Interview

“E-Learning enable quality & affordable education for all in India” Navin I, Eduvirtuoso

So, I am one of the founders of Eduvirtuoso. K to 12, predictive infotainment-based learning platform for the bottom of Pyramid customers. We were founded in July 2017 and currently one of the top ed-tech company in India. We are on a mission here to deliver equitable education to every last Indian.

What are the technology trends that we will witness in e-learning in India this year?

So, first is augmented learning. AR based apps will provide true immersive learning experience. Second is Virtual Reality which will gamify the entire education sector and third is the use of data science and big data like machine learning and artificial intelligence which will enable us to predict the student’s learning curve i.e. for example his strengths and weaknesses. It will provide a surgical precision to assist the student in clearing his doubts like whichever topic is exactly he is weak in. He will be able to identify, capture and plus you know and help him in what he has done and many more trends will be put to good use in coming days and already Maharashtra has started a home schooling board and this only offers more flexibility for the parents and the students to explore more of this technology.

Eduvirtuoso has been created on which technology platform and what is the innovation behind this?

Well, Eduvirtuoso is in itself a separate platform which makes use of all the latest technologies to help students to access quality educations and teachers to excel at their content delivery. Innovations here are largely frugal by nature right from the development of content to the tech deployed for the distribution and we were also one of the first company in India to use machine learning which has enabled us to pinpoint the pain area of every student and accordingly suggestion or solutions for his problem and even the duration of every video content that we have is tailor made to the average attention span of the kids in that particular age.

What kind of solution & services does Eduvirtuoso provide and who all are your target audience?

So, Eduvirtuoso is majorly focused on the underserved Kg to 12th students’ problems. If you see about 91% of Indian schools are ill-equipped according to the UNICEF report and they certainly are not capable to handle most of the demands of the modern education ecosystem and a large majority of them are located in rural & semi-rural areas. So, what we focus on is building a solution and service that can solve this one major problem which is also affordable to all the students and can substitute the students going to the schools and of course extra tuitions. Therefore, this is the place where we are heavily deploying our resources to every reach out like every village and taluk and to promote this affordable and quality education and thus students and parents from tier-3, 4, 5 towns become our primary audience.

What is the definition of a fun-filled, high quality educational program from your company’s perspective?

Such a program will offer learning to the kid subconsciously and i.e. the students will be able to do what they like for example play games and watch movies, but the learning happens constantly. They must not feel the burden of the academics. The learning must be imbibed in their daily activities. It should be just limited to the 5-6 subjects that their school prescribes and must focus on the skills that will help them later in their life and also make them more employable which is the most important fact of education.

How the interactive videos and high-quality learning modules you provide are different from other textbooks and learning apps that exist?

The key points of differentiation here is that our content is aimed at replacing screen time of kids to something more productive and that is one being lying to their academic curriculum. Most of the market player seem to have a teacher in a video explaining a concept. Now these are the teachers the students see in their daily classroom since in schools as well the extra tuitions. Therefore, there is not much incentive for the students to sit through such boring lectures once again. This is being rendered ineffective and especially in a home setup where they are not being supervised. Kids inherently watch a lot of cartoons and their inertia to change is very less when their academic modules are explained to them in a similar way i.e. animations and that’s exactly what we do.

How does it engage the parents and help their children become independent learners?

Infact, parents are the ones to heavily benefited by our services specially those families where both of them are working as they can provide unsupervised teaching and learning experience to their kids. Plus, the pricing of our products is such that its per day cost is less than the cost of a cup of tea or a coffee. It is a huge advantage for the parents as they don’t have to invest their fortune in their extra tuition and allied activities. So, basically we are doing some real service for the fellow citizens where we are completely solving their main problems of these parents at a very very affordable pricing which is very important here because this is a segment we are going after the villagers tier 3, 4, 5 and the bottom of pyramid segment and the pricing becomes very very crucial also value for money product needs to be done and implemented in a very authentic way.

What is your advice to policymakers for enabling quality and affordable education for all in India?

Educational system in India is based on the Bengalis way of education which was designed to promote industrial era workers and it badly needs a revolution. Major problems in the Indian education systems are that there is a serious lack of functional literacy and literacy is just not always equal to knowledge. There is unemployment despite job vacancies. The education system promotes private tuitions. There is no major government trust promoting the right to quality education and theoretical knowledge is being forced upon young students. Lastly the cost of education is too high compared to the disposable income of families and access to quality education is concentrated to the wealthy few. So, stress should be on knowledge and learning rather than being obsessed about marks. Only way is to do away with marks and to replace them with grades. Another important thing is that the education should be delivered in their own mother tongue because that time the individual can learn best. For example, the Scandinavian countries like China or even Japan will search to so much because the medium of instruction in which they learn were not alien to them. Lastly the education criteria in jobs should be done away with and skills criteria should be brought in which should be made mandatory also and this whole ecosystem should revolve around this one single metric where they should be able to be judged on their skills rather than what theoretical knowledge they have acquired. For example, there is 2 points in an aspiring data scientist studying about English literature, history or geography.

Share a little about your journey and about your visions about Edu virtuoso?

We started our journey in 2017 with a wish to democratize education and it has been a great twenty months so far. We have like twenty lakhs active users on our platform and so far around thirty thousand customers who have paid for our services majorly from lower bottom of pyramid segments and from villages as well. That is where we are adding about 15 new paid users every day. We are boost up so far and we have built up a very sustainable business impacting the student’s lives who don’t have access to this basic education infrastructure. We wish a nation where every student has access to same quality education which is focused on developing skills rather than rote memorization and possibly where that quality education can be free and sustainable as well.

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