It is not an easy time for educational institutions across the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools, colleges, universities and many others in this industry to quickly harness the available technological tools to create content for remote learning for students in all age groups. “Like all industries and sectors, education business has been directly impacted by this pandemic – closure of schools means a realignment of the way students have been studying at schools. Being a curriculum first B2B company, we have seen a drop in supply and demand from early March onwards but what is heartening is that a lot of schools have come back to us and ask for a digital intervention in these testing times,” opines Amit Kapoor, Co-Founder, Eupheus Learning.
Unlike other Indian education startups, which either work in the in-school learning segment or provide at-home learning solutions, Eupheus Learning is bridging the gap between in-school and at-home learning by providing end-to-end education solutions to kids through their portfolio of curriculum solutions, reference books, and at-home digital solutions. It offers pedagogically differentiated, technology-driven solutions in the K-12 space. Amit adds, “The obvious part is to provide content for the first quarter and is being planned but its implementation at schools shall depend upon the revised academic sessions due to the shutdown – we foresee more clarity by next week depending upon the way the COVID-19 cases spike / subside in India.” As a support to the young learner’s, Eupheus Learning is providing free access till 30th May to its resources like ABC Tiger and Fiction Express (for reading), World Book Databases (for reference/supplemental material), eNounce (for improving Spoken English) and RoboGarden (for Coding).
“In sync with other industries, coaching centers have also been impacted by the current pandemic. This is also the start of the new academic session, and a truer picture will emerge as we near the summer vacation season,” says Mukul Rustagi, Co-Founder, Classplus, which is one of the fastest-growing SaaS startups in the edtech space that is enabling tutors to take their traditionally offline, brick and mortar setups called coaching centers online using its mobile-first product. Mukul pinpoints, “We understand that conducting offline classes as the only source of student engagement might be tough for tutors so that all communication is mapped on one platform. We have also started serving more tier 3-4 towns as the need is as acute in there.”
Classplus allows tutors to run all their communication, payments, assessments and online learning programs via the product that also doubles up as their online content repository. It also acts as a new-age content distribution platform, enabling tutors to set up eCommerce channels and make online learning programs available to students. Within 15 months of its launch, the company has built a base with over 2000 coaching centers as its clients across 50-plus Indian cities and has been backed by investors like Sequoia, Blume, Times Internet, Strive and Spiral Ventures.
Sunita Gandhi, Director of Global Education & Training Institute (GETI) and Global Classroom, shares, “Learning from the experience of other countries, we anticipated schools will need to close. We have been training teachers in the use of digital processes, so they are better prepared.” GETI is India’s premier training institute for in-service, pre-service teachers and education leaders. The institute provides schools the opportunity to hire teachers who can lead a new and transformative agenda in their schools. The program is designed to empower teachers with teaching processes and methods to bring out the best in each child. It helps teachers recognize each child as a perennial fountain of unmatched capacities and capabilities which with the right interventions can bring out the best in each one.
“The primary modes of communication to and fro from students have been Google Classroom, Google Hangout, YouTube and WhatsApp. Given that in Tier 2 cities and with the integration of students from all socio-economic backgrounds, we have been able to maximize the interactions by sending teacher made videos and assignments on WhatsApp and interacting with students on Google Hangout. Teachers have used props and hand-made mobile holders to make videos,” says Sunita. GETI’s aim is to help teachers develop their professional thinking and practice and enhance the quality of their teaching and learning. Sunita believes mobile is the way of the future and now with the crash course teachers have received, they will begin to integrate digital methods more often in their workplace. She adds, “Learning can be definitely more joyful, as we have seen, both teachers and students like to express themselves through media (which is the psychology used by all social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). One major advantage also is the personalization of learning which with one teacher at the helm of a class without technology is not as feasible.”
It is imperative for educational institutions to make new business collaborations while the world is changing. New technology partners can be one of them.