‘Technology can Enable & Transform Indian Education Scenario’
Now the whole focus is getting shifted to skill development. The obvious reason for such thrust is the fact that in a country like India, employers are facing huge challenge of employable workforce. In an market estimate, it is found that close to 70% of Indian educated youth is unable to meet the expectations level of their prospective employers. This leads to certain big challenges, such as economic challenge as well as social challenge.
There are few Indian organizations in the education segment that are working actively in this area, GATEFORUM is one of them. Incepted in 2005, GATEFORUM has it’s presence in Bangalore and Hyderabad. It started with a bang in the market with an all india test series for GATE aspirants, the first of its kind in GATE training. In the year 2008 the organization had trained more than 5000 students cumulatively and this figure have touched 10000 mark in 2009 itself. And in terms of market expansion the organization has reached to more than 30 centers nationally. In 2010 the company had launched eTutor –eLearning modules. The first of its kind in GATE training and in 2012 eGATE was launched by the company as they were the first live Internet based classes for GATE training.
In 2013 the organization had trained more than 100000 students cumulatively and expanded to 65+ centers nationally. In 2014 the GATEFORUM was awarded as India’s best GATE Training Institute by Brand Academy.
In an exclusive interaction with Faiz Askari of SMEStreet, Abhijit Chaudhari of GATEFORUM highlighted the opportunities and challenges of Indian education market.
The edited excerpts:
What are the key opportunities in the area of education in India?
India, today, is considered as a talent pool of the world, having qualified and educated human resources in abundance. India has witnessed an above average growth in the number of higher educational institutions vis-à-vis its population. Considerable importance has been given to literacy, school enrolment, institutions of higher education and technical education. The higher education sector, owing to its huge potential, holds very promising prospects with an estimated 150 mn people in the age group of 18-23 years, India’s aspirations to establish a knowledge society is based on the assumption that higher and technical education essentially empowers people with the requisite competitive skills and knowledge. Increasing attention has been paid to quality and excellence in higher education. India has the third largest higher education system in the world in terms of enrolments, after China and the US. The Indian population has begun to appreciate the value of education demonstrated an increased willingness to pay for quality education and more students are now opting for higher education after school.
How is GATEFORUM targeting the higher education of the country? What is your outreach program?
We understand the need of professionalized training and its growing importance across. We want to provide the best education training to the major portion of the population. To impart the best education we ensure quality training and teaching. We have the most professionalized professionals who are dedicated to deliver the best to the aspirants. We have centres in more than 65 cities in the country to facilitate the need of students aspiring to give Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). The USP of GATEFORUM’s classes is holistic and standardized high quality training. The classroom sessions by experienced faculty, coupled with comprehensive study material and the mock test series makes for a complete preparatory module. With regular faculty orientation and the use of instructor notes, we try to ensure that a student in the Kolkata center receives the same quality of training as that received by a student in the Mumbai center.
What are the challenges you have witnessed in this segment?
Two important features of the GATE training industry are that the target group (engineering students) are spread across the country, with a huge percentage coming from semi-urban and rural areas and secondly a dearth of quality faculty in many cities. Hence the biggest challenge we face today is providing quality training to all students at affordable prices. This becomes especially difficult in the smaller towns and cities.
Technology is considered to be a main driver for education in today’s context. How do you look at technology solutions enabling your business?
The challenges we face are providing affordable and quality training to GATE aspirants in every nook and corner of the country and this is where technology comes to our rescue. We have products like eGATE (live video lectures via internet), DLP (a distance learning program which includes video lectures on a pen drive), Gtab (a tablet with preloaded content) which help us reach out across the country and also helps us keep down the costs. In a nutshell, technology is the catalyst for our scaling up plans.
In next one year, how many people are you planning to educate and train?
We have trained more than 150000 students till date and we will aim at training more than 50000 students for GATE 2016.