“The biggest consumer internet company in India will not be an ecommerce company, but an education company,” comments Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO of Unacademy.
The opinion fits perfectly into the tangle of COVID-19 crisis from which education sectors are still struggling to recover. In the midst of rising perplexities, only the edtech startups have managed to gain a strong foothold. The sector has welcomed many enthusiastic investors who have thrown massive investments into the burgeoning of it.
Byju’s, in the first quarter of 2020, has managed to salvage $400 funds while Unacademy has raised approximately $100 million. With the mushrooming of online education even in the nooks and corners of the country, the edtech startups are focusing on new skill building courses in the wake of digital revamp of the education sector. Other appealing features that are added recently are availability of e-books, learning management systems, doubt-clearing sessions and interactive learning tools.
Even the new entrants like UpGrad, Vedantu, Simplilearn and Toppr have witnessed steep rise in their users logging in. Edumarshal, a Noida-based edtech startup has seen a growth of 250 percent ever since the dawn of COVI-19 lockdown. The site has uploaded CBSE and NCERT books and is in the process of converting them into computer-based training modules (CBT). Its stakeholders now span across seven countries which was hitherto unthought before the pandemic.
Co-founder Ajay Kumar .ads “India has 1.5 million schools and 260 million students. Most management still happens offline, and these processes are done manually. The pandemic has forced teachers and students to adopt new technologies.”
The pandemic has turned the table for these edtech startups which were previously seen as a secondary option, primary being the traditional classroom setups. The success story of Unacademy is equally mesmerizing. Launched initially as a YouTube channel in 2015, Unacademy is presently backed by investers such as Facebook, Genral Atlantic and Sequoia among others.
A report from the US-India Startegic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) suggested that within the next five years can create 550,000 direct jobs and 1,4000,000 indirect jobs.
The edtech startups have kept the schools functional, maintaining the continuum of learning preventing a glitch in the finances.
“Delhi High Court recently passed the ruling that tuition fees of the schools should not be exempted since education is being imparted online. It also stated that since the students are continuing to avail the benefits of classes online, the schools cannot be treated as closed. I believe that it is a very positive decision as 80% to 85% of the total school fees go to the school teachers and the staff. The teachers are working tirelessly day and night to secure the future of the students. In the process of preparing notes for the students and accommodating the conventional study material on online platforms, the working hours of teachers have increased even further. Therefore, they must be paid for their dedication and hard work.”
Ms.Alka Kapur, Principal Modern Public School Shalimar Bagh New Delhi