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Globalization and Kerala

Outsourcing has presented so many business opportunities for Indians, all you need is think creatively. The most obvious ones like IT, Auto Parts etc. are booming. Here is something different – remote teachers.

Twice in a week, Ann Maria, a sixth grader at Silver Oak Elementary School, California logs on to the internet from home after school hours. Ann is not chatting up her friends. She is connecting to her personal tutor, already online, armed with headset and a pen mouse sitting in a call centre like cubicle almost a timezone away in Panampillynagar, Kochi, Kerala.

Your neighbourhood tuition teacher, riding on the Information Technology Enabled Service (ITES) wave, has gone global and his monthly pay packet turned meatier __ the 17 teachers who work with the Growing Star Infotech (P) Ltd would testify. The firm a subsidiary of California-based Growing Stars Inc went online in January last year.

Growing Stars currently has a 57-seater facility, but feels it may need more space as they expand. The shift starts at 4.30 in the morning and ends by 12.30 pm. One reason for the high growth rate could be that personalised tuition in US is highly expensive. “We started of with Indian students. But we have now around 60 American students and every one is happy because they are bettering the grades,” says Bina. The only hitch is the accent of the tutors which is being taken care of with help from a language trainer. [US parents outsource maths tuition to teachers in Kerala]

Even though California is one of the largest economies in the world, when it comes to academic standards, they rank very low in the nation and there may be a market for more remote teachers.

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