“Together we wanted to use our knowledge for something that mattered and had a larger impact.”
This article has been sponsored by Vedantu
“I still can’t believe it!” says Sumit Jain, a 17-year-old resident of Satna in Madhya Pradesh who recently found out that he has bagged AIR 1 in JEE Advanced in the people with disabilities (PwD) category.
Living with a partial visual impairment, Sumit is a small town boy with a heart full of big dreams. He dreamt of attending the hallowed halls of IIT and then bagging a job in a top-notch company—an aspiration shared by many but fulfilled by just a few.
If it had not been for his confidence, hard work and the right guidance, this dream wouldn’t have turned into a reality. And for the right guidance he received, he credits Vedantu, a live online tutoring platform, which is teaching more than 15,000 students across 500+ cities, thus bridging the gap between accessible quality education and students.
There are many like Sumit for whom just taking the first step and seeking the right kind of education is of utmost importance.
“Sometimes dreaming big is not enough. You have to work for it and for that, you need to have the right opportunity too. I come from a small place called Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, and the nearest tuition centre is 10 kilometres away in the hills. Travelling that distance every day would’ve been okay only if the quality of teaching was good there. The kind of guidance needed for IIT or any other competitive exam is scarce here,” says Kartik Thakur, another student.
Despite the limitations, he has managed to score 96 per cent in his Class 12 board exams this year.
“To succeed, one needs to dig deep and understand every topic. And, that is what sir and many others at Vedantu helped me do. This result wouldn’t have been possible without them. The fact that today I have the confidence to pursue my dream of cracking JEE seriously, is because of them,” Kartik shares, talking about the founders of Vedantu.
Vedantu — a journey from 40 students to 15,000 students
It all began five years ago with three friends and IITians, Pulkit Jain, Vamsi Krishna and Anand Prakash deciding to leave their high-paying jobs in pursuit of something more meaningful. They wanted to transform the lives of hundreds of students like Kartik and their ultimate aim was to see to it that no student gives up on their dreams due to lack of opportunities or guidance.
“Together we wanted to use our knowledge for something that mattered and had a larger impact. At the time we were in Patiala, and were being asked to guide students. That gave us the idea to start offline coaching classes in the city with 30 odd kids. Soon we got to know that 11 out of them got selected in the top IITs. For a city which had never really seen many IITians coming out, or even had students aspiring for it, this was a huge encouragement. Not only were the students more motivated to prepare for IIT, but even the city’s career perspective changed bit by bit,” shares co-founder Anand.
This eventually pushed the trio to start Vedantu in 2014, which would not only teach but also inspire and motivate students to make the best use of their full potential.
“As teachers, we have the responsibility of moulding our students in the right direction. And Vedantu, keeping the teacher at the centre, facilitates a holistic academic growth of the student, working on their strengths and weaknesses, all at the same time,” he adds.
And this is made possible through their technology of personalised online teaching model that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data.
He further adds that unlike similar platforms that use a video format to provide tutoring to students online, Vedantu is completely live. “It is this feature that ensures that each student gets his or her personalised attention from the teachers. There is no pre-recorded video, but live teachers that not only explain the concepts to the core but also a team of academic mentors who clear whatever the doubts are,” he says.
A place for learning with healthy competition
Anand explains that in a country like India, one cannot run away from competition. It is always healthy when taken in the right spirit, and that is exactly why Vedantu ensures a healthy competitive environment during sessions, through a regular quiz after every session.
Through its cutting-edge technology, the Whiteboard Audio Video Environment (WAVE), the academic research and innovation team records the growth of every student and pinpoints his or her strengths while keeping the parents in the loop.
“It’s like an interactive audio-visual whiteboard which allows space for interactive learning and teaching at the same time. After every session, students are given a quiz and the final results are generated regularly on a leaderboard,” he elaborates.
With almost 200 students attending a particular session at the same time, the technology manages to make every student get personalised attention.“
There is a master teacher teaching a batch of maximum 200 at the same time. And, then there is a team of academic mentors who simultaneously keep tabs on a cluster of students. Anytime in the middle of the session, if the student gets stuck or has a question, he or she can approach the academic mentors. Also, to encourage a healthy learning atmosphere, in case a student asks an interesting question that deserves a larger audience, the mentor interrupts the larger session to share it, and lets the master teacher enlighten the entire class. All this happens on a screen, while the student is sitting in the comfort and solitude of his or her home,” he adds.
Anand further clarifies that unlike most tuition classes, Vedantu believes in the potential and the students’ desire to learn, not on marks.
“That is the reason why we do not have any sort of selection bias based on marks. Whoever wants to learn and improve can get help from our teachers, who are one of the best in the industry!” he says.
Sumit is part of Vedantu’s first batch of students who sat for JEE and three of those students bagged the top 100 ranks this year.
“I used to be unsure and anxious when it came to exams, but with close mentorship, I felt that someone was there for me, to guide and help me and I started to steadily see myself improve. The access to better teachers, better mentors and better techniques of learning has made all the difference” concludes Sumit.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)