How the expensive education can change into the affordable education
Classroom technology delivers big on learning and economising
Readers of the classics will be familiar with an “expensive education” being a significant part of character descriptions. It didn’t necessarily only apply to the heroes, but it certainly singled people out to be of a certain pedigree. We have spoken previously on this blog about how education is one of the biggest levers of change for Indians and why it’s so highly valued. What parent would opt to give their children the best possible start in life?
The classics remain with us – we still tend to associate higher school fees with the quality education. The trope of the self-sacrificing parents foregoing worldly comforts and basic necessities in order to be able to afford their child’s tuition and books is as old as Bollywood itself. But the trope doesn’t stray too far from the truth. Parents scrimp and save for the child’s tuition, school books, and uniforms. The nightmare of your child getting into a top-ranked university and being unable to pay for it must have kept many a parent awake in the dead of the night.
But does this thinking have any basis in reality? Our government certainly seems to think so, if the recent maintenance of educational institution’s tax neutral status under GST is any indicator. Educational loans are one of the most popular services offered by any financial institution. EdTech is one of the fastest growing sectors projected to reach $252bn by 2020.
But let’s be realistic. Despite our propensity to pay through our noses if it means our child will get into a top engineering college, economising on education is fast becoming a necessity in these times of massive inflation. Things might have hit a boiling point. From Gurgaon to Ghatkopar, there is been a spate of parents protesting predatory school fee hikes. Parents have moved on from informal networks to dedicated portals where school materials are shared or traded.
While education is a big business in India, not all institutions are predatory. It is undeniable that they too face ever-increasing costs in their aim to provide quality education. Infrastructural demands have made college education costs skyrocket, and we are starting to see this trickle down to schools, with real estate prices skyrocketing over the last few decades in India. Course fees, books, transport all inflate the bill. While some expenses are justified (can one put a price on the impact a good teacher makes on their students’ lives?), educational institutions must cut costs. This is where educational technology comes into play. One doesn’t need to rely on hand me down uniforms, second-hand textbooks bought at the raddiwala’s, a parent’s jugaad, or government subsidies to save a little. Institutions have the power to effect real change when they use platforms like Fedena. They allow schools to lower their bill while enabling them to continue working efficiently and effectively.
It isn’t just student-teacher relations that improve with the increase in personalised teaching. Administrators are relieved of the burden of financial management, resulting in increased work efficacy and reduced HR costs. Parent-school relationships are also bettered when teachers and administrators are easily able to connect over their ward’s schooling – whether it better transport management or easy access to classroom progress.
Economising isn’t just the purview of policy or an anxious parent. Institutions have already begun investing in high tech equipment to provide better schooling for their students. So why not leverage the power of learning technology a little more? The payoff is undeniable. An education no longer needs to be expensive to be effective, efficient, and practical – smart schools are the intelligent choice.
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