Why I rant about Byju’s

No, I have nothing against them, and as an investor I admire their ability to make tons of money !
What worries me is that they are poisoning the Indian educational system, because every edutech entrepreneur wants to mimic them – and every investors wants to fund the next Byju’s. This amplifies the harm Byju’s does a hundred-fold, because we are seeing so many Byju’s clones today that we forget that the purpose of edutech apps is to educate students !
Because they are making money hand over fist, this seems to have become the dominant business model in the education space today – get rich as quickly as possible and forget about whether students are learning anything or not !

This is why the ability of India students to be able to think for themselves is getting progressively worse ! Rather than use their agility and the funds they have raised to disrupt the education we offer our children, they are just providing a much more powerful version of the poison of forcing students to cram for tests with the myopic goal of scoring high marks. What a wasted opportunity !

What’s worse is that parents are unwitting accomplices in this charade . They feel very virtuous when they spend money on buying a Byju’s product for their children , because they think they are helping to educate them . Sadly, watching the videos just gives the illusion of studying ! They don’t understand, remember or learn anything because it’s all predigested pap.
The truth is that if you want to master something , you need to work at learning the basics , so you understand the subject from first principles .
If you try taking shortcuts, your foundation itself will be unsound , and you will never be able to to understand more advanced and complex concepts .
This is why while Indian students are great at scoring marks in exams , because they can regurgitate everything in their syllabus , the moment you ask them to apply their knowledge , they are stumped, because they are not able to reason for themselves !

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5 thoughts

  1. Sir, like you said “every edutech entrepreneur wants to mimic them “, I want to bring your attention to an upcoming start-up in edtech space – WhiteHatJr. It claims to teach young kids coding for AI/ML domains, which initially seemed like a great idea. But they are replicating Byju’s model of hiring and firing people within 2 weeks if they don’t achieve their sales target. There are two types of victims here – the employees who are laid off for non-achievement of their goals and the employment consultancies/agencies that enter a contract with the start-up that says they will be paid only if their referred candidate stays for at least 3 months in the company. The start-up doesn’t have to pay either of the parties and gets its work done for free!

  2. Sir, Please let us know your alternate versions of how this should ideally be done. Its easy to criticize some one or company – but would be good to know your thoughts on how to fix it?

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