India hosts the oldest university system of education in the world and established prominent gurukuls across the country over a hundred years ago, but since its foundation, the education system in India has evolved drastically. Both the demands as well as the structure of the education system in India have changed in hopes of boosting the literacy rate and overall accessibility to quality education.

The Current Education System

The current education system in India is the second largest education system in the world and with the Right to Education Act, India provides free education to all individuals between the ages of 6 and 14. Since India is diverse in terms of languages spoken, most governmental schools provide educational content and instruction to the students in their regional language and with English as their second language. The grades of education are broadly divided into primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. Both secondary and post-secondary education systems in India allow students to choose certain subjects over others, providing a greater opportunity to control their own educational journey.

As of 2020, the adult literacy rate in India is 69.3% with the adult male literacy rate being 78.8% and the adult female literacy rate being 59.3%; clearly, there is a discrepancy between the education provided to the two genders. To help reduce such discrepancy, India has joined the United Nations E-9 initiative. The initiative has three major goals – to support teachers, to invest in skills, and to narrow the digital divide. A recent study done in India also indicated that for women to have the same level of cognitive function as men in later stages of life, they must receive higher levels of education; thus, adding to the importance of addressing gender biases in education.

Apart from gender inequality, there are a few other specific challenges within India’s education system that hinder the country’s effort to build a sustainable learning ecosystem.

Issues With the Current Education System

  • Language barriers: The education system in India limits the employability of students as they are expected to learn basic subjects but are not equipped with industry-relevant skills. Additionally, most governmental schools provide instruction in regional languages but employers often request fluent English speakers.
  • Emphasis on in-person training: The sole focus on in-person education may not be appropriate for all circumstances. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals were forced to drop out of school for safety.
  • Poor policy implementation: Biases embedded within education policy implementation encourage greater focus on higher education rather than ensuring greater accessibility to basic education; this results in a large population not having access to basic education while an incredibly small population has access to a variety of post-secondary institutions.
  • Gender inequality: Based on a 2017 report, while girls have a lower rate of enrollment in secondary education levels, boys have a very high rate of dropping out of secondary education levels. The key reasons for dropping out include financial constraints and a lack of interest in education.
  • Teacher shortage: The current education system also allows room for inconsistent and poor-quality of education. The teacher shortage as well as the inadequate teacher training results in a less desirable teacher-to-student ratio which adds to the deficiency.
  • Outdated Curriculum: Plenty of teaching institutions, especially in rural areas, fail to update the teaching material, regardless of the progress made in technology and society. This, again, does not set students up for success in the near future.
  • Not prioritizing vocational training: A majority of secondary teaching institutions do not place enough emphasis on vocational training. There is very limited information provided to students on the importance and significance of vocational training, the skills needed, and the potential job prospects.

There is no one-stop solution to fix the various challenges within India’s education system, and in order to make drastic changes, the country has to take cohesive bottom-up measures. This being said, technology can be used positively to address certain issues. The incorporation of learning management systems and the integration of digital libraries within educational institutions can prove to be beneficial to students.

How to Improve the Education System in India using eLearning tools?

eLearning is essentially the delivery of learning and training materials digitally – it can range from resources such as real-time webinars to curated course modules that can be taken anytime. eLearning can be made easier via learning management systems and digital libraries.

Learning management systems are web-based systems designed to facilitate the digital delivery of training and education programs. As for educational institutions, LMS allows administrators and teachers to curate learning modules, assignments, and tests that can be accessed by students online. The key features of learning management systems (LMS) are responsive design, multilingual support, intuitive user interface, learning model integration, gamification features, learning assessment options, and data security. These features of LMS have the potential to address the specific challenges in India’s education system, mentioned previously, and more. For starters, most learning management systems, like Mintbook, offer multilingual support with integrated AI chatbots; this would allow students in India the opportunity to study the same learning material in both English and their regional language, thereby preparing them for future career occasions. The AI chatbot can also aid students by answering questions in any language and by providing translations needed.

Secondly, and possibly, the most important component of the Learning management system is its emphasis on accessibility. LMS not only allows teachers to host live teaching sessions online that mimic in-person teaching but also allows them to curate modules that may consist of reading materials, ebooks from the digital library, images, videos, discussion forums, assignments, and tests. Students can then access the modules from their dashboard, view upcoming deadlines, retake quizzes, and post on discussion forums anytime and from anywhere they please. The high accessibility feature of LMS combats multiple challenges in education as it minimizes the problem of poor policy implementation and teacher shortage by providing a large number of students access to quality education. Additionally, students no longer would have to be forced to attend in-person classes to achieve quality education; external circumstances such as the pandemic would have less of an impact on the educational journey. As for academic participation, discussion forums and gamification features allow students to interact with each other, boost friendly competition, and reduce boredom.

Certification courses can also be provided via the LMS system – this can be especially vital when it comes to addressing gender biases within the education system as well as encouraging teachers to build on their current teaching certification. Encouraging teachers to take Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) courses would help reduce gender biases within the classroom – teachers would be more likely to treat girls and boys in the same manner and expect the same level of performance from both genders which would likely positively influence the level of classroom participation and academic confidence in girls. Career development certification courses can also be offered to teachers, such that they are vitalized to become more qualified educators. Similarly, certification courses can be offered to students interested in pursuing vocational training – the courses can be seen as a stepping stone for career advancement.

A significant unit of eLearning is digital libraries. A digital library may consist of ebooks, videos, and other third-party learning materials that allow students to explore their current curriculum as well as extracurricular interests. Digital libraries work against outdated curricula as it does not rely on printed versions of books, instead, any changes to a book may be made instantly by the author. Students can view previous books they have read, mark their progress, and request books conveniently. The vastitude of digital libraries tends to motivate students to understand and evaluate their academic and professional pathways more assertively. For students in rural areas who may not always have a reliable source of internet, Mintbook offers mBox which is an offline digital library that can be used without an internet connection.

As examined, LMS and digital libraries can assist in minimizing the current problems in India’s education system and equip students to face the technology and society of the future. Schedule a free demo with Mintbook to learn how digital libraries and LMS can benefit your educational institution.