New Delhi: Educational technology companies are taking online education to the next level, as schools, colleges and coaching centres close down following the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Many students and professionals are signing up for online classes, for entrance exams like the JEE and NEET or for upskilling. Even school students are making best of this social distancing phase.

As a result, a clutch of ed-tech players, such as UpGrad, Vedantu, CL Educate, Imarticus Learning, Simplilearn and Toppr have seen a sharp rise in new users.

“Professionals are utilising the time they have saved by working from home and upskilling themselves, especially in the case of IT professionals,” said Kashyap Dalal, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of Simplilearn.

Online users who have enrolled with Simplilearn for courses on cyber security, Cloud, DevOps, AI and data sciences have jumped 15% in March.

“It took a global pandemic to bring online education into the mainstream, which has otherwise played second fiddle to the offline model,” said Mayank Kumar, co-founder of UpGrad.

Enquiries at UpGrad have gone up by 50% in the last two weeks compared to the prior two weeks.

Online learning which was anyway in a high-growth trajectory has received new impetus with the Covid-19 outbreak, industry veterans said.

“Students from all walks of life have now resorted to online learning due to the fear of Covid-19 and avoiding travelling to offline tuition/coaching centres,” said Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-founder of Vedantu, which is joining hands with schools to help provide uninterrupted classes.

The company has seen a 10x growth in the number of users signing up ever since the outbreak. The spike has been witnessed across all school grades, with the highest spike seen for JEE, NEET courses.

The company has seen students sign up from all major cities including Delhi, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai and Kolkata, said Krishna.

Toppr has seen a 100% month-on-month increase in the number of students attending its Live classes. “In this phase of social distancing, learning online is the smart option and this might lead to an increase in the number of trials of online-learning,” said Zishaan Hayath, founder and CEO of Toppr.

Enquiries from tutors and teaching professionals have gone up significantly compared to what it was a month ago at CL Educate.

“Clearly, the migration to a 100% consumption online is for no other reason than Covid-19,” said Satya Narayanan R, founder and chairman of CL Educate.

Compared to the previous quarter, Imarticus Learning has reported an uptick of 52% in the number of people taking up online courses, said Nikhil Barshikar, its MD.

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