In this rant I am gonna talk about a edtech startup called Whitehat Jr . It has got a lot of PR recently as it was acquired by a company named Byjus for 300 million dollars which leads the online education industry in India. They teach subjects which are taught at school but with animations , custom mad learning path by AI for each person and pretty good teachers and are pretty popular and have a lot of ads on youtube and televsison.

Okay so back to Whitehat Jr . These guys in short will charge you so much that you could have bought your child a new decent laptop and a top notch udemy course for full price that matter at full price . And what do you get in the course you might ask . They teach your kid free no code programs and some javascript in most of their courses . Lets go in detail. I will only go in detail on their beginer course beacuse of the character limit on devrant .

So to start off Whitehat Jr teaches kids from grade 1 to 12 with 1 to 1 teachingwith cirriculum designed for kids. Lets check their plans.
Their courses are devided by grade in the following manner :-
Beginner :- Grade 1
Intermediate :- Grade 2 to 3
Advanced :- Grade 4 to 6
Professional :- Grade 7 to 9
Applied Teach :- Grade 10+

They have 3 plans each for each of their courses. From Beginner to Professional Plan they have the following plans :-
1. Introduction to Coding - Rs 5,999
2. App Developer Certificate - Rs 33,999
3. Advanced Coding with Space Tech - Rs 99,999

The Applied Tech has the following plans :-
1. Introduction to Python :- Rs 5,999
2. Data Analytics Certification :- Rs 33,9999
3. Advanced Coding with Space Tech - Rs 99,999

They also send the top students to sillicon valley Companies Google and Waymo to shape their future.

Seems like they are a legit company right? Wrong

Let's start with their reviews from quora here :-

Now looking at the top answers there is something fishy. The top answer says that they teach them ready made scripts which is fishy. There are some other negtaive reviews but most have good impressions. However if you look closely most answers are copy pasted and all of them are positive. This removes legitimacy and are possibly written by whitehat jr themselves removing their legitamcy. Also some reviews said that they were spammed and the messages told them to buy their courses when they took a trial class.If you look at other threads on quora about kids asking how to learn to code a lot of answers are same as the a lot of them are spammed with the same answers. So their marketing team just spammed quora which is not something expected by a company like this.

Now let's get into their most messed up part their cirriculum. Let's start with the beginner course

The cheapest plan of 5,999 only goes over the fundamentals. They teach, loops, nested loops, conditionals, variables, maths and some logic gates. They also go over some debugging and some UI stuff . However there is no mention of a fucking programming language in curriculum meaning that they are probably using some block coding language like scratch but the thing is you fucking paid for this coding course and you are just learning programming fundamentals in some probably free block coding programming language. What the hell did they think. I know this is a 1 to 1 class but waht is the point when the child is learning stuff they could have learnt for free anyway. This is a fucking scam. A parent can use free stuff on youtube. The only stuff they are not getting is a certificate and itis of no value if a emplyer takes a look at the so bad cirriculum, so no advantage of the certificate and the child did not learning much coding anyways.

The second plan for Rs 33,999 is better . IT teaches everything in the last course + some stem velocity stuff, arguments, functions, booleans, event handling, some mouse and keyboard stuff. But the thing is this is still fundamental stuff which a parent could have just use free resources for that as well

There is also sprite :animation and sprite: interaction . Sprites are keywords in scratch. If they were teaching scratch for this cost this would have been a scam but there is some js but no html, css and js libraries so it is kinda a scam for the price. There is also some array and timed loops.

The most expensive plan which is nearly a lakh rupees which includes stuff from the previous plans as well is comparable to burning money. The teach some db stuff which is the only good stuff in that. They teach you to use a free app maker tool called thunkable to make "native apps" . They also teach you to make ai with you guessed it another no code tool called "Dialog Flow " by google which has a free version though nothing crazy is enough to teach. They might have paid for that stuff but still this is terrible value. For the same price of the most expensive plan I can buy a decent laptop and a udemy course.

  • 7
    Par for the course for paid training. They're selling a fantasy, that there is a clearcut path through the wilderness and they're the keepers of if. I've said for 20 years that paid classroom/video instruction is a waste of time. People who learn that way will never be as good as the person teaching them.

    As you said, all the information is freely available on docs, and deep dives can be had from books. The investment should primarily be one of time.

    It doesn't just end there unfortunately; I've been forced to endure paid training where IBM/HCL and Infy employees were present. The first question any of them ask is, "is this session being recorded?" like it was a goddamn WebEx meeting. Who in their right mind would even think you could record pay-per-session training?
  • 5
    It started to smell bad the moment I saw "AI"...
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    @N00bPancakes I lost my shit at space tech. Like, what is that supposed to mean? Are they teaching 6502 assembly because a lot of spacecraft run on it bc it's reliable, or are they teaching advanced physics and chemistry?
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    @Lor-inc they probably play kerbal space program
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    Utter crap....fuelled by parents who don’t know anything about coding and fall for their marketing.
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    Any new thing comes with an opportunity to earn and bring a change. Usually only the first is achieved.

    India is rapidly moving into a new phase in education and technology with its upcoming changes and "atma nirbhar" mentality. I am guessing that vedantu, whitehat and byjus etc are early adopters , so they re gonna profit big .

    But whatever they are doing is also not wrong per se. Previously a 5th std student wouldn't even know what a ram is. And today when i checked my old school's syllabus, they are teaching concepts of ai to class 8th students! Damn this generation is gonna bring a new level of energy if everything goes right.

    Are you a parent tho? Because i have seen multiple companies selling crappy wyswyg software courses just because children cannot understand actual code and parents get satisfied if their children are learning something than nothing. If multiple parents get against this, then this might change
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    @Lor-inc According to the quora review thread I included in the rant. The first reveiw said that when he asked whitehat jr about space tech they told him that that it was a api they will teach children to call and use fro data
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    @2Large I am not a parent. I just code so one of my family members asked should they enroll their child in whitehat jr. So I looked at their curriculum and told them not to enroll their child in that. Also this is the tip of the iceberg. I will continiue this rant later on to tell about the other courses
  • 0
    @scout Is it fueled by actual customers?

    Looks like they sold to someone, a lot of these i wonder if they're sustainable for long.
  • 0
    @N00bPancakes They are pretty sustainable. Heck they are on a hiring spree. They are planning to hire 13,000 teachers before the year ends which is 3 or 4 months.
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    Education system in India was, is, and will always be stupid.

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    Also, They allow just ANYBODY to teach. There is no skill or knowledge requirement. They’re just given some material and some small session that’s it. That’s why I see a lot of positive reviews from their “teachers”.
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    @scout One thing that helped me understand how some countries are developed while other struggling even after having so many resources is the education system.

    Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
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    @F1973 I disagree. Education is good. Comparing to people educated in other countries, I see Indians are quite smart. I think people educated in India are VERY hard working, capable, have a lot of potential, and have done considerable work and reached heights. Especially those who have moved out of India after basic education.
    The problem is the economy and the values and the politics. They kill the potential and don’t provide opportunities in the home country.

    Although modern education system has become crap. It’s too lenient, kids are too incapable of handling any hard word or pressure at all. Our times were good.
  • 0
    @scout nooooooo... Wrong on so many levels.
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    @AkshayTolwani i guessed so. I was also laughing when I saw a facebook ad sometime ago. But few days later i saw it being acquired by byjus for $300 mil. This means they are upto something next level. Either the biggest ed tech fraud or the biggest ed tech innovation.

    And whenever some startup shit is supported by government decisions, its usually the innovation. Case in point, the crazy shit that jio did 2 years ago
  • 1
    Efforts to push into the US and Australian markets at the behest of investors from TenCent and Qatar fell flat due to quality issues, then coronavirus, so they're trying to establish a monopoly to shore up their profits for the time being. Basically the same play Thompson made in the US.
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