Divya Gokulnath: Educationist, Entrepreneur
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Divya Gokulnath is a leading name in edtech space as being the co-founder of Byju’s, one of the world’s leading edtech startups and an educationist herself for over a decade. In her conversation with Entrepreneur India, she talks about her personal experiences with teaching and how she expects a golden age of teaching to come back due to technology.
Education and teaching
Gokulnath shared that she started teaching ever since she was in college. It didn’t stem out from a business perspective, but merely something she really liked to do. With her learning beginning with biology and math, she specialized in biotech and explored a new way of learning while preparing for GRE.
Studying with Byju helped her see education in a new light as well as starting her official teaching career in some of the first batches. Divya remembers the first time she took a class. “I had to wear a saree to look older.” She still believes in innovation needed to give new opportunities to children to fall in love with learning which she believes every child deserves.
The online-offline hybrid education
In light of the pandemic, the arena of online learning was truly explored. Byju’s eventually adopted a completely digital space of learning which makes one wonder if one is sufficient in an absolute way. Divya dismisses these notions and agrees that there are some facets of learning which can only be done offline.
A lot of core subjects and knowledge can be imparted online provided students are old enough to grasp it completely through such an environment. Thus, she calls the future of learning a blend or hybrid of online and offline education. Gokulnath said: “A hybrid learning system is aimed to combine the best aspects of the online and offline systems to help a student become a wholesome learner.”
The future of edtech
The education sector is the only one that doesn’t chart as high as the $100-billion companies as is common in other sectors. “It is quite surprising that a sector as important and impactful as education does not have a $100-billion company. Especially the pandemic has put a spotlight on edtech across the world. There is a lot of scope and several edtech startups are taking off in India and a lot of interest from investors. But there’s so much that can be done,” Gokulnath exclaimed.
Gokulnath assured, “There is a lot of potential here and a golden age of teaching can actually come back because of technology.”
Having made her mark with various plunges she took in the education industry, Gokulnath emphasizes the need for an interpersonal connection between students and teachers. With awareness for online learning, she thinks the skills for creating, problem-solving, and collaborating are the most important ones that need to be harnessed.