With free online distance learning programme, EasyShiksha is empowering students from small towns and villagesShruti Kedia
Through its various verticals, Sunil Sharma hopes to empower the students and move from technical knowledge to technical skills-based education programme.
With an aim to make learning more interesting with distance learning solutions, 25-year-old Sunil Sharma founded EasyShiksha in 2012.
“EasyShiksha may look like a startup but is a lot like education itself. As one’s education does not end after a degree, EasyShiksha not only helps you get educated in your field of interest but also guides you in choosing your career based on your performance,” says Sunil, a B Tech graduate who specialised in Computer Science.
With digitisation, students today go online to access information related to their college education and for study materials to prepare for competitive exams and gain an insight and real-time information about educational institutions.
Through EasyShiksha, Sunil explains that users can explore thousands of institutes with their courses, faculty, facilities, and placement details and can choose the right institution for higher education. The website also provides a platform for colleges and universities to advertise their courses. Further, many institutes also publish their press releases on the website, providing regular updates on school registration, scholarships availability, exam results, jobs and vacancies.
The team claims that the web portal receives over 50,000 views per month while adding 20 percent new users every 30 days.
EasyShiksha, an endeavour of HawksCode Softwares Pvt. Ltd., began with a vision to make education better and easy for everyone. The education platform aims to make shiksha (education) easy for educators and edu-seekers alike.
Coming from a rural background, Sunil faced multiple challenges in his path to getting an education. There was a lack of awareness and little information available to students in small towns and villages about the multiple options they can choose from.
“In India we have a great amount of talent. However, I realised that there were two barriers— social and economical— that are stopping the talent from getting a good platform to shine,” he says.
Due to financial constraints, lack of information and guidance about the new-age education fields, Sunil believes that children remain orthodox in their thoughts and fail to get a proper education in accordance with their skillset.
Hence, Sunil was motivated to work in the education sector with an aim to provide a level playing field to all children, by providing them with information and mentoring them on the varied opportunities available to them globally.
He quit his US-based MNC job by 2012 and founded EasyShikha, which is based in Jaipur.
“In this internet era, a student from a village too can get information about opportunities with the help of an educational portal. We think that every student has right to get quality education,” he adds.
Initially, EasyShiksha was envisaged to be a simple website that provided a user details about thousands of colleges across India. Slowly, the web portal evolved to provide students and parents all the necessary tools required to help them make an informed choice about the education and the jobs and career prospects thereafter. Over a period of six years the website has come to host the following verticals:
- Career Helper helps students know their career choices. The programme helps them discover their strength, interest, and talent, thereby providing them information on varied occupations. The career helper programme is based on four tests - IQ test, Basic Test, Advance Test and Psychometric test.
- EasyShiksha Magazine, introduced on April 5, 2018, is a small prototype of EasyShiksha’s web portal. It aims to provide a user all information related to the field of education— case studies, opportunities, new updates in the education world, and informatic articles. Presently, the magazine is available in the digital format while the print edition is expected to be published shortly. The team is working on the second edition.
- The Campus Ambassador programme enables the organisation to stay connected with colleges and their events. This initiative gives them a chance to represent their college at a global web platform. With the programme students from all over India can share their ideas and maximise their learning. They are also responsible for administering and managing the EasyShiksha events and activities on their campus.
- The web portal also provides information on over 50 free distance learning online courses that support students and help them improve their knowledge without being physically present for the studies. Some of courses include programming courses, digital photography, cooking, and software testing.
- The team also supports students who compete for various government exams for postings in railroad, SSC and bank-related jobs. They have started a free online test series where users can test their skills and knowledge in a particular subject.
The business model
EasyShiksha provides users information related to the education sector free of cost.
While many other online education web portals like Byju’s and Khan Academy provide similar services, Sunil believes that EasyShiksha is unique since it “provides many services on a single platform.” Here, users get access to information related to college search, online courses, online test series, career helper, among others, on one website.
With a partnership-based revenue model EasyShiksha, in 2015, registered themselves as an enterprise. Their partners include Eclipse Education, Future Scope, Fair Exhibition Organisers, AQT, HDFC Credila and the Indian Education Congress.
Future lies in skill training
While India is home to some of the oldest universities, like Nalanda and Takshashila, Sunil opines that the present universities and education institutions, other than the IITs and IIMs, fail to focus on practical knowledge and skill development. Even the school-level education does not provide any skill development courses, as they focus primarily on theoretical knowledge.
“Outdated syllabus is also a big issue. Schools and college curriculum are not updated. College syllabus should be according to industry requirements. Our education system does not offer working and research-based programmes. We need to produce creative minds from our universities and colleges. India needs job creators, not job seekers,” he adds.
Through its various verticals, including the free online skill-based distance learning programme, Sunil hopes to empower the students and make a difference in the studying procedure. EasyShiksha recently also launched a mobile-based application.
In 2017, EasyShiksha was featured among the ‘Top 25 Start-Ups’ at Rajasthan DigiFest.