Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Edtech a big draw among teachers despite covid ease

Online edtech platforms continue to see a surge in popularity as preferred employers among the country’s teaching professionals, even as traditional educational institutions such as schools and colleges are resuming offline classes that remained suspended since the outbreak of coronavirus, industry experts said.

Above average salaries offered by edtech firms, ranging from 25 lakh to 2 crore, stock options, and flexible work schedules are key to driving teachers to online platforms, they said.

“Edtech firms work like corporates and there are retention measures. Salaries for our teachers that range between 50 lakh and 2 crore, leave travel allowance, and medical insurance are provided," said Prashant Sharma, founder and director of myclassroom.

The edtech platform provides hybrid classes (digital and physical) for competitive exams and is focussed on students in tier II and III cities.

High salary, perks , career growth have prompted many teachers such as Kanchan Sawant of Mangaon, Maharashtra, not to head back to teaching in a regular school.

“I taught science for seven years in a regular school and college and joined 21K in 2021. Today, I teach students India, Indonesia, and Australia, and am a part of development programmes," said Sawant. 21K is an edtech platform that has over 3,500 students.

“Even five years ago, I would have said no to online teaching but now I will not go back," he said.

Over the last two years, edtech companies have seen a host of teachers, who were till now affiliated with schools, colleges, and tutorials, join them.

“We get 20,000 applications for posts of teachers every month. About 70% of the teachers come from places such as Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh), Jalandhar (Punjab), and Paradeep (Odisha)," said Maneesh Dhooper, co-founder of PlanetSpark. The edtech platform has 2,500 teachers on its platform, with 500 more under training. It plans to employ 10,000 by the end of 2022. About 40% of the teachers are hired from schools and 30% from private tutorials, while the rest are home makers who had earlier given up their teaching career, Dhooper said.

Platforms scan YouTube videos, LinkedIn profiles,and job sites to get the right candidate.

“If one makes 70,000 a month in a small town on an edtech platform compared to 20,000 as a teacher in a school, then online teaching becomes a lucrative opportunity," said Dhooper.

Take the case of Sudarshan Gurjar who is based out of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and was a private tutor earlier. He joined Unacademy in 2018 and teaches geography and environmental studies to students preparing for their civil service examinations. “There is more connect and from 100 students during my physical coaching days, I have three lakh followers today," said Gurjar. A wide reach is not possible anymore through offline channels, he said.

Over the last two years, students across age groups have opted to join edtech platforms, which help them with studies and competitive examinations, while some focus on training required for jobs.

Employee stock option plans (ESOPs) are turning out to be a good retention tool. Recently, edtech company Hero Vired rolled out an ESOP programme for its full-time faculty members and teaching assistants who have completed six months with the company.

In February, school edtech company LEAD, announced an ESOP liquidation plan of close to $3 million for its employees. “LEAD is known to have a more broad-based ESOP approach with close to 20% of its employees owning ESOPs," the company said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devina Sengupta

Devina Sengupta reports on the shifts in India Inc’s workplaces, HR policies and writes about the developments at India’s biggest conglomerates. Her stories over the last decade have been picked up and followed by Indian and international news outlets. She joined Mint in 2022 and previously worked with The Economic Times and DNA-Money.
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