Will EdTech go the way of the gig economy?
Published at Femlab.co on October 26, 2021
By Aditi Surie and Krishna Akhil
The forced push towards digitization of schooling-related activities due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated growth of Indian education technology (EdTech) companies. The sector plugs into and supplements the legacy of after-school tutoring and extracurricular activities by building businesses that take these services online. 80% of India’s school teachers are women as reported in the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and Quarterly Employment Surveys. Education serves as one of the biggest employment bases for women from scheduled caste communities. In the accelerated environment for online education since the pandemic, the sector has seen investments of 2.2 billion USD, roughly half of the 4 billion USD that has been raised by EdTech companies in India in the last five years.
Given this rise, it is important to ask what business models these companies follow, and how this impacts the educators who ultimately do the teaching. Will EdTech go the way of the gig economy? Is EdTech work structured like Uber work? Since the pandemic, many delivery people and taxi driver woes have been made public. If EdTech companies start to adopt the business models of gig platforms like in food delivery, or the ride-hailing sector, then how do we see the future of our educators? What does EdTech do to the nature of the teacher’s work? How do the patterns of the Indian education sector relate to the ways in which we think about the kind of employment EdTech companies offer educators using their platforms?
These are important questions to ask as we see major disruptions in one of the most established and formal sectors of women’s employment – the education field, and how EdTech may shape the future of their livelihoods.
Read the rest here
Image credit: Pixabay