The distance education market is now shifting to the online education space and will be worth about $2.5 bn in the next few years. Shantanu Rooj, Founder & CEO, SchoolGuru, which partners with Indian universities to help them provide online and virtual courses for their students, talks about the opportunities in e-learning space.
Shantanu tells us, “The distance education system in India is primarily led by the 14 open universities, headed by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Traditionally, distance education programmes were afforded a second-class treatment and they comprised degree focussed courses as opposed to education focussed ones. We decided to combine distant education and on the job learning. We came up with a bridge course called the Employment Linked Skilling Programme (ELSP), a three month, soft and traditional skills module delivered online to students.”
He adds, “We have close to 10,000 apprentices who have been placed by us in various corporates across Tamil Nadu. We are also seeing Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, including Coimbatore, Tiruchy and Puducherry contributing immensely in terms of employers looking for potential candidates. We currently have 20 universities who have tied up with us pan-India.”
Schoolguru intends to train close to 1.5 lakh students on the ELSP module this year. The company is confident that 20 to 25 per cent of the students will get into apprenticeship programmes. The long term plan is to create the nation’s largest apprenticeship network, says Shantanu.