Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has partnered with five international and national publishers to provide students with online resources for English, science, social sciences and mathematics including over 4500 animated content, 80 hours of live lectures and six hours of digitized simulation material starting August 2013, reports Times of India.
The report states that the material will be available for free to government schools affiliated to the board while public schools can access the content for Rs 2 per month for classes I to VIII and Rs 10 per month for secondary classes. Speaking to the publication, Navin Maini, from the Research Office of CBSE said that secondary classes will have 3,000 animated videos while classes I to VIII will have 1,500 animated videos.
Although the report mentions MacMillan India, the names of other partnering publishers is not clear. While the learning material is made available as CDs and in pen drives to aid economically backward students without internet connection, we wonder if the students will have access to computers outside of school premises. However, CBSE making a decision to supplement text book learning with digital resources indicates a major shift in the way one of the most widely studied education boards is the country is approaching learning.
With schools across the country affiliated to CBSE, this could mean a uniform shift in several schools across the country.
Other players in this space: There are several education start-ups in the country that offer e-learning solutions. In February 2013, Learnpedia, Hyderabad based digital content start-up that offers a range of study material for JEE , had secured an undisclosed sum of funding from Ixora Ventures and a consortium of angel investors. The company offers study material in the form of DVDs, micro SD cards, for any android based tablets.
In the same month, Applect Learning Systems, which runs the e-learning site MeritNation, had raised Rs 30 crore funding from Info Edge (India). MeritNation is an e-learning site which targets school students (Class 1-12) across various educational boards like CBSE and ICSE among others, in India. The company currently claims to have around 3 million users across 9 countries.
Greycells18 Media, the company set-up by Network18 and Educomp, which owns the Topper Learning brand in India, and runs the subscription based education channel Topper TV, and website, Topperlearning.com, had launched Android mobile apps developed for school children in classes 6th till 10th. The Prepora-Exam prep app, allows students to select subjects and individual topics and answer multiple choice questions in a gamified environment.
Pearson owned TutorVista is another company that provides online tutoring to students, using Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol and online whiteboards to connect instructors in India with school and college students, principally in North America. Edewcate.com is also an e-learning company focused on multimedia based educational content.