Aakash Institute to introduce dual-teacher model in physical centres

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on September 28, 2021

In this model, a master teacher will deliver the lecture digitally while a locally present teacher would have the ability to stop the lecture and interact with the students

Byju’s-owned Aakash Institute is planning to introduce a dual teacher model in its physical centres.

In the dual teacher model, a master (experienced) teacher will deliver the lecture digitally while a locally present teacher would have the ability to stop the lecture and interact with the students to resolve doubts in the physical environment, Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services told BusinessLine.

“I think most players in the test-prep segment would want to launch such an offering because this makes a very positive sense. You get the teacher interaction locally, along with a great lecture from an experienced teacher,” he added.

Earlier this month, Amazon’s test prep vertical Amazon Academy also joined hands with Sri Chaitanya (a competitor of Aakash Educational Services) to offer live online classes by Sri Chaitanya teachers on Amazon Academy. Byju’s has already introduced a similar two-teacher model in its online tuition program, Byju’s Live Classes wherein the master teacher delivers the complete lecture while another teacher is present on the live call to interact and help the students with doubts.

Post the $940 million (cash and stock) acquisition deal between Byju’s and Aakash Educational Services, the three-decade old company is going through a major overhaul to become an omnichannel test-prep company. The company plans to launch 100 new connected centres in the next six months, in addition to its existing network of over 250 offline centres.

These connected centres will have digital boards enabling teachers to teach students on the screen using widgets, animations, and images etc. These new classrooms will be powered by high-speed internet, allowing students to also access the lectures from their homes, if they want to study in a hybrid format.

Pre-loaded course content

Students will also have the option to buy tablets with pre-loaded course content and stay connected with the classes. While the course content in Aakash’s connected centres and tablets is the same that the company was offering to online classroom students, they are leveraging Byju’s capabilities to offer learning tablets.

“Earlier students would come to the centre, get their education and after leaving the centres they would get completely disconnected from the teacher and the ecosystem. But now with technology and this seamless way of learning, even after the classes are over, students will be able to remain connected and continue their learning with their batches and teachers, even if they are studying at home,” said Chaudhry.

The expansion plans of Aakash also include increasing footprint in tier 3 and tier 4 cities. To power this expansion, the company plans to add another 1,000 teachers by the end of this year, in addition to their existing 2,500 teacher base.

“The concept of having a star teacher is oversubscribed in India. My point against that is, Aakash has more than 200 centres and we maintain the quality of teachers across the country. So far, this has not been a challenge because our technology and our methodology of hiring talented young candidates and training them to become good teachers and get positioned and stationed at tier 1,2, and 3 locations has been a cornerstone for our success,” said Chaudhry.

He added that the company has taken the star teacher thought-process to a star system thought-process where it ensures that even if it is a remote town, students get to learn from great teachers. “We have taken the benefit of low rentals, low administrative staff, but we have not compromised on the academic quality. And that is why, we’ve been able to scale,” said Chaudhry.

Aakash Institute has till now spent ₹30-40 crore in building such connected centres and estimates a similar amount of investment to go into creating the next wave of centres. Overall, Chaudhry expects to spend about ₹100 crore in the next two to three years, upping the company’s capabilities not only in the classrooms but outside of the classrooms as well.

Published on September 28, 2021

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