THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Gone are the days when students had to rush from one tuition centre to another for extra classes in addition to the heavy workload at school. Thanks to a plethora of smart learning apps developed by edtech startups, they can now learn from the comfort of their own home.
The apps offer original content, instructional videos, animated and interactive simulations that help students grasp things easily and in a fun way. Edtech startups follow a freemium model - some content is offered for free, while users have to pay for accessing advanced levels.
For instance, the app developed by Byju’s, a well-known edtech startup started by a Malayali, is being used by 40 lakh students. Of these, 1.6 lakh are paid, subscribers. Many IT startups in the state are pivoting towards edtech because of the growing demand for smart tutorial apps.
Mohammed Hizamuddin, founder and CEO of Kochi-based Entri.me, said that they have over 30 lakh users in the state who prepare for competitive examinations. According to Hizamuddin, the company focuses on PSC examinations. “We provide different model question papers so that the users can get a broad idea of what to expect. Our users have scored higher ranks in PSC exams, which is a positive sign. So, we are in the process of expanding our services to other states as well,” he said.
According to Sijo Kuruvilla, former CEO of Kerala Start-up Village, learning apps are becoming popular among students due to the outdated education system in place.“Our state still has a 20th-century education system. This is the 21st century and it is high time to shift focus to learning through apps. Though schools are still following the conventional system, students have started using apps that have more advantages. It is a positive trend. If the retention rate is 10 per cent in the conventional method, then it is 90 per cent in smart tutorials. So, smart apps can provide a better learning environment,” he said.
E-learning is a reality and has to be integrated into the school education system, said Kerala Infrastructure and Technology Education vice-chairman K Anvar Sadath.“Our system has some limitations. We can’t give smartphones to school students. There are some practical difficulties in forcing students to learn through mobiles. Existing mobile apps have a set of target audience. We need to implement it for a broader audience.