The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) of 2018 highlighted various learning gaps among Indian school students and found that 56 percent of students in Class VIII could not divide a three-digit number with a single-digit one; 72 percent of students in Class V couldn’t do division at all, and 70 percent Class III students were unable to do basic subtraction.
While the reasons for this could range from poor quality of education and rote learning to marco issues such as curricula and teaching methods, the gap in learning math is quite significant and rampant across the country.
While reports from the World Economic Forum state that critical thinking and problem solving will be the most important skills for jobs of the future, a weak foundation in math may lead to a majority of such jobs being inaccessible.
It was with the vision to help students learn math the right way and overcome the difficulties they face due to traditional blackboard learning, that Cuemath was born.
“Math is the language of everyday thinking and problem-solving. The ability to hold a job in the near future will depend on a person's math ability, making it one of the most valuable skills. And at Cuemath, we are teaching children how to learn math the right way” says Manan Khurma CEO, Cuemath
A platform for change
Several studies and surveys over the years have shown that students prefer online education when it comes to preparing for competitive exams, but stick to conventional methods for other types of examinations.
Moreover, experts believe that online education is best-suited for those in higher grades, while those in lower grades respond better to traditional classroom teaching to understand concepts. Cuemath offers the best of both these worlds. Founded in 2013, Cuemath is an after-school math excellence programme for children between KG and Class 10, and is offered through a mix of home-based centres and an online portal based on the child’s grade. These classes are managed and run by trained and certified Cuemath teachers from premier institutes like IIT & Cambridge University.
So, along with helping children excel at mathematics, this model also empowers educated women and qualified homemakers to get back into the game with a home-based career opportunity. They teach neighbourhood children by setting up home-based centres, which are run independently; timings and intake of students are decided by the homemakers themselves.
The model uses Cuemath’s tech-enabled multi-format learning system - workbooks, tab, and puzzle cards to teach students in heterogeneous groups. These trained and certified facilitators, also referred to as Cuemath Teacher Partners, are handpicked from a vast pool of highly-qualified and educated women who are looking to switch or restart their careers. After undergoing the screening process, they are trained and made to appear for multiple assessments before being certified. This ensures the quality and credibility of their home-based Cuemath centers. Cuemath Teacher Partners are provided with Cuemath’s proprietary learning system to conduct classes and administrative systems to manage and grow their centers.
Making math fun
One of the key USPs of Cuemath is that it is not a regular math tuition class, but an after-school math learning programme that uses experiential learning methods. It uses a three-pronged approach that includes:
-school math(workbooks & unlimited practice)
-mental aptitude (verbal, non-verbal, logical and calculation skills)
-creative reasoning (to develop out-of-the-box thinking)
Such an approach allows students to work through concepts at their own pace and create their own mental patterns to solve problems. Cuemath’s core belief is that a strong math foundation can have a transformative impact on a child’s future. The teaching methodology does not focus on memorisation, but offers an immersive experience where the teachers spend time and create an activity associated with each lesson. Each activity is played out between the teacher and the student and allows the student to deeply experience that concept so that the latter can recall it in their own words.
At a Cuemath math tuition, students spend 45 minutes working on understanding concepts with trained and certified home tutors, 10 minutes on improving their calculation speed, and five minutes on solving math puzzles and enhancing their reasoning skills.
The teacher-student learning format, especially one where students get individual attention, has shown to deliver consistent learning outcomes. Unlike other learning platforms, where the teachers don’t know their students’ names, the learning at Cuemath is customised for every child, and the students get individual attention from the teacher. The technology, platform, easy to use pedagogy and customised tools enable every teacher to be a great math teacher.
Growing and learning
Since its inception in 2013, Cuemath has grown in leaps and bounds, starting with its seed funding in 2014. The following year, it launched operations in Bengaluru and Chennai and also bagged marquee investors. In January 2016, Sequoia Capital invested $4 Million in Series A round of funding and by April 2016 of that year, Cuemath hit a landmark number of 1,000 centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, along with presence in smaller cities.
By 2017, Cuemanth was running 2,000 centres educating more than 10,000 students across the country. Three years after it raised $15 million in its last round from Capital G and Sequoia India, Cuemath, in December 2019, raised $5.5 million in its extended Series B funding round led by Manta Ray Ventures Limited and saw participation from existing investors Capital G by Google and Sequoia India.
Today, Cuemath has 5,000 centres present in 80+ cities in India and is training 40,000+ students through its programme. This growth has been fuelled by the zero capex model, where Cuemath teachers operate from their own homes.
The expansion is not limited to India and physical classes either. - Last year, Cuemath expanded its offering for higher grades with Cuemath LEAP – a live, online, interactive program that caters to children from Class 7 to Class 10. Here, students log on to an online portal and have Cuemath classes with trained professional teachers on a 1-1 basis. This gives students 5x more attention than in class which leads to better learning outcomes.
The tech platform customises every class, and every worksheet for each student, allowing the completion of course curricula in 20 percent less time than other classes would. Students have also shown to almost double their speed in six months and double their logical ability in a year.
The online model has enabled Cuemath to expand into global markets too. With 500+ international students and 7x average revenue compared to India, Cuemath is opening up a huge ed-tech market potential internationally. The online platform will account for more than 50 percent of Cuemath’s revenues by the end of this year and serves students from over 15 countries including the US, the UK and Canada as well.
Bridging the gap
While emerging technologies have led to an increase in edtech platforms, the usage and consumption of the content on these platforms are limited owing to gaps in existing learning mechanism and aspirant’s needs. This essentially points to a need for greater engagement to motivate students with continuous, mentored learning.
According to a report by KPMG in collaboration with Google, the paid user base for online education is expected to touch 9.6 million by 2021. While the report indicates that there is a demand for online content, the majority of the demand for pre-recorded videos is exam preparation, and hence not suitable for students looking to learn concepts.
Excelling beyond the classroom
Apart from excelling in classroom mathematics, Cuemath also helps students become Olympiad ready with the Cuemath Olympiad Prep Pack, which contains Math Olympiad topic-wise worksheets, Mock Tests and regular doubt clearing sessions. With the Cuemath way of learning, children not only excel in School Math, they also show a 2x increase in Logical Reasoning skills.
In addition to the learning system Cuemath employs, the educators on Cuemath go the extra mile in ensuring that children perform well at school across different curricula. This is done through add-on modules that Cuemath students get through their course. These include:
- Mental Math & Number Games App: a module , where just 10 minutes of practice a day is enough to help kids improve their calculation skills in terms of speed and accuracy. To download click here - http://bit.ly/2POefZk
- Headstart Pack- a recap of the previous year’s concepts , and warm-up workbooks
- Exam Prep Pack- a selection of half-yearly and final exam-related mock tests, revision workbooks and unlimited concept practice exercises
- Summer Camp with Coding- a set of additional summer classes to focus on learning new skills like coding, problem solving via fun math puzzles and visualisations, and teamwork via group activities
Summer Math Loss
This Summer, as schools close for the break leaving students to spend their time relaxing, parents need to be aware of the dreaded Summer Math loss. According to a Harvard Study, each year the lack of classes or learning activities during the Summer break leads to children unlearning the concepts or topics they have learnt in the previous year. This loss in learning can be upto two months.
To bridge this gap, Cuemath is launching the Summer Camp where students can experience the fun side of math and develop new skills like coding, critical thinking and more.
To know more and reserve a spot for your child, book a trial at a centre near you today. http://bit.ly/2IgOEUK
Parents of Cuemath students have noticed a remarkable difference in their kids’ math aptitudes as well as general confidence in the subject. Here's what some parents have to say:
Aditi's Mom, Renuka, Grade 5
"My daughter used to be afraid of math earlier. She used to be extremely shy in class and lacked the confidence to ask doubts. Ever since she joined Cuemath two years ago, her math foundation has become extremely strong and now her friends ask to solve their doubts. Her transformation has been amazing"
Gaurav, Rahul's father, Grade 6
"Rahul has always been a good student. However, at school, he was lacking that guidance that could take him to the next level. This is where Cuemath's learning system and his teacher came in to take that 90- 95 percent. He was able to solve questions beyond his grade level and he has gotten International Rank 1 in the International Math Olympiad as well"-
Soujas's parents, Neelima & Arnav, Grade 7 (online math class)
"At first, we were apprehensive about an online math teacher. We tried the app route but that did not have the rigour needed for school exams. At Cuemath, we noticed a shift in Soujas's attitude to math. He seemed to enjoy his math classes more and his performance in school also improved drastically. The main reason is that his online teacher is invested in Aditya's future and is constantly helping him improve by highlighting gaps and developing strategies to overcome them."