Even in the 21st century, India has the literacy rate of only 74%. While Census of India has recorded higher literacy rates in urban areas, the same cannot be said about our rural counterparts. In fact, more than 3000 villages in India do not have a single literate person. Lack of opportunities, gender bias, no schools, not enough teachers – all are major reasons for India’s stunted literacy.
The good news is that the government, edupreneurs and academicians are working towards bringing in change, and technology is their weapon of choice.
Whether it is a secluded village in Kerala, the interiors of Ladakh, the beautiful Konkan belt or a hamlet near Sikkim, there are people living in every corner of our country who are deprived of education opportunities. When we cannot build quality schools there or bring these children to the schools in urban India, teaching them remotely is our best bet.
Satellite connectivity has the power to reach the remotest of location in the world – land, water or air. With 100% feasibility and high dependability, Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) technology has the potential to connect teachers with students anytime, anywhere. Little Tina living in a village in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh can learn the same equations and fractions as Rahul in Mumbai, from the same qualified teacher. If this isn’t revolutionary, we don’t know what is!
All education startups need is a VSAT-powered studio to live stream lessons from trained teachers to children across the nation. On the other end, the classroom needs to be just equipped with a camera and a screen. Satellite connectivity can ensure students learn and have their queries answered in real-time. This two-way communication can simulate the experience just as a traditional classroom.
One can argue that the same can be done with a regular broadband connection. But that is not entirely true. The feasibility, dependability, speed and scalability of VSAT connectivity is unmatched. While it can reach every student in India, it provides high speed connectivity so that lessons are never interrupted. It is also very quick to deploy and highly scalable depending on changing needs.
Other solutions such as broadband, mobile data, etc. do not have the infrastructure to reach the length and breadth of the country. Whereas VSAT will work anywhere there is a line of sight between the satellite and dish antenna.
Today, there are more than 3500 education technology startups in India. From providing basic education, to introducing students to AI and VR, creating an online repository for students from all walks of life to enabling enrolments for higher studies, these startups are using technology to change the way education is imparted.
The Indian edtech segment is expected to be a US$1.96 billion market by 2021. It saw close to US$700 million being pumped into the sector in just 2018.
The time is ripe for edupreneurs to dive in and take advantage of this burgeoning opportunity. VSAT is ‘the’ technology for entrepreneurs in the education sector looking to make a mark, revolutionise education and touch lives of young Indians.
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