Nirmala Sankaran -HeyMath!

Posted January 13, 2017 1:43 pm by

An online Math learning platform recognized as one of the 25 most innovative companies in India by Microsoft in 2007

Founded by Nirmala Sankaran and Harsh Rajan in May 2000, HeyMath! is an online platform for learning school – level mathematics. The company is based in Chennai, India and has spread its activities to Singapore, USA, Africa and beyond. It focuses on mathematics for the age group 6 to 18 years (Grade 1 to Grade 12). HeyMath!was recognized as one of the 25 most innovative companies in 2007 by Microsoft in a nation-wide survey in India and was featured in NASSCOM’S 100 most innovative software companies in India in 2006.

Praveena 5 Nirmala Sankaran Nirmala Sankaran
Nirmala Sankaran leads product design, innovation and talent management at HeyMath! Nirmala completed her MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore in 1988 and graduated from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi in 1986.

The Need
Nirmala Sankaran says, “The problem we set out to solve was the shortage of maths teachers.” There is an acute shortage of good maths teachers. There is also a high rate of failure in the Maths subject. “There is no perfect education system.There is no perfect blend of conceptual understanding, procedure fundamental to mathematics and problem solving skills. Different systems seem to emphasise different aspects of this learning. But no one system is perfect.” HeyMath!aims to bridge this gap.

The Fear
Ms.Sankaran says, “In Mathematics, a cumulative understanding is required so once you miss the boat for a couple of years due to absence of a good teacher, the student starts fearing the subject. It is then just a question of losing self-confidence and self-esteem.”

The HeyMath! Solution
Access to a good teacher year after year is essential. It is very difficult to play catch-up after say 2 years of neglect. So, it is important that a student has access to a good teacher every academic year.
Ms. Sankaran says, “HeyMath! is like Insurance for a parent that their child has good been taught the subject well from grade 1 to grade 12.So, if a student has an average teacher of Maths in a particular grade, HeyMath! will cover the loophole of the average teacher. Even teachers can use HeyMath! as a tool to help them get better so that an average teacher becomes better and then better become best.”

At HeyMath! “There is a holistic solution; firstly a capable teacher’s sphere of influence is increased beyond the classroom by making use of technology namely the world-wide-web whereby one teacher can supply support to students globally. Secondly, support systems are in place to help teachers deliver to the best of their ability.”

There are 3 main components that make up HeyMath!:
1. Teaching methodology of the Digital curriculum
2. Flexible delivery model in terms of technology
3. Teacher provisional development

HeyMath At School
HeyMath! Has been designed to become a support system to the traditional school teacher. A digital curriculum can be made available via online and offline methods and implemented in a school system.
Ms.Sankaran says, “Parents spend money on supplementary support systems anyway. Children go for tuitions and coaching classes after school. Time and money is spent on trying to create a good support system to improve the understanding of the subject. There is an urge to improve quality all the time and solutions are not easy.
From an institutional and consumer perspective, there was an opportunity here and that is when HeyMath! Was born.”

The Growth of HeyMath! Over The Years
“The HeyMath! program helps identify students whom require more attention via online tests and assignments. The feedback data from these tests and assignment are then used to help students’ respective problem areas in a timely manner via their online system as opposed to the traditional manual system.” So, a combination of the online teaching and the traditional classroom teaching is what will strengthen a student’s understanding of the subject. HeyMath! brings good teaching methodology within accessible reach of everybody.

On a Personal Note
Ms.Sankaran tells us that as a child, there was always an importance given to Mathematics in her home. “Emphasis in Maths in my family has stood me in good stead. The importance of maths was very high – it was not negotiable. So although I did not pursue my higher studies in the subject, what I studied in my growing up years left an indelible impression”.

Mathematics is a universal language and HeyMath! brings its understanding to the table.

For more info visit:
Sankhyaa Learning (P) Ltd
Steeple Reach, First Floor, #25, Cathedral Road
Chennai – 600086
Phone Number +91 44 4348 1500