Amazon said on Thursday said it would shut down its online education platform for high-school students in India. The company did not cite any reason for the shutdown of the edtech platform, Amazon Academy, in less than two years of its launch.
Launched in January 2021 amid a boom in online education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Amazon Academy platform offered coaching for competitive exams including JEE, which allows entry into top engineering colleges across India.
“Following an assessment, we have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Academy… We are winding down this program in a phased manner to take care of current customers,” said an Amazon spokesperson.
However, Amazon Academy’s subscribers will have access to the full course material for an extended period of one year till October 2024. It will also refund the full fee to those enrolled in the current academic batch.
“At Amazon, we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas to delight customers. We also continually evaluate the progress and potential of our products and services to deliver customer value, and we regularly make adjustments based on those assessments,” the Amazon spokesperson said.
The winding down comes at a time when multiple edtech firms are reeling under the pressure of schools and coaching centres reopening across India after COVID-19-induced lockdowns. Last month, industry leader Byju’s had said it would lay off 2,500 employees as it pushes to turn profitable.
Other players Unacademy, Toppr, WhiteHat Jr, and Vedantu had also announced layoffs earlier this year.
The move to shut the online platform by the company comes a day after Amazon India was summoned to appear before the deputy chief labour commissioner in Bengaluru on Wednesday, in connection with the alleged forced terminations by the company.
Amazon last week started laying off employees across the company amid an “unusual and uncertain macroeconomic environment” and plans to cut 10,000 or 3 per cent of its workforce.
Its CEO Andy Jassy has also said Amazon will continue to cut jobs into 2023 as it adjusts to business conditions and the decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organizations early in 2023.
He also said, “Leaders across the company are working with their teams and looking at their workforce levels, investments they want to make in the future, and prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses… This year’s review is more difficult due to the fact that the economy remains in a challenging spot and we’ve hired rapidly the last several years.”
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