With schools and offices shut nationwide for nearly two months, students and professionals are swarming online classes, providing a boost for edtech businesses.
Bengaluru-based online learning firm Vedantu said user numbers surged after it began offering free student access to its entire learning platform during the lockdown.
Vedantu’s subscriber base shot up from 50,000 before the lockdown to 650,000 now, as new learners signed up for classes I-XII and competitive examinations such as Joint Entrance Examination, or JEE, and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, or NEET, according to co-founder and chief executive Vamsi Krishna.
Since the lockdown began, 1 million students attended live classes on Vedantu’s interactive platform Wave, which has high student-teacher interaction and enables teachers to run live quizzes and leaderboards, among others, according to Krishna.
“We will continue to provide free access to our platform to support students across the country, ensuring uninterrupted and uncompromised learning, from the safety of their homes,” Krishna said.
During the lockdown, Vedantu has crossed 1 billion minutes of watch time across its platform and channels, Krishna said, adding that revenue rose 80% over the previous March, the highest growth in more than two years.
Aakash Digital, an online learning platform of Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) that prepares students for medical and engineering exams, said the number of daily active users in April was four times more than a year ago.
“There has been a substantial jump in numbers in April, as compared to March, the pre-lockdown period,” said Aakash Chaudhry, chief executive officer of Aakash Educational Services.
Daily enrolments on Aakash Digital tripled in April from the preceding month of March, while daily active users on its iTutor app rose almost five times from 7,000 in March to 34,500 in April.
“All our regular classroom batches are running on schedule without any delay or disruption, with the faculties taking live online classes. AESL has been enrolling and educating students who want to study exclusively online. We are pleased to offer support to students who are continuing their education from home to tide over the disruption in education caused by covid-19,” added Chaudhry.
A report by global online learning platform Udemy shows that online learning enrolments have soared across the world. In India, the number of student enrolments after the lockdown began has tripled.
Apart from students, professionals are also going online for upskilling and reskilling. According to a LinkedIn survey, over three in five Indian professionals (63%) plan to spend more time on online learning as a response to remote working, a shrinking job market and the need for upskilling.
The survey found that while 60% of Indian professionals want to gain more industry knowledge, 57% want to learn how they can advance in their careers, and 45% want to improve their communication capabilities through online learning.
No wonder, Udemy’s findings for the India region showed a surge in communication skill courses by sevenfold, financial analysis courses by more than fourfold and business fundamentals courses by nearly fourfold.
“We have increasingly seen people opting to learn online for many years now, but covid-19 has really accelerated that trend. As countries around the world issued shelter-in-place orders, we saw incredible surges in course enrolments as learners looked to Udemy to upskill, stay busy, or increase productivity. In India, we have seen a 200% growth in enrolments in the past two months alone,” said Irwin Anand, managing director, Udemy India.
The article was first published on livemint.com