I’m surprised at what Government of India is doing in MOOC space. To make amazing courses by bringing together great institutions in India on a platform called Swayam – India’s first online education platform – In the first phase, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati, University of Delhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, IGNOU, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, Banaras Hindu University, alone as well as with the help of faculty from foreign universities will be offering courses in areas of engineering education, social science, energy, management, basic sciences. All courses would be offered free of cost under this programme however fees would be there in case learner requires verified certificate – especially to add on to their resume or show as credentials. I believe in skill than in certificate. But we generally need documentary proof in employment scenario.
At least 10 million students are expected to benefit in 2 to 3 years through this initiative. This is revolutionary. It might take time for Indian students and especially parents to understand how education is changing. Everybody is habituated to old system of physical model of learning. It is wired in us. Like going to school or college for skill building.
Comparatively, Swayam is yet to evolve as a robust online education platform as Edx is far advanced. But what we have to appreciate here is the effort of a government to do this at this scale bringing together close to thousand teachers and so many autonomous institutions to think about such an initiative and massive planning and implementation exercise they did to make it happen.
Couple of questions?
- Will UGC / AICTE kind of education regulatory bodies start accepting online universities’ programs as serious credentials? (by the way market forces are so powerful that they can’t wait for long)
- When will Swayam start a full graduate / post graduate program offered by a top institutions in Swayam? (that will seriously make a difference)
Cost effective data, good internet connectivity, well designed content, label of great institutions and zero costs to programs make Swayam a big possibility in India’s education scene.
This is a great start. More to follow.