InvestorQ : Is it true that edtech companies are now going back to classroom teaching and why is that happening?
vidhya Laxmi made post

Is it true that edtech companies are now going back to classroom teaching and why is that happening?

sarah Leo answered.
2 weeks ago

For a long time, the Edtechs sold the idea of online learning to the students and encouraged them to give up on offline learning. Now the same Edtechs are reverting back to the good old guru-shishya method of teaching through classrooms. During the pandemic and after, when classrooms were shut, online learning was the only available option. The result was a massive surge in valuations of Edtechs as online looked like the delivery of choice for education. Eventually boredom has set in and now it is back to offline education.

Even as Edtechs have suffered on numbers and valuations in the last few months, they are extremely desperate for growth, for profits. After all, PE funding has been drying up in the absence of something really exciting. . Offline teaching appears to fit the bill in all possible ways as the road to expand for the online Edtechs. Parents were getting disenchanted by pure online and were looking for classroom teaching too. Edtechs realized that if you cannot beat the classroom model, then as well you should join them. That is genesis.

It is not just the king of Edtechs, Byju’s, that is going aggressively offline. Even other Indian edtech unicorns like Unacademy, Upgrad and Vedantu are discovering that offline can be a big trigger for future growth. And it can be immensely value accretive too. Edtechs are now looking at a possible hybrid model of online and offline course delivery. Byju’s and other edtech players are investing in bricks-and-mortar tutoring centres that will act as adjunct classrooms to the online franchise that is already provided.

It is almost like the relevance of digital education needs to be redefined and unless these Edtechs crack that physical story, they have a rather bleak future. Byju’s has already opened more than 200 tutoring centres to cater to schoolchildren and plans to scale up this offline presence to 500 centres. Others are not too far behind. The likes of Unacademy, Vedantu and even PhysicsWallah are investing heavily in the hybrid model of education which involves offline plus online delivery to give students exactly what they need.

Edtechs are still a huge opportunity. With 26 crore school going students, the opportunity is still huge and there is still a humongous opportunity for the Edtechs. The ideas is to get the students better prepared for the real world rather than a focus on rote learning. Yes, there have been concerns over aggressive cost cutting by Edtechs and huge layoffs, but that is part of the game and evolution process. Hopefully, offline should provide the Edtechs with firepower to bridge the gaps in their current model. And impress the PE investors too.