In a recent article, Wall Street Journal said that online mathematics education is the next phase of outsourcing in the US.
Two things have led to this unique outsourcing: One, US students are doing badly in mathematics. American 15-year-olds ranked 24th among 29 industrialised countries in a study of mathematics skills released last year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Journal notes.
Also, the country is facing a teacher shortage, particularly in mathematics and sciences. Nearly 40 per cent of US high schools reported difficulty filling openings this year with qualified instructors for mathematics, according to the American Association of Employment in Education.
"Into the breach steps a handful of Indian companies like Career Launcher India Ltd. which provide math tutoring through two US online tutoring companies and directly to students," the article in Wall Street Journal says.
A software developed by Career Launcher, says the article, allows teachers and students to talk to each other during the live session. They can even see each other through a Web camera.
In 2003, Career Launcher founder Satya Narayanan struck a deal with a US-based online tutoring company, and eight months ago, signed up with a second one. (Both require Career Launcher to keep their names secret under the terms of the contract).The company has taught about 800 US students online in the past ten months, the article informed.