Amazon is closing its Amazon Academy, an online platform for learning that it introduced in India for students in high school in 2012 Amazon announced the announcement on Thursday.
The company says it will shut down its tech services across the country in a gradual fashion beginning in August 2023. According to the statement, people who have been enrolled in the current academic year will be refunded in full.
Amazon officially introduced Academy, known as JEE Ready, early this year; however, it has tested the system since the middle of 2019. Academy was designed to assist students in getting ready for entry into the most prestigious engineering colleges in the United States.
The service provided curated learning material, live lectures along with mock tests and complete assessments that helped students master and practice math, physics, and chemistry and helped them prepare for Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE), which is a government-backed engineering entrance exam that is held in India to be able to enter numerous engineering colleges across the nation.
The broad offerings of Amazon had led people to think that Amazon could be planning an important move into the field of education and could threaten upstarts like Byju’s, Unacademy as well as Vedantu.
More than 260 million kids attend schools in India, and a large portion of the population views education as essential to economic growth and a better future. Facebook has also invested in Unacademy, a Bangalore-based company that provides online classes for learning. Google also has invested in Indian Edtech startup Cuemath, has also partnered together with CBSE to provide training for over 1 million teachers across India, and offers a selection of tools for free, including G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, and YouTube to assist in digitizing the educational experience across the country.
“At Amazon, we think about the big picture, try new things and develop new ideas to please our customers. We constantly review the development and the potential of our services and products to provide value to customers and regularly make changes based on these assessments,” said an Amazon spokesperson.
“Following an evaluation, we’ve decided to stop Amazon Academy. We will be closing down the program in a gradual method to care for the current customers.”
The company hasn’t revealed the reason for shutting down Academy; however, ET Prime (paywalled), the first to have announced the change, said that the decision was part of continuous cost-cutting efforts.