Technology streamlining India’s unorganized home tuition segmentAli Asgar Kagzi
Can you recall those school days when you and your mother struggled to find a good home tutor for subjects like Math, Physics, Chemistry or even French? Either you had to ask your batch mates from the neighbourhood for recommendations or had to rely on the random pamphlets stuck on lamp posts that read out, “Need Home tuitions? Call on 991*******”. Almost every millennial would be able to relate to this situation.
We are living in a highly competitive era today when every student aims to excel in academics for a bright future. Unfortunately, the existing education system is not yet as relevant and updated as it should be, which forces parents and their children to seek after-school tutoring to increase their educational outcomes and achieve the best possible results. But as they say, every child is different and comes with different learning abilities and grasping power. This is what created the need for private home tuitions where the child would get individual attention and be given the chance to learn in an environment that is wholly his own. The hurdle was to find a teacher who could privately notice a child’s weak areas in any subject and helm him hone those areas. It isn’t as easy as it may sound. As the country’s home tutor market is highly unorganized due to a lack of major players, parents either have to pay heftily for home tutoring or else end up compromising on quality education. A market that operates more on word of mouth discovery, makes it difficult for both the students and parents to seamlessly get access to quality home tutors.
The ever-growing demand for private coaching within the faulty infrastructure of a weak mainstream education system of India has made the country’s private coaching industry worth $45 billion dollars, which is likely touch $70 billion this year. But again, the major problem for tutors is to find students to expand and sustain their network and for students it is to find the best suited and qualified tutors according to their preferences.
Considering this discrepancy in demand and supply of qualified tutors, some new-age companies decided to alter the scenario by leveraging technology in creating innovative platforms to bridge the gap between parents, students, and tutors. Right from finding a tutor, to opting for his/her services, keeping course content engaging and monitoring performance, they offer all the services needed to make access to private home tuitions hassle- free. In a way, technology is not only giving the parents and students the advantage of finding the best-suited home tutors in their vicinity, but it is also giving a wonderful platform to people who are passionate about teaching, to convert this passion into a career.
In this process of providing quality and professional tutors, not just the educators and academic professionals are getting empowered by turning into entrepreneurs, but many working professionals, housewives, new mothers, etc. are also leveraging the opportunity to start doing part-time tutoring for that additional income within their preferred vicinity. They are using the services of these tech-enabled platforms to scale up their tutoring ventures as well as equipping themselves with new skills in order to offer more comprehensive and effective coaching and also create a bigger student base to make their way into the organized education ecosystem. Moreover, till now, payments in this segment were mostly done in cash which escaped the tax net and thus remained unaccounted in the country’s GDP. Tech-enabled tutoring platforms emphasize on online payments from the parents that are paid to the home tutors via bank transfer only. This income record would eventually bring the entire home tutoring market into the formal economy, which otherwise is still at a nascent stage.
Online platforms offering offline private tutoring are determined to bring an impact on the mass level by enabling tutors to focus only on teaching and delivering quality education without bothering about the marketing, branding, assessment, analysis and administrative hassles. Over the past few years, many education start-ups have brought teachers and students together in real time. However, the advent of technology is now going beyond by bringing a revolutionary transition from online to offline for the benefit of the country’s private or home tutoring market. To succeed, both the new and the existing startups would be required to build integrated and scalable models that can ensure good tutor management, robust training, remote monitoring of tutors, as well as use of tools and techniques like analytics and artificial intelligence to ensure a significant and effective outcome for each student.