In today's fast-paced world, technology is impacting each and every domain, and the education industry is no exception. Education technology and technological trends are reshaping the teaching and learning methods. With the advent of technology, newer generation of learners is seeking more from their education providers. This gap is being bridged by ed-tech solution providers who are leveraging various technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Machine Learning (MI) to provide simple yet effective education solutions to the learners. Set up in 2012, Schoolguru Eduserve is one such firm which was established with a vision to revolutionize the way education is delivered to higher education students in India. "We at Schoolguru Eduserve, realized early on that if India has to reach its targeted GER rate of 30 percent, online education will have to play a crucial role. Online learning has the potential to take Indian higher education to masses by improving access, quality and equity in higher education. However, to be able to demonstrate the desired outcome, Indian Universities would need professional help in the areas of technology, process management, content and assessments. We also recognized that Universities would need help in building stronger ties with the industry to demonstrate better outcome, which in most cases is employability. Hence, Schoolguru set off its sail to become the largest Online Program Management (OPM) service provider for Indian Universities helping them make their programs more engaging, purposeful and employable" says Shantanu Rooj, Founder CEO of Schoolguru.
"A recognized name in this domain, Schoolguru provides the backend technology infrastructure, the audio-visual content, student support services and assessment management services to the Universities to help them manage their online courses effectively"
Today, most Indian universities realize that managing full-fledged online programs in a fiercely competitive market requires adequate investment in technology, manpower, processes, content, marketing and student services. Owing to the fast-changing and fickle nature of technology with a very high rate of obsolescence, need to continuously train the team on new methods of online teaching, course authoring and engagement can become challenging. Moreover, the increasing demands from the students for immediate and prompt service put an unreasonable amount of load on existing faculty members. Hence, Schoolguru partners with Universities to help them launch, run and manage their online course offerings on its managed services platform. A recognized name in this domain, Schoolguru provides the backend technology infrastructure, the audio-visual content, student support services and assessment management services to the Universities to help them manage their online courses effectively while also helping them with their marketing strategies to help them expand into new regions and attract a higher number of students.
Transforming Traditional Learning to Nurture Skilled Professionals
Higher education is meant to act as a pathway to launch students into the wider world with an expectation that the currents will guide them into a job. In practice, many students get stuck in the doldrums because employers demand evidence of specific experience even from fresh graduates aspiring for their first job. Lack of work experience for a fresh University graduate is only the natural order of things and hence, whether this deficiency counts as a skills gap is a matter of debate. But irrespective of where the fault lies, with the educators or the employers, there is a need for pathways that lead individuals into jobs.
Schoolguru's Employment Linked Skilling Program WorkX, is a mix of in-class, online and on-job training which help in improving the soft-skills of the students. The program helps students make informed career choices through its counselling program and provides on-job experiential learning to give them real-world exposure. This on-job training program of Schoolguru is associated with the NEEM guidelines of AICTE and MoHRD. "WorkX (on-job-training) linked degree and diploma programs have the potential to radically alter the relationship between higher education providers, vocational education, students and the employers. The programs provide students with a university-level qualification and the necessary employment experience; learning-by-doing is a powerful concept and can make a huge difference to students. The stipend earned through the apprenticeship program gives financially weaker candidates, the opportunity to access education that might have previously been unavailable to them. These students demonstrate higher levels of employability skills by being able to apply their learning directly to their role, relate their University lessons to practical work scenarios and make improvements in the workplace. Employers today are not willing to hire fresh graduates without any experience. Our WorkX program provides necessary experience edge to the students, thus making each one better employable," speaks Shantanu Rooj, Founder & CEO, Schoolguru Eduserve.
Marching Ahead with a Tech-Driven Approach
Having received two rounds of funding for about $ 3Mn from a bunch of HNIs, and another round of strategic investment from Teamlease Services, Schoolguru makes all the upfront investments in the technology, content, people and processes to help Universities launch their online programs thereby saving Universities of any Financial or Project Risks. With its exclusive partnership with more than 26 of India's leading Universities, its huge repository of content comprising of over 40000 videos in 200+ programs in 9 Indian languages, its proven technology platform and its outcome driven approach makes Schoolguru Eduserve an apt edutech partner for HEIs. Schoolguru also partners with Universities to make their students 'employable' through its unique WorkX program. Due to its deep understanding of this domain, Schoolguru has been able to help Universities improve their competencies which can go a long way in improving their NAAC and NIRF ratings.
"We always knew that technology can play a significant role in the advancement of education and help it become meaningful and purposeful, but didn't know how. All this while, the role of technology got limited to enabling the current format of education rather than improving the outcome. The one-size-fits-all model of education miserably failed to depict the complex reality because it failed to acknowledge the fact that not only people learn at different speeds, they come from different backgrounds and have different starting points. At Schoolguru, we work on various Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies to personalize learning, to tap into the motivation of the learner and to customize the learning for him/her. We also use intelligent technology to improve the efficacy of assessments and improve the employability of the students," shares Shantanu.
Today, Schoolguru is engaged with 26 of India's leading state, central and private Universities, helping them with its tech-enabled platform. Some of the prominent names who have partnered with Schoolguru include Aligarh Muslim University (UP), KL University (AP), Jain University (Karnataka), Mohan Lal Sukhadia University (Rajasthan), Netaji Subhas Open University (WB), Lalit Narayan Mithila University (Bihar) and many others. Focused towards its singular mission of `Making India Employable', Schoolguru's product roadmap speaks of several new products that shall be aligned to this vision. A pioneer in the higher-ed technology services space for the last so many years, Schoolguru Eduserve has been driving up the standards for technology and student services. With more than 2 lakh students enrolled in about 200 degree/diploma programs on its platform Schoolguru is set to change the way formal online higher education is delivered in the country. Schoolguru has, recently, launched Optara - a free-to-use Virtual Employment Exchange for higher education institutions - that would help institutes automate their training and placement cells and provide access to thousands of open jobs across multiple sectors.
Shantanu Rooj, Founder & CEO
Shantanu Rooj is one of the founding member and CEO of SchoolGuru Eduserve Pvt. Ltd. He is a CBSE All India Topper and a Gold Medalist from Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University followed by a Masters in Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management and Executive Management Program in Global Business Management from IIM, Kolkata. Shantanu has earlier held key positions in HCL-Hewlett Packard Ltd. But the entrepreneurial itch was too hard to resist and he decided to quit his job and founded Paradyne (IPO 2005) followed by Broadllyne and SchoolGuru. He is a passionate education entrepreneur, investor and speaker.