Akshay Agrawal, an 18-year-old student, used to study in a school in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. The school had classes only till Class 10. So after his board exams, he had to start the procedure of seeking admission in a different school. “It was a bit of a hassle when I wanted to change schools because there was no information available on the quality of different schools online. And on asking people, they would all say different things about different schools. There wasn’t any way for me or my parents to make an informed decision. The only options were had were to ask neighbours or read a paragraph or two online about why a particular school is good or bad,” he says.
Through his personal experience, Akshay realised that at any given point in time there are many students changing schools or taking admission in a school for the first time, but they don’t always have a reliable source of information to take help from.
This was when he came across an idea – that was starting a Zomato for schools. “I basically wanted to create one common platform with reviews for all schools; all at one place. So people won’t have to go to different places for reviews, opinions, etc.,” he says. In early 2015, Akshay launched ClassFever – a website to rank schools.
What started as a basic rating and aggregation website, slowly turned into an open source, review-driven, big data school ranking platform. “Instead of users having to submit their subjective views, we decided to take a more analytical approach and incorporate more statistics,” says Akshay. With a core team of four members, he conducted a study and came up with a list of factors based on which they could rank schools.
ClassFever rates schools based on 32 factors divided into six groups – academics, economics, co-curricular activities, value for money, luxury, and parent and student recommendations.
It is an open source platform on which users can rate schools according to the different parameters and ClassFever then uses an algorithm to carry out numerous calculations and come up with a final score. Today, the website has about 3,500 schools registered with it. While the team started from Maharashtra, they are now moving to Madhya Pradesh and Haryana and plan to expand country-wide in the future.
Akshay has a team of 25 people in five cities now, and he has bootstrapped the entire project with a help of a loan from his father.
“We enable schools to know where they stand and enable students and parents to discover schools easily. The unique thing about ClassFever is that we try to update the ranks every week and all the data is open source for everyone to see. The data also helps schools see how they can improve and the areas that need work. We also publish the data we use to obtain the rankings,” says Akshay.
After finishing his school years from Bombay and Delhi, the teenager has now moved to California to complete graduation from a design college. While his team is taking care of ground operations back home, Akshay plans to continue with ClassFever in the future as well and get all schools in the country on board.
Know more about ClassFever here.