Hardik has been at the helm of affairs at E-class Education System Ltd. The 28-year old has been in charge of the company since its inception. He has been instrumental in product and technology development at E-class. Today, he is a known face in the education field and in appreciation, for his key insights on matters about both education and technology.
Hardik Shah in an interview with Suman Prasad spoke in length about E-class, how it is adding value to the Indian education system, its time with state boards and different others facets of digital education.
Excerpts from the interview:
Idea behind starting start E-class
The E-Class story was born out of the need for high quality, engaging and accessible education. The core philosophy of E-Class is to inspire a lifelong love of learning, to spark interest in studies and spread easy digital education to all.
It was started in 2010 with only a few standards content. After realising the impact and requirement of this content we developed more content. The basic idea is to provide schools and students with an add on teaching aid, which will take away their stress from studies.
E-class adding value to the education system
We have developed syllabus based digital educational content, which is in regional language. Covering Hindi, Urdu, English and Marathi medium. Our k-10 content can be used by all the 20 million school students in Maharashtra Board and all the 1.25 lac schools. Most of these companies do not have school syllabus education in a digital format. We are very different from live teacher enabled learning and we focus on explaining each concept in depth with animated videos and pictures.
From then to now
We have a pure sales model. We provide our content in the form of pen drives, memory cards, servers to schools and students individually. We have covered over 900 schools from the start, 25,000 students individually, and over 65000 android tablets are powered with E-class content today.
Tie-up with Maharashtra State Board
Our parent company Sundaram Multi Pap has been the market leader in Maharashtra Since the last 33 years. We have a strong base here, and considering the growth of this state we had decided to start here. We have developed syllabus based content for State Board and are looking forward to cover the state of UP and Gujarat next.
The impact of social media on digital education
Digital education is required in all segments, and it will be great if the students understand this and start using digital tools for their studies. Social media has grown tremendously and today a user purchases a new phone to use social media apps. It can help in spreading knowledge but social media platforms are mostly for other content and marketing purpose.
Digital education in rural areas
The tier 2 and 3 cities have shown more growth in upgradation than ever before. Everyone is upgrading and understands the impact of digital education. Yes internet is still a hassle in these areas, which is why we have introduced offline content and systems. We believe good digital content can be provided offline. Schools and students, who are learning from basic black and white textbooks today, can upgrade themselves to digital content in the offline format.
Rural India is very much ready for the upgrade; it’s just the matter of reach. Low quality DVDs with educational content are still present in the market today, as they are locally made. Idea is to market and reach out to these people.
Digital learning industry in India
India’s online education industry is expected to grow almost eight times to hit $1.96 billion by 2021. In India 260 million students are from primary and secondary education segment. Digital Education is going to have a very big impact on the students and people of this country. Due to the decreased prices of smart phones, most of the users can afford a device. The same can be used to provide digital education via apps. Over the next few years, many people will be open to the idea of learning online with added tools and resource materials.
Digital India transforming the education sector
Our main goal is to make learning a fun activity and reduce stress among students. By studying from digital content, these students can understand each chapter in a better and easy way. Kids are always fascinated with digital videos, and movies. They all remember each movie scene in detail, because while watching a movie all their senses are active. Keeping this in mind, we have converted the black and white textbook to life by having live animations and pictures to explain the chapter, making it easy for them to remember.
We aim at contributing to the very important base level, by generating a strong educated student force.
Innovation at E-class
We are the first company to introduce offline educational content in schools. We have also upgraded from the normal offline devices to technologically advanced android apps. Innovation is a key for any Edtech company.
We have recently launched our online app Edzam to cater to the pan world education market by providing education via our cloud servers.
Skill development in India
We are looking into skill development, but our country needs offline centres for the same. We are working on the model where we can provide digital educational videos for the training of unskilled labour.