Producing spectacular toppers has become a habit of sorts for Knowledge Planet. Most recently, Ashwin Prasanth, who scored 100 percentile in the JEE Main (Math) and became the first student to achieve this honour in the GCC, is a proud product of Knowledge Planet.
Well known for consistently turning out toppers in the JEE and NEET – among the most difficult entrance examinations to crack in the world – Knowledge Planet has been producing JEE toppers every year for the last five consecutive years. Likewise, the test prep centre has been producing NEET toppers in the UAE for the last three consecutive years.
"We’ve also produced the highest number of selections in both JEE and NEET exams for the last five years. On an average, our success rate for students getting into IITs, NITs and medical colleges is five times better than coaching centres in India," says Sachin Bharti, co-founder of the centre.
Beginning its journey with around 100 students, Knowledge Planet today has over 2,000 students from grades 9 to 12 from a range of Indian schools in the UAE studying at 13 centres in the country. "Knowledge Planet students don’t just compete with their peers from school but also with achievers from leading schools across the country," says Monika Oli, co-founder of Knowledge Planet. "The centre also prides itself in hiring the best teachers from leading Indian institutions who while bringing the best practices from India, combine that with the requirements of Gulf-based students to create the perfect blend for Knowledge Planet pupils."
Having UAE’s largest network of entrance coaching centres has also helped Knowledge Planet in providing the best in class education to its students, she adds.
Excerpts from an interview with Sachin Bharti and Monika Oli.
How is KP able to create such amazing market leading results?
We passionately work towards sending maximum number of students to their dream college. During the pandemic, when many institutes suspended operations or ended their courses because JEE and NEET exams were delayed, we continued to deploy teachers specifically to support our graduating batch for an extra six months – without charging extra fees! Our promise was to see them in good colleges and we rested only when we delivered.
How is the college admission scene in India for Gulf-based NRI students?
The importance of Board Exams has been going down with every passing year. In the past, NRI students could get into top colleges on the basis of Board marks. Not anymore. Now entrance exams such as NEET and JEE are mandatory to get into colleges. This has led to a huge shift from students attending private tuitions in higher grades, to quality test prep institutions such as Knowledge Planet.
Was it easy to switch from face-to-face to online coaching? Are you prepared for students to return to the classrooms?
We formed a separate team and started online classes much before distance learning was announced. Due to our agility we were able to move fast and adapt to the new normal. Fruit of the labour was in the feedback we got from parents and students who said that not only were we faster than a lot of schools but our learning platform felt so real that they enjoyed our classes more than every other digital learning platform they were using.
We are now working towards bringing our students to in-person physical classes in mid-April. We have ensured our staff is vaccinated and all of us are trained on guidelines released by authorities during the pandemic.
Online vs face-to-face
"It is an incorrect notion that online education is a replacement of physical classes," says Monika. "There are irreplaceable benefits to physical classes such as personal interaction with the teacher, better discipline, more focus, higher quality learning, social interactions and motivation. Don’t get us wrong though, online education is a wonderful tool. It can be used to support physical classes very effectively.
"Recently, there have been a lot of online players that have assisted students at the right time during the pandemic and that is praiseworthy. Going forward when we are able to conduct physical classes, students will rush to centres with quality physical education, supported by a strong digital platform."
Anand Raj OK