AAS Vidyalaya – India’s First Anytime Anywhere School

Vikas Kakwani & Leena Kakwani | Founder | AAS Vidyalaya
Vikas Kakwani & Leena Kakwani | Founder | AAS Vidyalaya

After healthcare, the Pandemic had its severe impact on the education industry so much so that, even today, the educational scenario is in disarray. Those who can afford to go to private schools are affected to some extent.

However, what about the billions of other children who rely on Government schools for their minimum education of at least passing tenth grade?

Many studies show that student dropouts are the biggest worrying concern made severe by the continuity of the pandemic. In such times, when all hope seems lost, AAS Vidyalaya is solving the problem of availability and accessibility of good quality education by bringing the school to those children who are not able to go to school.

AAS Vidyalaya covers all courses – mathematics, science, Hindi, English, social science, Sanskrit, computers, and Marathi – and follows the NCERT CBSE curriculum, NIOS, UP Board, MP, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra Board.

The app and portal digitally give a whole school learning experience, with regular tests, report cards, teacher interactions, online lessons with India’s finest teachers, and parent connections.

Established by Vikas Kakwani and Leena Kakwani, the Founders, AAS Vidyalaya ensures that students do not have to spend thousands of rupees on guides or tuitions any longer.

Leena is a Postgraduate in Psychology (child, abnormal, and clinical) and her strengths include having superhuman observation power. She is a fitness enthusiast, a fantastic cook who also loves travelling, music and Zumba. She manages the operations of the school on the ground.

Vikas graduated from IIT(Roorkee) and IIM(Lucknow) and worked for over 20 years in Corporates. He is a self-proclaimed maverick, an avid reader, loves travelling and watching TV series. He has already published three books himself and one co-authored with Leena. He is the CEO.

Along with AAS Vidyalaya – The Anytime Anywhere School, they are proud parents of a fine young man. They live in Mumbai, India.

In an interview with Insights Success for its edition ‘India’s Fastest Growing Start-ups to Watch’, they speak about their unique mission and this legendary vision.

Please brief our audience about AAS Vidyalaya, its USPs, and how it is currently positioned as a leading player in the industry it is catering to.

AAS Vidyalaya is India’s first online school aiming to make every Indian pass the tenth standard. We provide quality education to the students who do not have the facility or resources to acquire the knowledge they deserve.

We focus on the real Bharat, who intend to study and learn but not the means to do so. With all the ed-techs focussing on the rich, we are concentrating on the section of the country that comprises most of the children’s population and the country’s future.

Our USPs:

  • We cater to the State Boards and CBSE. Our curriculum is apt for kids who are not enrolled in any school and can still pass the tenth standard via NIOS (open schooling),
  • With the smartphone availability in India on a boom, we provide education via our app as well as our web portal,
  • Our curriculum is available in Hindi, Hinglish, English as well as Marathi for Maharashtra Board,
  • Along with the study material, we provide a complete classroom setting such as teachers for doubt clearing, regular marking of attendance, assigning mentors at our education cafes to guide the students, generating report cards for the students to track their academic growth and we also offer an option for PTA meeting,
  • We offer the subscription for a year for as low as ₹200/month per child, making it the most affordable educational aid in the country.

What other products/solutions does AAS Vidyalaya offer, and how are these making an impact?

We have a very holistic learning approach for the students, and that is why besides the studying material, we also provide extracurricular activities to our students. They can take a break from studies (part of our program) and enjoy short educational videos or watch stories on our platform to refresh their minds.

The most comprehensive solution that we are offering besides affordable education is helping the students have a better future. With almost 70% of students dropping out of school after the fifth grade, their prospects with regards to jobs are very low.

But with being at least tenth grade, they can themselves decide what they want to do next. Either pursue further education or look for a decent job to support their family.

Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on the impact the adoption of modern technologies such as AI, big data and machine learning had on the industry you are catering to and what more could be expected in the future?

AI and ML are the biggest components for any country to develop in today’s world. Everything from medicines to education to food to fashion has imbibed AI and ML in their businesses.

When it comes to education, it helps to track a student’s progress, their skillsets, and mainly their adaptive learning skills, as every kid is unique and will learn at their own pace. This helps us monitor every student individually and helps us help them to learn and develop at their pace. This wasn’t possible earlier when we would have a classroom full of 50 kids, and the teacher could not give individual attention to each kid.

Thanks to technology, it is possible today. With a surge in online education and internet connectivity in India, it is possible to provide education to every stratum of kids. With the help of AAS Vidyalaya, quality education is not restricted to a few but is available for all. In the coming years, there will be more advancement in the field, and I hope with the help of ML, we can create a platform that understands a student’s aptitude, wants, financial backgrounds etc., and helps them find the right course to a better future.

Considering the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face, and how did you drive AAS Vidyalaya to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?

AAS Vidyalaya was always online. In fact, before COVID, it was a challenge for us to convince people about online education. Unlike many other industries, COVID has actually helped the online education industry as today it needs no convincing.

Our education cafés were shut for a brief period during the first two waves, but otherwise, we remain unscathed. In fact, we launched AAS Teach app for teachers to conduct their online classes from home and started AAS Vidyalaya 24×7 TV channels on JioTV to reach out to the students who do not have smartphones.

How do you envision scaling AAS Vidyalaya’s operations and offerings in 2022 and beyond?

We are in our evolving and expansion phase now. Our vision is to make every Indian pass tenth grade, but that will take some time.

As for 2022, we are looking forward to enrolling at least 50,000 students and taking a small step towards our vision. We will be entering two-tier to three-tier markets in the given year and setting up more education cafes is our goal.

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