Year Ended 2020 Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL)
Year Ended 2020
Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL)
The year 2020 has been transformational for the education sector with the introduction of the National Education Policy (NEP) after a gap of 34 years, even as the COVID-19 pandemic created considerable ambiguity for educators and students around the world leading to the stupendous growth and acceptance of online learning.
The announcement of the new National Education Policy (NEP) as a roadmap to transform education policy to meet future needs was the highlight of the year. The new policy effectively tackles the shortcomings in our current education system and paves the way for an even better future. The key aspect of this policy among multiple aspects is the interplay of education and technology. Over the last few years, India has transformed itself into an information-heavy society and with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic the requirement for usage of technology in the field of education has increased more than ever.
Due to the lockdown, the year saw the rise of E-learning, and broadcasting classes, which enabled the delivery of education and training at an accelerated rate despite geographical distances, reducing the digital divide between Metros and Tier 2/3 cities. With the rise in digital literacy and expanding smartphone penetration, online learning continues to emerge as a popular methodology for education.
Since full-scale return to schools doesn’t look favorable in this academic year, it will continue to push online as the medium of instruction especially for primary and secondary levels.
2021 will see the Hybrid model of learning become the norm, an amalgamation of online and classroom teaching. Though the vaccine might herald opening of schools and educational institutions, the experience of online learning will propel many to introduce hybrid courses with students coming in 3 days to Institutes, with the remaining 3 days studying online.
To adapt with the evolving times during the year, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) provided powerful online learning experiences through some of the following measures:
- Online study plan with top teacher video to all enrolled students
- Daily live lectures on live tutoring platform from Microsoft
- Weekly online assignments and testing platform to continue assessment of students & their learning.
- Parent Teacher Meetings online to hear parent concerns and resolve them quickly
- One on one student connect by academic teams online video calls to enable closer connect with students to understand their learning and help them do better
- Make purchase and buying of learning devices like tablet and smartphones easier for students at a good price
- AESL partnered with Airtel Digital TV to coach JEE/NEET aspirants in remote locations of the country. With this, a
- Free Online Live Classes provided through Meritnation: Meritnation provided special free live classes for the students of Class 7th to Class 12th and those appearing for special exams like JEE/ NEET to help mitigate the impact that closures of schools and institutes might have had on their learning process.
- Live Online Short courses like Crash Courses for NEET/JEE exams: Aakash also launched Live Online Crash Courses for students to help them prepare for medical and engineering entrance examinations such as NEET and JEE (Main & Advanced).
For Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) 2020 has been a Year of Growth. Some salient features from the year are:
- 2020 saw AESL add 6-7 new branches taking our total now to 212 across 24 States and Union territories, the largest in the test preparation sector. Today, we have more than 2.5 lakh students enrolled with us.
- We also saw our footprint grow in the online space with Aakash Digital and Meritnation clocking four-fold increase in daily active users this year during the lockdown. In fact, to drive its growth in the digital field, AESL formed a new subsidiary, Aakash EduTech Pvt Ltd (AEPL) this year.
- Over 84,200 students had qualified in NEET-UG from Aakash Institute in 2020; top 3 positions bagged by Aakashians, 34 featured in the Top 100 in general category, and 7 became state toppers.
- While in JEE (Advanced) 1,583 students qualified from Aakash in 2020. All India Rank (AIR) 1 was bagged by an Aakashian while other 41 students featured in the Top 100 in all categories. A whopping 140 students from Aakash Institute featured in Top 500 and 247 in Top 1000 in all categories.
- Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) announced the appointment of ace cricketer Yuvraj Singh as its Brand Ambassador. Also, it had launched a TVC with which broke records and crossed a whopping 30 million views on YouTube.
- 2020, also saw us leverage technology and put our best foot forward by investing heavily in technology, so that we constantly improve our offerings to students and increase efficiencies. For this, the company has forged tie-ups with Microsoft and SAP to benefit nearly 2.5 lakh students. This initiative was the largest implementation of undertaken in the education space in India which will connect more than 2.5 lakh students and 2000 teachers across 210+ branches of Aakash through a common platform.
- AESL diversified its portfolio in 2020 and launched the first ever Aakash PG Plus program for students of medicine. The program is an exclusive digital course specially curated to coach doctors pursuing MBBS and professionals who have completed MBBS and are preparing for the PG entrance exam.
- With an aim to connect all the former students of Aakash Classroom program with the institute, faculties and batchmates, AESL launched the first ever Aakash Student Alumni portal. The portal will serve as an effective point of contact to build communication across geographies. Through this portal, the alumni will receive latest news and updates about Aakash Institute and can keep themselves abreast about the key events happening in the education industry.