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Will uncertainty over online classes hit India’s $1.9 billion edtech sector?

Karnataka became the first state to announce a ban on virtual classes till Class 7 after parents had complained that schools are holding the sessions for several hours in a day

Published: 11th June 2020 07:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th June 2020 07:49 PM   |  A+A-

online classes, teachers, digital classroom

A teacher takes an online class for school students (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

After an initial spike in the number of users and annual subscriptions, India’s booming $1.9 billion edtech industry may suffer a jolt if more governments join Karnataka in taking steps to ban online classes for school students. Karnataka became the first state to announce a ban on virtual classes till Class 7 after parents had complained that schools are holding the sessions for several hours in a day.   

A survey by SimilarWeb on India’s top 35 online learning platforms suggested that the user number grew by 26% YoY (April-March 2020) during the lockdown with nearly 128 million visits in the first month. Post lockdown, as schools and colleges continued to remain shut, these edtech platforms were able to retain a majority of their traffic suggesting that online learning is here to stay.

Edtech unicorn BYJU'S along with Vedantu, Toppr and several others accounted for more than half of the traffic share during the lockdown. Online school learning platforms also announced free learning programmes for students and teachers who are homebound. BYJU'S had registered nearly 6 million students in March alone when Lockdown 1.0 was announced. A majority of school level online learning platforms saw user registrations increase by 100-150% MoM during the lockdown period.

“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, students are currently able to download and access BYJU’S learning programs for free until the end of April. Since our announcement, we have witnessed a 60% increase in the number of new students using the app to learn from home daily during the first month of the lockdown. Students across both metros and non metros are increasingly accessing the lessons on the app. In fact, students with year-end exams (higher grades) are using  the video lessons to revise crucial concepts while the younger grade students are learning new concepts and getting themselves ready for the coming year,” Divya Gokulnath, co-founder & director, BYJU'S, told The New Indian Express in an emailed statement.



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