By Rohit Gajbhiye
The education sector in India is going through an era of renaissance. The Covid-19 has forced the Indian education system to embrace the digital mode of education. However, what started out as a constraint soon took the entire education system by storm and became the preferred mode of teaching and learning for many educational institutions and students. Even as pandemic-induced restrictions are phased out and educational institutions reopen for in-person classes, most people advocate a hybrid model of education where online education would complement offline education. There are over 1,500,000 schools in India and almost every school in the country is gradually adopting some form of digital education.
Even in the traditional model of education, technology has made profound inroads. Smart classrooms are quickly becoming the norm in most schools. Computers, laptops, smartphones, etc. have been used for several years now. The growing number of edtech companies in the country is proof of the paradigm shift taking place in the education sector in India. The country already has 6 edtech unicorns. This clearly indicates that not only is there a demand in the market for services, but investments are also flowing into the sector.
Besides all the buzz in the education sector, new technologies have arrived that are all set to transform the education sector. Blockchain is the technology behind the emergence and success of cryptocurrency. In less than two decades, cryptocurrency is already a phenomenon in the financial world. The global cryptocurrency market size was estimated at $800 Million in 2020 and is projected to reach $5200 Million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of almost 30% during the forecast period 2021 -2028. After making cryptocurrency a global phenomenon, Blockchain is now rapidly finding its usefulness in various other areas. The education sector is one of the areas that is expected to reap rich benefits from Blockchain technology.
India has the highest number of students in the world. It is estimated that over 250 million students are enrolled in the Indian school system and another 34.3 million are currently studying in institutes of higher learning. Maintaining student records is tedious, time-consuming and resource-intensive. Updating records is another tedious task. These records are stored on university servers. There are opportunities to hack servers and tamper with student records. Many people falsify their academic records and credentials in order to gain admissions to higher education and employment. Checking records is extremely difficult, time-consuming and, in some cases, impossible.
Blockchain is a technology in which records or ledgers are kept as blocks of data. These blocks are secure and connected to other blocks of data belonging to the same person or organization. These blocks are strongly encrypted and stored on multiple computers in a decentralized manner. Tampering with one block of data alters information in other blocks connected to it and alters all computers where the data was stored. This makes it impossible to hack blockchain technology.
Blockchain can help remove these elements from the education system. Creating student records on the blockchain can make the process faster and smarter. The blocks’ virtually breakable inscription makes them tamper-proof and tamper-proof. The decentralized storage of records makes the system even more secure. The blockchain gives students a digital identity and gives them ownership of their records. This way, students can easily prove the authenticity of their academic achievements whenever needed. Not only academic performance, but blockchain can also be used to keep records related to attendance, health status, extracurricular activities, social conduct, sports activities, and more. In the event that recordings need to be transferred from one educational institution to another, it can be done much faster and more efficiently. This will bring much more transparency, authenticity and accountability to the education sector.
Blockchain technology can also be used to design courses and assessment systems. Teachers can use the smart contract method to design lesson structures in such a way that students must meet certain criteria to pass a module and progress to the next module. Blockchain can also allow students to verify the credentials of their teachers and institutions. It can also evolve the education system in ways that give students the freedom to do their major and minor service combinations.
The discussion above shows that blockchain can make the education system much more efficient and transparent. As the inefficiencies in the system disappear, the quality of education in the country is bound to improve. When fake diplomas and fake university records become obsolete, good people will have more opportunities in education and profession. More importantly, people will be encouraged (or forced) to follow the correct channels to obtain academic records, diplomas and degrees. This will make the educational system of the country much more authentic and reliable and will stimulate the demand for quality education in the country.
The author is CEO and founder of Financepeer.
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