According to reports, many schools in India’s metro cities have developed their own intranet system or shifted to using platforms like Zoom. Further, for the 1.5 million government schools, which have nearly 200 million school students sitting idle at home, the Indian government has joined hands with Unicef to provide an alternative means of learning.
In the meantime, various edtech firms in the country have quickly grasped the opportunity to fill the gap moving students from chalkboards to electronic tablets. Companies like,,,andare offering free access to their platform, live classes and content.
While metros and Tier-I cities are witnessing massive engagement in online education and live streaming classes, the question stands whether digital education can cover the gap in Tier-II, III cities and villages which are often deprived of the right infrastructure and technology.
Carrying a similar objective, many edtech companies are making use ofvideos,videos and at times their inbuilt system providing online materials to study in places where live streaming classes cannot be carried out.
Far and wide
“Learning from the experience of other countries, we anticipated schools will need to close. We were able to plan a couple of weeks prior to the closing of schools,” said Sunita Gandhi, Director, Global Education & Training Institute and Global Classroom (), told ET Digital.
GETI’s teachings involve training teachers to provide digital learning and help them in sending videos of classes on WhatsApp apart from live streaming classes.
According to Gandhi, many schools joined them after the lockdown and their primary mode of communication with the students have been Google Classroom, Google Hangout, YouTube and WhatsApp.
“Given that in Tier 2 cities and with the integration of students from all socioeconomic 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,” she said.
She added that students have not only been given homework assignments, but also asked to explain their learning in the videos, making it more interactive. It has tied up with schools, namely City International Schools in Ruchi Khand, Balaganj, and Shakti Nagar, and Nurture International Schools in Kanpur, Mauranipur and Bangalore.
Catering primarily to Tier II and III cities, GETI has helped students with online education in cities such as Barabanki, Basti, Faizabad, Chikmangalur, Hassan, Dibrugarh, and Warangal, among others.
“We’ve witnessed more than 300% increase in the number of students. There has also been greater and more deepening interest since they joined. Teachers are receiving 40 to 50 videos posted by the children on a daily basis. I think this is showing the enormous capacity of the children to engage themselves when they are creatively engaged. Having them make videos of their learning has brought out more creativity and engagement than we had imagined,” she said.
Going beyond Tier-III cities, GETI has also reached the villages. It has trained teachers in City International School in Hathondha village, near Ram Snehi Ghat in Barabanki district which has around 300 rural students.
“The teachers mostly take attendance, assign tasks on WhatsApp and use Google Hangout to interact with their class in a webinar. Assignments include spoken English activities, Math, reading and worksheets,” she said, adding that they have also assured teachers of extra payment for their internet connection via mobile.
Another edtech firm which saw a considerable jump in school students using its platform since the lockdown is B2B firm Eupheus Learning. The Delhi-based firm provides curriculum-based learning from pre-K to Class X. It has tied up more than 4000 schools and provides a requirement-based curriculum with respective to the school’s educational board- CBSE or ICSE.
The firm has its inbuilt system which provides reading material online and often involves fun-with-learning classes where students learn a subject while playing a game.
“We have seen a jump in students from grade 1-8 coming to our platform to resume studies at home,” Amit Kapoor, co-founder, Eupheus Learning told ET Digital.
He mentioned that new classes will be provided from the first week of April as many schools had to reschedule academic sessions due to the lockdown. “By the first week of April, schools will start giving worksheets and concept material online,” he said, adding that they are in the process of adding a live streaming tool soon in their system.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the firm is giving young learners free access (till May 30th) to 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).
Eupheus Learning has a presence in more than 60 cities including Tier II and III cities such as Rewari, Shamli, Gorakhpur, Siliguri, Asansol, and Bhatinda among others. “Students from Tier II and III cities are more curious and inquisitive – this can be due to the limited choices available to them compared to more options available to students in Metros and Tier I cities,” he said.
Apart from schools, one of the institutions which acquire nearly 7.1 crore students every year in India are coaching classes. This is almost 26% of the number of students in the country.
Delhi-based Classplus, which allows private coaching institutes and tutors to digitize their content has been taking extra initiatives in the coronavirus pandemic to make sure the show must go on. It ties up coaching classes and enables online lessons, tests, and multimedia educational content. Many of its teachers’ videos are available on YouTube explaining subjects and tactics to clear entrance exams.
“We have made some of our platform functionalities available to students free of cost and are seeing a massive shift in the market from an offline to an online one. Teachers are readily using our video platform to make their lessons available to students anytime and anywhere,” Mukul Rastogi, co-founder, Classplus, told ET Digital.
Rastogi claims there is a considerable surge in the number of users of their platform and a huge traffic flow from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. “Since a lot of their existing teachers have now started coming online, the students are keen to engage with their teachers via their online ecosystem,” he said, adding that more than half of Classplus’ users come from Tier-II cities such as Bhopal, Gwalior and Srinagar.