Year End-Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL)
The year 2020 has been transformational for the education sector with the introduction of the National Education Policy (NEP) after a gap of 34 years, even as the COVID-19 pandemic created considerable ambiguity for educators and students around the world leading to the stupendous growth and acceptance of online learning.
The announcement of the new National Education Policy (NEP) as a roadmap to transform education policy to meet future needs was the highlight of the year. The new policy effectively tackles the shortcomings in our current education system and paves the way for an even better future. The key aspect of this policy among multiple aspects is the interplay of education and technology. Over the last few years, India has transformed itself into an information-heavy society and with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic the requirement for usage of technology in the field of education has increased more than ever.
Due to the lockdown, the year saw the rise of E-learning, and broadcasting classes, which enabled the delivery of education and training at an accelerated rate despite geographical distances, reducing the digital divide between Metros and Tier 2/3 cities. With the rise in digital literacy and expanding smartphone penetration, online learning continues to emerge as a popular methodology for education.
Since full-scale return to schools doesn’t look favorable in this academic year, it will continue to push online as the medium of instruction especially for primary and secondary levels.
2021 will see the Hybrid model of learning become the norm, an amalgamation of online and classroom teaching. Though the vaccine might herald opening of schools and educational institutions, the experience of online learning will propel many to introduce hybrid courses with students coming in 3 days to Institutes, with the remaining 3 days studying online.
To adapt with the evolving times during the year, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) provided powerful online learning experiences through some of the following measures:
- Online study plan with top teacher video to all enrolled students
- Daily live lectures on live tutoring platform from Microsoft
- Weekly online assignments and testing platform to continue assessment of students & their learning.
- Parent Teacher Meetings online to hear parent concerns and resolve them quickly
- One on one student connect by academic teams online video calls to enable closer connect with students to understand their learning and help them do better
- Make purchase and buying of learning devices like tablet and smartphones easier for students at a good price
- AESL partnered with Airtel Digital TV to coach JEE/NEET aspirants in remote locations of the country. With this, after Classroom and Digital, AESL forayed into the Satellite Education space to make available separate TV Channels for NEET and JEE.
- Free Online Live Classes provided through Meritnation: Meritnation provided special free live classes for the students of Class 7th to Class 12th and those appearing for special exams like JEE/ NEET to help mitigate the impact that closures of schools and institutes might have had on their learning process.
- Live Online Short courses like Crash Courses for NEET/JEE exams: Aakash also launched Live Online Crash Courses for students to help them prepare for medical and engineering entrance examinations such as NEET and JEE (Main & Advanced).
Since the Government had issued advisories on closing centres and offices to check the spread of Covid-19 virus, AESL had taken various measures to ensure that learning continues uninterrupted for the students. All study, preparatory material, and tests were made available online through AESL’s digital platforms.
As the dates for JEE/NEET were declared during the pandemic, AESL has put the best foot forward to help students prepare for the exams. Also, the faculty members at Aakash were well connected with students across the country through Aakash Live, a live module designed exclusively for JEE/NEET aspirants.