Schools around the world have closed their doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving more than 1.5 billion children stuck at home. While it's a great inconvenience for many, it has created a spike in demand for online learning.

Educational institutions are introducing online courses and some education technology startups are temporarily offering free classes to help offset the impact of school closures.

Take Byju's, an India-based education startup named after its founder, Byju Raveendran. In early March, it announced it would give children free access to its learning app, which it says had more than 40 million users at the end of last year. Around 3 million of those paid between $150 and $200 for an annual subscription.
Byju's是一家印度的教育初创公司,以创始人Byju Raveendran的名字命名。该公司在三月初宣布,学生可以免费在其应用程序上学习。该公司说截止去年年底用户数量超过4千万,其中约300万用户一年的学费为150美元到200美元不等。

Since the announcement, the company says it has experienced a 60% surge in students using its products, which range from interactive video lessons and live classes, to quizzes and exam preparation.

A nationwide lockdown, ordered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late March, means that India's school-age population of around 300 million is suddenly having to home educate.

"The outbreak is clearly increasing the appreciation of online education," Raveendran tells CNN Business. "This could be a turning point for the industry, ushering in an increased usage of this format and changing habits in terms of how kids learn and how teachers teach," he adds.
Raveendran对《CNN Business》说:“疫情显然增加了对网课的需求,这可能是这一产业的转折点,提高了这种模式的利用率,改变了孩子学习和教师上课的习惯。”

Other Indian platforms, including Unacademy, Vedantu and Toppr are also offering free classes and content to students.