Jairaj Bhattacharya is the founder and MD of the leading education technology start-up ConveGenius, the company behind India’s leading personalised and adaptive learning solution CG Slate. ConveGenius is an assessment based personalised and adaptive learning platform that uses nudge theory for gamification, analytics and driving learning outcomes in the masses. A graduate from IIIT Hyderabad in Electronics and Computer Science, and Exec management graduate from Chicago Booth School of Business, Jairaj is also a Young India Fellow in Liberal Arts from the first batch of Ashoka University. He has worked with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and NASA, in the USA before founding ConveGenius.
The EdTech firms witnessed a massive level of online learning engagement on their platforms post the virus outbreak. According to a report by BARC India and Nielsen, there has been a 30 per cent increase in the time spent on education apps since the lockdown commenced. The pandemic came as a moment to shine for these EdTech players. Several EdTech organisations sought up to unlock new opportunities and offer novel solutions to bridge the gap in terms of virtual teaching and learning.
They have come up with efficient and user-friendly tools and platforms like online classes, live doubt-clearing sessions, language apps, live teachers training sessions, learning management systems, mobile applications, e-books, tablets and many other learning tools and platforms. Not just virtual classes, the EdTech players are also offering solutions that meet all the academic and administrative needs – online assignments, and evaluation and report generation.
Responding to the Lockdown
ConveGenius, now one of India’s leading EdTech social enterprise working to reduce the existing learning and skill gap through affordable means of tech-enabled teaching and learning, has launched a pan-India campaign #EdtechforNayaBharat to empower education for a rising digital India.
With over 560 million internet users, India has the second-highest number of internet users in the world. As an EdTech enterprise, ConveGenius strives to empower the national skilling framework and help the education system of the country adopt NEP 2020 (National Education Policy) by strengthening the country’s 100 million students’ understanding of core subjects such as Mathematics, Science, English, etc. The company also plans to focus on emerging technology fields such as AI, Big Data, ML, etc. to support a globally committed workforce of the future.
As a part of this campaign, ConveGenius has recently acquired Gray Matters India to augment its personalised and adaptive learning platform. The step has been taken to further strengthen their EdTech for Naya Bharat campaign that aims to empower 100 million students at the bottom of the education funnel. The acquisition will help ConveGenius integrate GMI’s measurement science with its automated learning capabilities and help under-served students diagnose their remediation requirement for missing skills and knowledge through a tailored set of instructions.
Narrowing the Digital Divide
Used devices – Tablets and mobile phones – are being purchased by the government so that online education can be accessed in rural parts of the country. We see an upward trend in access to digital content as we progress through the pandemic.
Several Ed-tech organisations, including us, have partnered with several state governments, NGOs, and schools to ensure continuity of education in the middle of this pandemic. Also, last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a line of new initiatives to boost the growth of online education in the country amid the COVID-19 crisis. The announcement of 12 new TV channels (one for each grade in K12) – a step towards increasing the reach of educational content for Indian households, especially the ones which lack access of high-speed internet connection for unhindered consumption of learning content. All of this is being done to ensure students and teachers are safe in their homes.
E-Learning Trends to Follow
A lot of EdTech disruptions are following the launch of NEP 2020 and post the pandemic adoption of online learning. Some of the key trends of e-learning are as follows:
A. Adaptive Assessments and focus on Core skills
With NEP assessments and examinations will be transformed from summative and high-stake to more formative and low state, the examinations will support student development and will be catering towards testing of core concepts and skills along with higher-order capacities. By 2025, assessments will be transformed into adaptive and computerised testing. The National Testing Agency will be administering aptitude tests longitudinally in multiple occasions in the year.
ConveGenius has focused primarily on this segment of educational transformation by building cutting edge product stack and will play a pivotal role in this disruption of NEP policy.
B. Curriculum and Pedagogy
A change of the curriculum to more developmentally appropriate pedagogical structure for school education based on the principles of brain development and learning will be developed based on the 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 design in school education. This will create an opportunity for learning-focused companies to help transform Affordable and Budget private schools to adopt the new structure that will have equal emphasis on all subjects and provide a high level of focus on foundational literacy and numeracy by 2025.
With ConveGenius curriculum framework built on the Science of Student Learning and how the cognitive layer works, our Premium EdTech suite will get closely integrated into the Naya Bharat Private unaided and Government school infrastructure.
C. Vocational Education Integration
Vocational education will be an integral part of all education – this Policy aims to provide access to vocational education to at least 50 per cent of all learners by 2025. The close integration of Vocational learning with learning outcomes and performance is outcome growth will lead to strategic career path planning once the students reach the secondary education phase of learning.
The Assessment infrastructure will be closely tied to predicting and creating custom vocational learning paths for the education masses. ConveGenius is strategically working to integrate work to education linkage, and vocational education integration is a key focus in our products.
D. Education Financing based on Data Analytics
With examinations going digital and data being collected longitudinally across grades and schools, the skill fingerprint of every child will not only open up opportunities to remediation and vocational education integration but also to education financings like scholarships and loans based on longitudinal performance and track record across the digital land space of school education.
The data can also be tagged to Aadhar as a part of skill registry to provide work to education opportunities and fund excellence in the K-12 segment for Bharat.
Advice to the Educational Institutions
Administrators of educational institutions who are looking for a technology partner can start small with basic automation of few practices like classroom management, automation of assessments and practice, live class scheduling based on cohosting of classrooms to move the burden of teachers from all classroom activities to focus on learning requirements. This is possible by partnering with holistic learning partners who provide complete teacher-facilitated learning environments. (As told the Editor)
More About Jairaj Bhattacharya
A technology enthusiast and a believer in driving innovations for good, Jairaj has spent over eight years in the Education technology space working with multiple Government bodies, Schools, NGOs, CSR/Foundations, and consumer tablet manufacturers to drive large-scale data-driven interventions. His efforts have allowed ConveGenius to reach out to more than 1.3 Million paid learners in a mere period of six years and by his projections, they should be able to reach 40 million paid learners at the end of 2022. Under his leadership, ConveGenius has raised a Pre-Series A funding of 1.5mn$ from investors including Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) & Benori Ventures. The company is growing consistently at a 100% YoY and its reach now spread across 4 countries.
He has been profiled by several media publications and has spoken at various forums on education and technology in India and abroad. Besides his company winning several accolades in the past, Jairaj was named as the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.
Apart from ConveGenius, Jairaj is a friend, mentor, and advisor to various upcoming entrepreneurial ventures from his alma mater at Chicago Booth, IIIT Hyd, and Ashoka University.