Indian ed-tech unicorn Byju’s is doubling down on its offline education play by investing $200 million to open 500 physical ‘Byju’s Tuition Centres’ across 200 cities this year.
The move, which aims to bring together offline and online learning experiences, will cater to students from grades 4 to 10. Byju’s aims to enroll one million students under the offline program in the next two years.
Byju’s, which was last valued at $21 billion, said that it received positive feedback following a pilot program with 80 centers across 23 cities. It said that Byju’s Tuition Centres will also create employment opportunities for over 10,000 plus people across India within a year of operations.
The world’s most-valued online tutoring startup forayed into the offline education market in April 2021 with its acquisition of tutorial chain Aakash Education Services for an estimated cash-and-stock deal worth $950 million.
The Aakash acquisition helped Byju’s to explore the space and to implement an offline-learning model. The startup said that the decision was made after thorough research revealed many parents were keen on offline learning.
“Byju’s Tuition Centres address the needs of a large segment of parents and students who want a physical element in addition to online teaching support,” said Mrinal Mohit, chief operating officer at Byju’s.
The company said that its offline centers will be equipped with high-quality online learning material, analytics-led assessment coupled with the presence of physical teachers.
“Each centre is expected to have an average strength of 30-40 teachers, which Byju’s will hire and train,” Mohit was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.
The startup is planning to onboard 3,000-4,000 new teachers for the centres.
The centres are designed to help students bridge gaps in their learning, strengthen conceptual understanding, and reinforce learning through regular practice and tests that ensure exam readiness. said Himanshu Bajaj, head of Byju’s Tuition Centre.
“Owing to the pandemic, students had to oscillate between offline and online learning but this new offering of Byju’s will address complex concerns of students and parents,” said Bajaj. “By keeping students’ requirements at the core, we hope that this new offering will stand as an example and achieve scale, resulting in nurturing of future-ready students, and a forward-looking and unique academic environment.”