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Education in developing countries like India is rife with issues. Poor infrastructure, teacher absenteeism and high dropouts are some of the major issues plaguing our education system. The government has been trying different ways to improve things for many decades now, but the struggle remains ongoing.
Meanwhile, the development of blockchain technology has put forth various solutions and claims to solve all the problems – in one go.
Web3 shows the way
Experts believe that Web3’s metaverse is the answer to most of the problems in the education sector in India. “If you look at the issues in the education system from a macro perspective – there is a lack of schools, teachers and quality education. Besides, there are school dropouts, falling number of girls students in STEM and an overall lack of inclusive education. There are various issues which can be solved through Metaverse. It can play a role in the inclusiveness of education,” said Manav Subodh, Founder and MD, 1M1B, a skilling and education platform.
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Subodh added that in a country grappling with physical infrastructure issues, VR and AR technology can play a bigger role in solving its problem. Schools and science labs could all be simulated using the AR and VR technology.
“So, if you’re talking about a virtual reality lab, the same science labs in education can be made available to students even in the villages. The innovation lies in making the AR/VR devices smaller or cheaper,” he said.
Gurgaon-based Edverse, a blockchain-based platform has a goal to democratise education through metaverse. “Virtual reality technologies can simulate real-world scenarios. Learning in this environment delivers an immersive experience. The metaverse experience engages the learner and allows him or her to fully concentrate on the task at hand. This promotes conceptual understanding and increases content retention,” said Yuvraj Krishan Sharma, co-founder and CTO, Edverse.
He added that the platform’s goal is to make education accessible to all.
Education for all
Web3 might also hold the key to financial problems in education. The metaverse world will have tokenisation to create monetary benefits for users. “If you spend a considerable amount of time in metaverse, you can collect some tokens which can be redeemed to avail courses. Besides, there are education NFTs, which can be bought and used in classrooms or utilised by institutions,” said Sharma.
Educational institutions have also started accepting cryptocurrencies. In 2014, Kings College in New York became the first institution in the US to accept cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) as tuition fees.
In the past few years, platforms like LiveEdu and others have been experimenting with the use of cryptocurrency in education. In the LiveEdu platform, activities by learners in the ecosystem are converted into Edu tokens, which can be redeemed for educational purposes.
Web3 is overhauling the education system by revolutionising the entire process – education, financial assistance and degrees. Experts say that the blockchain can be used to issue education degrees, which also solves the problem of counterfeit certificates.
In August, this year, Maharashtra State Board of Skill Development (MSBSD) issued about 100,000 digital diplomas based on the Polygon blockchain platform. According to experts, the blockchain-based degrees are tamper-proof and save job applicants and employers from the tedious process of degree verification.
Besides, smart contracts used in education for providing degrees could be linked to conditions under which a learner would receive a certificate from the institution. As these students proceed toward degree completion, their blockchain records might be automatically tracked and shared with potential employers in real time.
In 2016, the University of Nicosia in Cyprus was the first university in the world to issue academic certificates with authenticity verification through the Bitcoin blockchain. More recently, the University of Mongolia, tied-up with Polygon Technology, Ethereum-based Layer 2 solution, to provide their diplomas as Soulbound Tokens on-chain to students.
“Our emphasis has been finding and building communities through our Polygon University portal because we believe Web3 will generate opportunities for skilled developers at the same or greater scope as Web2 in coming years,” said Alex Games, VP of Developer Education.