ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Edtech Leviathan

In June 2021, Google and BYJU’s announced a partnership to provide education services in India. By offering education content gratis and supporting “personalised learning,” Google and BYJU’s see themselves as facilitating the transition from the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom to a virtual learning space, potentially benefiting millions of Indian students during and beyond the pandemic. Examining the implications of this tie-up, in the context of commercialisation of education and the increasing concentration of power with monopolistic corporations, it is argued that private platforms in the unregulated edtech sector are incentivised to prioritise growth above all else and their programmes are sharply opposed to the socially transformative aims of education.

Why ‘Online’ Is Not the Way Forward in Education: A Reading List

Online education is inimical to inclusivity and access. While bridging the digital divide is imperative, a move towards online education is likely to dismantle the transformational potential of university spaces, and usher in a commodification of learning.

National Education Policy, 2020

The National Education Policy, 2020 unveiled finally seeks to usher in major structural reforms in higher education. Among many measures, revamping of the entire regulatory structure to construct a system based on enhancing students’ choice in opting for courses assumes critical significance. This has the potential to obliterate the concepts of time and space associated with a university. This innocuous measure will serve the purpose of fostering competition among the higher education institutions to improve their performance primarily under the surveillance of the National Accreditation Council and other institutions, with a renewed thrust on going online amid the pandemic.

Of Access and Inclusivity

Can online education enable all students to participate in and benefit from it equally? Massive online education without addressing the huge access gap and disparities in digital infrastructure would not only exclude a vast majority of students from learning opportunities but also exacerbate the existing socio-economic disparities in educational opportunities.
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