Canadian start-up Prodigy Education is enabling Indian schools to convert maths homework, of grade 1 to 8 students, into a digital game.

Instead of giving a worksheet to students, Prodigy enables teachers to set up a game on any topic (for instance, division, fractions etc) that they want the students to practice. The student is represented by a character in the game, who encounters different opponents and to win over these opponents they have to solve maths questions pre-decided by the teacher. An average Prodigy assignment duration is not more than 15-20 minutes and the teacher has the option to give 10 to 15 questions in one game.

Mahalakshmi Satish, Director-India, Prodigy Education told Businessline that the company is currently working with 200 schools, out of which close to 50 schools have taken its annual paid subscription of ₹1,380 per student. The rest of the schools are using the freemium version of the platform.

“We saw a ton of schools moving from freemium to a paid partnership with us, in the months after the pandemic. Schools were desperately looking out for tools which would help with increasing students’ attendance at that time,” she added.

With online classes, schools saw class attendance going down after the initial months of the academic year. Prodigy claims to have helped schools boost online class attendance, as students would compare their scores in the game, increasing the engagement level of the classes.

“Offline homework is a challenge, especially when teachers have to send the question paper through whatsapp or email. Post which, students again have to upload the assignments in order to submit their work. Whereas Prodigy enables teachers to monitor each student’s real-time scores along with replacing the back and forth between the teacher and students,” Satish said.

Further, the customer base of Prodigy in India has an almost equal split between Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. Satish noted that schools in Tier 1 have more options to choose from as compared to schools in Tier 2, which makes Tier 2 an untapped market. Prodigy is betting on its affordable pricing to help it expand in Tier 2 and beyond schools in India. The majority of Prodigy’s partner schools are currently in the southern and western parts of India but the company plans to soon expand to the northern region as well.