Exploring India’s Educational Ecosystem through a New Book that Charts the Rise and Fall of Byju’s

The Learning Trap: How Byju’s Took Indian Edtech for a Ride, Pradip Saha’s most recent book, is an unusually thorough investigation of the country’s educational system.

Sadly, there aren’t many in-depth and serious media studies concerning the education system; hundreds of millions of middle-class parents and students suffer greatly as a result. In fact, a lot of media appears to rely heavily on full-page, massive advertisements from colleges, educational technology companies, and tutoring centers. It is evident that there is little desire to bite the hand that feeds. In this context, it is heartening to read Pradip K Saha’s book, The Learning Trap – How Byju’s Took Indian Edtech for a Ride.

Saha describes the ascent of an endearing instructor to a position where he (as well as his family, who had managerial positions in the business) were obviously out of their element, particularly when it came to money. By the time it’s all over, it’s clear that widespread fraud and denial are present, along with the financial hardship that so many families and young men and women are experiencing. These families’ mistrust of educational technology is probably not going to go away.

Saha recounts numerous tragic tales of how low-income families—including those who run auto rickshaws—were taken advantage of; some were refused refunds, and many families lost a lot of money due to ignorance of internet subscriptions, which ultimately put them in debt.

Saha’s book is especially helpful because it addresses India’s broader educational context. As written, very few media outlets look into schooling. This is consistent with the wider scene of business media praising India’s economic might. Errors in the school system are far more serious than, say, dishonest activity in a meal delivery app. In our unwavering faith in technology, the notion that an educational app can accomplish so much—even revolutionize your life—is itself unquestionable.

When the media does report on education, it’s usually to lament the fact that Indian colleges are seldom found among the world’s top. As Saha points out, there is a clear contradiction here: while some may lament this, it is simply assumed that the desire of being selected for IIT-JEE, NEET, or UPSC is exclusive to India.

Indian universities struggle in rankings due to a flawed admission process that excludes students from a broad-based, comprehensive approach. Top international universities require multiple dimensions, including personal essays, CVs, and interviews. Indian universities often don’t invest in trained admission teams, leading to a lack of trust in institutions. This has led to the rise of test prep industries like Byjus, which thrive in a damaged ecosystem. The school system is not held accountable, and evaluation boards homogenize their evaluations.

Byju’s and other edtech companies initially tried to make learning more engaging with animations and visualisations. However, the system is geared towards achieving a few scores in exams, sacrificing deeper learning and creativity. This destroys the pool of students and faculty, making it difficult for them to think creatively. This contributes to Indian universities not ranking high in rankings, as college years are spent cleaning up the learning-loss of the admission process.

Saha’s book explores the educational ecosystem, highlighting the compromised system for doctors, engineers, and civil servants. However, more critical explorations are needed, as recent books often reproduce the self-image of founders and those with financial stakes. These books emphasize the need for thoughtful investment from all stakeholders in rethinking education and careers.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *