Millions of students around the world are still coping with an education crisis that has twisted into a downward slope in 2020, two years after the Coronavirus epidemic disrupted life as we knew it. According to UNICEF, 76 percent of Indian pupils suffered learning losses as a result of the epidemic, which forced schools and universities to close for a period of time before reopening with an online working structure. Manish Maheshwari, the former CEO of Twitter India, has dubbed metaverse technology a solution to India's and the world's education crisis.
In 2021, Maheshwari left Twitter and began work on Invact Metaversity, a potential Web3 project. The goal of this project is to create a virtual university where students from all over the world can come together for educational and training opportunities. For this project, the developers are currently fixated on the phrase "Campus from Couch."
Maheshwari's Metaversity would be able to operate on 3G internet, which is widely available across India now that the country is on the verge of entering 5G territory. People will be able to access this Metaversity through their Internet browsers without needing to invest in pricey hardware.
"The goal is to make education more democratic." We realised that a 3D learning environment may pique the interest of a generation that spends hours in front of a screen, interacting with strangers in a virtual gaming world. COVID-19 forced the closure of schools, limiting access to immersive learning. Attending lectures via Zoom calls or YouTube did not work out for everyone," the former Twitter India CEO told Gadgets 360.
Web VR is a technique developed by the creators of the virtual university that eliminates the need for a Virtual Reality (VR) device to access the metaverse.
According to a McKinsey estimate, global learning losses during the COVID-19 period might result in annual losses of $1.6 trillion (approximately Rs. 1,22,33,440 crore) by 2040. This would equate to around 1% of world GDP.
While embassies, restaurants, banks, and crypto exchange offices have already established virtual headquarters in the metaverse, few educational institutions have followed suit.
Maheshwari intends to keep ahead of the competition by delving further into the future of the edtech business.
The first batch of students at this digital institution has already begun classes.
Students that enrol in the Invact Metaversity will be able to convert their projects and assignments into non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This will give individuals sole ownership of their work and the ability to sell their respective NFTs for higher profits at any moment in the future.
"As students arrive in the classroom, they begin to produce proof-of-work. We can place it on the chain, sure. We can also link it to their identity, giving them virtual ownership of all assignments. You don't own your work in the virtual world, and anyone can replicate it. But with NFTs, any tasks, projects, or degrees you get with whatever credentials you earn may be tied to your identity and owned by you because you'll put it on the chain and it'll be publicly verifiable," Maheshwari stated.
People will be less reliant on their Google, LinkedIn, or Twitter profiles as a result of this.
Invact Metaversity raised $5 million (approximately Rs. 40 crores) in early funding earlier this year. Picus Capital, M Venture Partners, and BECO Capital are among the global firms that have invested in the initiative. In addition, this Metaversity idea has attracted almost 70 angel investors.
These investors have also recognised that neither every country has enough usable real estate or the financial resources to construct physical student campuses, neither of which can be compensated for in a virtual environment that is participatory and engaging.
These industry professionals have also been enlisted to communicate with students and assist them with their metaverse courses.
To take use of the classroom's 3D immersive aspect, the Invact team is developing proprietary content.
Officials are also contacting educational content creators who are currently using YouTube in order to receive formal training from Invact and begin teaching in its Metaversity.
Maheshwari currently has no plans to connect his metaverse university to any physical colleges for accreditation or any other reason.
"Many of these educational institutions want to collaborate with us, but we don't see the point since if they offered value, we wouldn't be creating this metaversity in the first place." The issue isn't the degree; it's the inability to get work. Because of a lack of industrial training, only about 10% of graduates in India acquire the employment they deserve. That is what our projects are aiming for. He emphasised that "these industry specialists will not only instruct students, but will also train them for this fast-growing start-up, product management, and design-oriented work environment."
Analysts predict a surge in new-age entrepreneurs in the coming years, who, unlike major organisations, will benefit from the distributed computing and distributed ownership features of blockchain technology.
"Education may be opened up to people of different ages, orientations, geographies, and cultures through the metaverse. "Everyone would be able to acquire an education from the comfort of their own homes," Maheshwari added, urging other aspiring entrepreneurs to apply their technical skills to solving 21st-century societal challenges.