teacher effectiveness in impacting the student learning experience. Prior to this study very little was known about improving teacher effectiveness without intensive monitoring, supervision, training, or incentives in schools in lower-income countries. The eLearn Classrooms model established the role of the classroom teacher, not an assistant or outside tutor, and existing supervisory structures, not an NGO, in increasing student test scores.


The Ed Tech space demands the teacher or educator to be upgraded with the ICT tools for effective interaction with the students, moreover, the Ed Tech not only offers the mere interaction tool but also better ways of teaching methodologies. That being said, it is mandate for the teachers or educators to upgrade themselves from ICT literates to digitally competent educators. For these very reason, the Study Model was Adopted by UNESCO: Mishra and Koehler (2006) proposed the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework as a model of teacher knowledge essential for technology integration. The TPACK framework provides us with a new lens for understanding teachers’ readiness for technology integration. The TPACK framework defines seven knowledge domains such as:


Fig. 16. Sources: national-standards-for-quality-online-teaching-v2.pdf (aurora-institute.org) discusses various KPI for teachers to fit in the Ed-Tech.


The TPAK model becomes yardstick for the evaluators to assess the condition of the teachers and thus take necessary steps in their upliftment from being one of the elements of TK / PK / CK to completing TPCK. This is possible only if the assessment is upto standards. Here comes another evaluation tool i.e., the TIM-Technology integration matrix which gives more sophisticated evaluation methods. Technology Integration matrix which was referred by UNESCO and widely adopted by worldwide countries to self-evaluate the level of Ed-tech and direct their Ed-Tech policy journey with respect to teachers in this way.


Fig. 17. Sources: McGarr, O. & McDonagh, A. (2019) Digital Competence in Teacher Education, Output 1 of the Erasmus+ funded Developing Student Teachers’ Digital Competence (DICTE)


The above diagram depicts the thin line between digital literacy and digital competency. The above four diagrams also throw light on the journey towards which our Ed-Tech adaptation travels for the betterment of student understanding after assessing from TIM.


These frameworks help us understand how Ed-Tech is shaping up and its future prospects. The main objective of these frameworks is to Enhanced Learning, and the use of technology in teaching students with a focus on active participation and individualized learning.


Fig. 18 - Operational knowledge of teachers


Technology has the potential to change education in a way that is unprecedented in human history. Ed-Tech Solutions are being used in many countries across the world. This section talks about the various frameworks across the world in the Ed-Tech sector adapted by international government and agencies for the upgradation of Educators/teachers, such as:


i) The North Carolina Learning Competencies for Classroom Teachers, inspired by International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards, was released in June 2016 and provides in-service educators with a standardized framework to strengthen their practice and use technology effectively to support student learning in their respective learning environments


ii) European digital framework for digital teachers


Fig. 19. Sources: European DigiCompEdu Framework for teachers (Vuorikari et al, 2017)



iii) The UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers:


Fig. 20- Sources: UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (UNESCO, 2011)


iv) 21st Century’s Digital Competence for Teachers


Fig. 21. Sources: Digital Competence landscape for the 21st Century (Ala-Mutka, 2011)


These are the attributes and differences between digital literacy and digital competency of the Educators and how they have to travel from just having bare ICT operational skills to bringing initiative, autonomy and creative attitude among the pupils.


v) The ISTE standards which clearly draw the lines between the roles, KPI’s and KAI’s of the Ed Tech Educators/SME’s, the same is annexed herewith in the Appendix-2.


Till now It is discussed how world has sought out these frameworks in solving the issue. We felt that we need to check the ground reality of the Indian Ed-Tech market also before giving our recommendations based on our research. The following part explains a survey conducted by us on the above-discussed topics.


3. SURVEY


Opinion of the Public through surveys on Ed-Tech: Funnel down of Ed-Tech courses- buying course to completing objectives


We conducted a survey based on our research on the topic of Ed-Tech Space in India. The purpose of the research was to understand the market base of Ed-tech and the consumeristic approach towards the ed-tech space in India. The survey conducted by us majorly consists of participants who are employed in major sectors across countries and have taken education from the top tier institution in India. The majority of the participants have interacted at least once with an Ed Tech Product



Q1: -Do you know what is Ed-Tech?

With 96.4% saying yes, this implies that an obvious part where the majority are the ones who knows what an Ed-tech is.





Q2: -Which mode of education technology do you prefer?

The hybrid mode takes the major part with 70.9% of participants opting for it. The second spot is attained by Physical mode with 18.2% of participants preferring that. In the third position is the online mode with 10.9% of participants. With the majority opting for hybrid mode, we can observe that people are not opting for a total online mode of teaching, instead they are more into a blend of both




Q3: -Have you ever experienced/applied/opt or completed a course provided by Ed-tech?

The majority of participants were the ones who stated that they have completed the course and met learning goals. These are 34.5% of participants. The second spot with 30.9% is with participants who partially completed the course. The third spot with 27.3% is with participants who completed the course but not met learning goals.We can infer that the majority of people with Ed-tech are meeting learning goals but the number of people who are not able to get the desired result is not far enough.


Q4: -If you have taken a course online, have you completed the entire course objectives?

In the previous question, we asked whether the learning goals are met or not. But in this question, we are more focused on the fact of course objectives. Preferably, we got a good result here, where 54.5% of participants have completed the entire course objective. On the other hand, 36.4% of participants did not complete their course objectives.


Q5: -Do you think current teachers are well equipped to make ed-tech a better place to learn in a hassle-free manner?

In our research, we have found that there are issues when it comes to teachers’ competency but the result was more or less contrary to what we thought. Even though the majority of the participants said that the teachers are not equipped (50.9%), close to the majority of the participants also said that the teachers are well equipped (49.1%).


Q6: -Whose assistance would have enhanced your learning experience?

The majority of the people (56.4%) chose teacher over other options. Curator comes at the second spot with 30.9% and Admin comes at the third spot with 10.9%. We can easily conclude that teachers are closest with the students and thus their competency and interaction with the student becomes a critical part in the learning experience.


Q7: -Should the government adapt Ed-tech in the future?

A number of initiatives have been taken by the Central Government and various state governments which focus on digital platforms for learning. The government has been adapting the technology at its length. The majority, too, agrees that the government should adapt Ed-Tech in the future (78.2%).


Q8: -How strongly do you feel that, unlike schools and colleges, the government must assist people in choosing the right Ed-tech organization?

We got a mixed response here with 20% stating that there is no need for the government to assist in choosing the right ed-tech organization, and 25.5% strongly stating that the government must assist for the same. The majority takes the view that government must assist but not strongly (30.9% for 4th rating).


Q9: -How well do you know about what is being done to the data collected from you while you enrolled for the course?

In this we intend to focus on the privacy issues of the consumers. Here the majority of the participants, i.e., 70.9% stated that they don’t know where the data is used. Only 29.1% stated that they know where the data are used. A clear inference that the majority of users do not know about their data being used.


Q10: -Do you think Ed-tech should be more transparent, responsible and accountable for their commission and omissions?

With 90.9% of participants agreeing to the fact, it substantiates our suggestion part for this research where we intend to suggest the TARA Strategy which is an abbreviation of Transparency, Accountability, Responsibility and Accessibility.



Q11: -Unlike UGC rules and regulations for colleges, do you think standard guidelines for Ed-tech are the need of the hour?

With a majority of 81.8% stating a yes for standardized guidelines for Ed-tech, it again substantiates our suggestion part for having strong standard guidelines for the Ed-tech companies in India. Hence, framework or standard guidelines or policy in the interest of Ed Tech Consumer welfare is the need of the hour.



The survey results clearly indicate that there are value chain problems underlying and also there are issues across the supply chain causing non-completion of the course. The diagram shows the pitiful picture of the Ed-Tech space where the final objectives are being never met.


Fig. 22. Sources: Sharp Scholar Blog


4. RECOMMENDATIONS


This part of our research paper primarily deals in the domain of our suggestion for the regulation of Ed-tech corporations in India. In this part, we have devised two major strategies that we recommend as a part of our solutions to the major problems faced by multiple stakeholders in the supply chain. The solutions that we recommend can play a major role, in case the government formulates any prescribed rules and regulations concerning Ed-tech organizations.

  • The first strategy is the TARA Strategy which primarily focuses on the functional part of Ed-tech-Administrative Problems. Also, gives the guidelines to the Educators in performing their duties.

  • The second part is the CCC Model which is more focused on the roles and responsibilities of the Content Curator, as this post is completely to the Indian conventional educational value chain.

  • CSR as a collaborative solution, between private and public enterprises to solve various challenges faced across the Ed Tech value chain.


4.1. TARA Strategy: Issues addressing both public and Private problems


Our first strategy deals with the core functioning of the Ed-tech organization. As a part of the supply chain, the first strategy primarily focuses on the core principles that must be met and applied in the general practice by the Ed-tech organization. TARA is an abbreviation of Transparency, Accountability, Responsibility, and Accessibility. Let’s discuss the fundamentals governing these core principles.


Fig-23


A) Transparency- Transparency is a key to a successful yet ethical business. Transparency primarily means that the decision must comply in a manner structured through definite regulations governing the organization, with the information clearly visible to the effective stakeholders. The data and the personal information from the consumer must be clearly visible and the purpose of taking the same for multiple purposes must be conveyed to the consumers strictly even if the consumers do not demand it. Personal information must not be used either for behavioral advertising or for third-party marketing.


B) Accessibility- Closely linked with that transparency is accessibility. Accessibility focuses on making every piece of information, and activities accessible to the consumer. More the transparency easier the accessibility. The consumer must get access to each and every piece of information that directly or indirectly affects them. The accessibility must be focused on the use of data and personal information. The consumer must be made clear about the engagement or the target advertisement through a transparent model which must be structured through an accessible network making the consumer at the base.


C) Responsibility- Through the focus on responsibility, the main impetus is on the Ed-tech organization for being responsible for any act committed thereon, either affecting the consumer directly or indirectly. Our recommendation relies upon a few factors such as limiting the collection of data and personal information, safe interactions among the stakeholders, visible data, etc. Focusing on limited data collection and any social interaction must not lead to third-party interference.


D) Accountability- Our last part of the recommendation will be accountability which encapsulates all other recommendations in one bundle. The ed-tech organization must be accountable for all its activities. They must have a responsibility towards their action, for which accountability follows. Not only the responsibility but also the obligation to accept their responsibility coupled with the willingness to do so. Any further action from the side of Ed-tech must eventually carry accountability towards the result which will be followed. Data breach clearly signifies the Ed-tech organization’s accountability for mishappening.


4.2. CCC Model


The governance part substantiates the nature of the curriculum which forms a central part of the whole system. CCC is an abbreviation of Curated, Concise and Compact.


Fig. 24 - CCC Model


A) Curated - The market has a lot of content in every domain and constant evolution of technology, increases demands of the student standard it is important that the content curator/coach should involve in non-ending loop of continues feedback-corrective measures. Through this, we recommend a curation part where the contents must be organized and structured in a standardized framework that must be curated by experienced mentors in that domain. This will help in more structured content that will be focused on result-oriented parameters and keep the students up to the standards.


B) Concise - After the curation part, the next major issues lie with the efficiency with which the curated contents are elaborated. The elaboration must be done in a concise manner. By concise we mean to say that effective curated content must be provided in a manner where maximum information can be provided in the best possible concise manner.


C) Compact - After the curation and the concise part, the next major and final responsibility is content delivery to the students. The content finally delivered to the students must be in a compact manner so that the student can access information under one window irrespective of the subject he/she opts for. For instance, a zip file is a better example of compact-driven information. Similarly, through this recommendation, we need to suggest a suitable platform across all institution in India where the student and teacher can access the information in a compact manner.


Fig. 25 - CCC Model focus model



Fig. 26- Sources:https://www.brookings.edu/essay/realizing-the-promise- how-can-education-technology-improve-learning-for-all/ Adapted from Cohen and Ball (1999)


Needless to say, parents play a major role when it comes to building a strong relationship between content creator and learner or educator and learner. On the other side, the relationship between the content creator and educator requires a strong role of the admin which works as a catalyst in reaffirming the deliverables. Last but not the least, content creators and educators require a better flexible relationship as this will define the final delivery to the consumer at large. This is well explained in Fig-26.



4.3. Role of Corporate Social Responsibility


Fig. 27 - Transition to online teaching


The above data point shows that there is no proper way for teachers to get trained in Ed-Tech tools and digital competency. Indeed, this is an opportunity for CSR to pitch in. Also, for India to embark the successful Ed Tech journey, not only from the government, there is a requirement of contribution from the private sectors as well. It should be noted that the level of professionalism, standards and systems that private players can bring in form of investors; technical collaborators; sponsors/partners and directors is unmatchable when compared with the government working alone in this field.


Reaching out to rural areas and bringing a transition from the conventional teaching methods to Online Ed Tech space will require for the government to substantially invest in the fields of infrastructural, financial and service supports. Thus, it must be admitted that there is huge scope in the Indian Ed Tech space where private players indeed can become pivotal in this transformation by supporting in terms of cash, robust finance, material, services or any other support which fuels the overall development of the Ed Tech sector.


This is where we feel that the government should also play a proactive role by including these private players in the form of CSR. This kind of CSR activities will become win-win situations for both government and private parties. These way private players get interested in developing the areas where the government requires a helping hand. For example:


  • Infrastructure: cellular Network and devices for students & teaching equipment and accessories to Teachers and Schools or Institutions.

  • Software solutions and services for the Indian Government Ed-Tech space & positions in directorial board for driving the success of the Ed Tech programs and initiatives.

  • Training to teachers and their upgradation in effective utilization of ICT tools and services.

  • Industrial exposure to students through virtual tours and industrial – Ed Tech institutional collaboration for expert’s master classes and sessions.


When we are discussing CSR we do not mean the namesake donation by the private sector but we actually dream of private sector entities taking part actively in government steps in achieving the sustainable goals of Ed-Tech. This can be done only if there is collaborative integration between private entities and the Government. But not the fund donation campaigns, for example, to set up and facilitate the teachers’ training centers with certification programs and workshops for the overall development of the Educators in order to make them adaptive learners and overcome tech-savvy issues as part of the CSR policy.


Private sector entities, if given a chance to partner in this transformation, can bring technological innovation, administrative efficiencies, infrastructural solutions and also the obvious part of funding which can be utilized to level the ground between the marginalized and the fortunate. They can become flag bearers of this change by bringing the competitive spirit to achieve the dream of a fully efficient, morally sound, learning-wise enriching Ed-Tech system.


The TARA Strategy and the CCC model are inspired outcome of the ISTE standards and various internationally approved frameworks which are aimed to achieve the common goals:


  1. The best learning experience to the students with the help of Ed Tech tools.

  2. The teachers from being mere digital literates to digitally competent Educators by using ICT Tools in constructive learning experiences.

  3. The Administrators from being business agents of Ed-Tech courses to responsible Ed-Tech leaders.

  4. And a new post of content curator where he is not just a helper to the educator but someone having knowledge of SME and also who orchestrates the course outcomes and nurtures the learning curves of the students.


These frameworks emphasize open access to educational materials for all learners across the collaborative institutions irrespective of their location or background and analyze the consensual and reasonable data about student performance to provide insights into effective teaching practices, instructional strategies, and student engagement.



Conclusion: Way forward in Ed-Tech and importance of aforesaid solutions for India


With the magnanimous growth of the Ed-tech sector in India, the time is not far when we will be requiring strong guidelines and framework from the government side. The primary aim of the paper was to understand the problems underlying the operational chain of the Ed-tech sector. Thus, we focused on the quality check, administrative problems and the teacher’s training part. We can say that there has been a major influx of the online education system but this influx has brought a lot of negative effects. Needless to say, there are positive sides to the story as well. A large number of educators have resulted in a number of contents that goes unchecked and with no backing. This is indeed a very serious concern as the contents and deliverables directly affect the education and learning outcomes, and it is very difficult to have regularized checks and balances. Moreover, if we talk about the core functioning of the Ed-tech organization, our research has raised concerns over no checks on the action of these organizations, thereby raising significant issues such as privacy and quality controls.


Also, for India to address the issue of literacy, Ed-Tech is a perfect opportunity if utilized in the right way. It offers penetration that the conventional system has not provided to date even after due efforts. To exploit this advantage, we need to do some preparatory work in making the current Ed-Tech sector into a more flawless value chain with each and every stakeholder having specific and certain guidelines, roles and responsibilities and a regulatory body overall the above to take care and set the tune of the show. Indeed, it is a task that cannot happen over a fortnight by a government alone. It needs the contribution of every form in every possible manner from all the stakeholders be it parents, teachers, coaches and students themselves.


These all instances do provide us a significant input for a regularized framework which indeed, is a need of the hour. With ever-increasing internet penetration and easy access to generating online content, more and more crowd is getting influenced by the same. As the government plans to bring the OTT regulation under its purview for which a bill is already pending, it is high time that the government must focus on bringing Ed-tech under its strict purview as millions of students are at stake.



Appendix-1:




Appendix-2:

IS TE Education Leader Standards




Appendix-3:

The IS TE Educator Standards




Appendix-4:

The IS TE Coaching Standards




Meet The Thought Leader


Aashi Agarwal is a mentor at GGI and is currently working as a consultant at Kearney. She exhibits a keen interest in the social sector and has gained vivid experiences being a part of Teach for India, Katalyst and BloodConnect Foundation. Aashi pursued her B.Tech from IIT Delhi and was conferred with the prestigious Director’s Gold Medal for her excellent all-rounder performance and leadership skills. Outside of work, you can find her writing poetry Slam, learning French or exploring new places, food, lifestyle and culture.



Meet The Authors (GGI Fellows)



Tarra VamsiKrishnan is an engineer by profession, graduated with B.Tech from prestigious NIT Trichy. Having 2 years of experience in the field automobile manufacturing industry, currently, he is working as a Manufacturing Engineer at Continental India Private Limited. Being fluent in 4 languages, he believes, "Synergy" & "Resilience" are the 2 most powerful words, and often uses them to steer through every state of affairs in & out. He is passionate about playing with different ingredients while making new dishes and keenly interested in reading Indian mythology.



Nousheen Sultana is a first-generation - graduate with a Bachelor of Laws. She was awarded The Best Outgoing Student of the year 2019 from Al-Ameen College of Law, Bangalore. A practicing Advocate, with more than 3 years of experience in drafting conveyancing and legal consulting. Currently, she is a Legal Associate at The Fortune Group, Bangalore. She has a strong interest in reading books of different genres and writing on issues concerning law and society.



Saransh Chaturvedi is an Advocate practicing in Lucknow and Delhi High Court. He also appears in the Supreme Court of India. He has his own law firm where he focuses on Corporate and Intellectual Property issues. He has worked in a leading law firm based out of Delhi for more than a year. He is a graduate from Banaras Hindu University and did his masters from IIT Kharagpur. He is an avid writer where he continuously writes on platforms such as The Economic Times and Sunday Guardian Live.


If you are interested in applying to GGI's Impact Fellowship program, you can access our application link here.

 

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