From free content access to live sessions, here’s what online learning platforms are offering students who miss school

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From free content access to live sessions, here’s what online learning platforms are offering students who miss school

  • Amid the coronavirus outbreak, as many as 290 million school kids across the world are suffering due to suspension of classes.
  • Given the uncertainty, edtech platforms like Coursera, Byju’s, Vedantu and Toppr have rolled out several initiatives to facilitate learning for the impacted students.
  • Coursera and Byju’s have announced free access to their platforms while Vedantu joined hands with schools in Bengaluru, Delhi and Kerala to facilitate live sessions.
As many as 290 million school kids across the world are suffering due to suspension of classes. And, the coronavirus ‘pandemic’ could prevent an additional 180 million children from attending school.

As the cases grow in India, schools across Delhi, Bengaluru, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir have been closed down as a precautionary measure.

From free content access to live sessions, here’s what online learning platforms are offering students who miss school

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This health emergency has led to more schools, students and parents opting for online learning mediums. Given the uncertainty, edtech platforms like Coursera, Byju’s, Vedantu and Toppr have rolled out several initiatives to facilitate learning for the impacted students.

Coursera, Internshala and Byju’s announce free access to their platforms

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Starting today, Coursera will provide free access to the course catalogue to the impacted universities. “Universities can sign up to provide their enrolled students with access to more than 3,800 courses and 400 specializations from Coursera’s top university and industry partners. These institutions will have access until July 31, 2020, after which we plan to provide month-to-month extensions depending on prevailing risk assessments. Students who enroll on or before July 31 will continue to have access until Sept. 30, 2020,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO Coursera.

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Byju’s lets learners from classes 1-12, to download and access the learning programs for free until the end of April. This will allow the early learners to access mathematics and english lessons, while students across 4-12 grade can learn mathematics and science.

Internshala too announced free access to its online training until March 31 for students in Kerala, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. “The students can learn programming, data science, business, design, creative writing and more via short term training programmes,” Internshala said.

"Schools should assess their options for educating remotely by resorting to online learning. Preparedness and proper precautionary measures are the only ways to tackle the ongoing coronavirus outbreak,” said Amol Arora, Vice Chairman & MD, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools.

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Free live sessions and collaborating with schools

Unacademy is conducting 20,000 free live classes on its platform amidst the outbreak. These sessions will be conducted on topics ranging from UPSC exams to banking, railways recruitment.

“We are bringing together our entire network of educators to conduct free live classes for learners across the nation to help them crack their goals unobstructed. We want learners to utilise this time to take precautions against the Coronavirus outbreak and learn from the comfort of their homes,” Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy said.

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Vedantu, a live learning platform, has also joined hands with schools in Bengaluru, Delhi and Kerala to provide classes. With this, Vedantu will provide the schools and their teachers a platform to teach students via live sessions, using their own content. Alternatively, they can also opt for end-to-end online tutorial through the platform.

On the other hand, Toppr is offering free live classes to the students.

"In view of the evolving situation around coronavirus outbreak and given that some schools are shut and studies interrupted, we are making Topper's live classes completely free for all students in 5th-12th classes. Besides this, our video classes have always been available as a free learning resource," said Zishaan Hayath, CEO and co-founder of Toppr.

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Other edtech platforms like Lido Learning are also urging students to go for online tutorials as it can impact the students’ academic growth during the exams. It has increased its trial period from 7 days to 14 days.

This comes after the United Nations proposed distance learning programmes via open educational applications for schools and teachers to reach learners remotely.

“While temporary school closures as a result of health and other crises are not new unfortunately, the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the right to education,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General.

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“We are working with countries to assure the continuity of learning for all, especially disadvantaged children and youth who tend to be the hardest hit by school closures,” Azoulay added.

See also:
Media mogul turned education entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala says coronavirus might have ushered a new era of online learning

Coronavirus outbreak: As schools shut down, Byju’s makes its app free for all students
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UN proposes distance learning as 290 million children in 22 countries are kept away from school due to Coronaviru
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