Unacademy faces online backlash for sacking teacher; 1 lakh users uninstall app
X users have slammed Unacademy and its founders for sacking tutor Karan Sangwan for asking his students to vote for an educated leader. Hashtag #UninstallUnacademy has started trending
Edtech company Unacademy recently started trending on social media but for all the wrong reasons. What’s worse for the company, 1 lakh users have uninstalled the app within 24 hours.
This comes in the wake of the sacking of a former tutor at Unacademy, Karan Sangwan, for urging his students to vote only for educated people.
Sangwan, who has 14,000 followers on Unacademy, is the founder of Legal Pathsala on YouTube and has an LLM in criminal law. According to his profile on Unacademy, Sangwan joined the edtech firm in February 2020 during the pandemic. A few days ago, while lamenting over the government's recent move to bring changes in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), during his online class, Sangwan had said, "Even I don't know whether to laugh or cry because I also have a lot of bare acts, caseloads, and notes that I had prepared. It is hard work for everyone. You also got a job at your hand."
"But keep in mind one thing. Next time vote for someone who is well-educated so you don't have to go through this (ordeal) again. Ok?” he adds. "Elect someone who is educated, who understands things. Don't elect someone who only knows changing names. Make your decision properly," Sangwan asserted.
This caused an uproar and he was sacked by his employers for ‘breach of contract’.
Roman Saini, the co-founder of Unacademy said that they as an education platform have a ‘strict Code of Conduct’ in place for all their educators, with the intention of ensuring that heir learners have access to ‘unbiased knowledge’.
“The classroom is not a place to share personal opinions and views as they can wrongly influence them. In the current situation, we were forced to part ways with Karan Sangwan as he was in breach of the Code of Conduct,” tweeted Saini.
Saini did not probably anticipate the backlash on social media. Many X users came out in strong support of Sangwan and slammed Unacademy. “If appealing to students to vote for educated candidates is breaching ur 'Code of Conduct' then its time u stop calling urself a learning / education platform,” said one user.
Many hit out at Saini, the Unacademy co-founder for being a ‘Modi bhakt’ and called him a 'hypocrite' for making videos praising Modi. "An institution that does not stand by its teachers can never think about the future of its students," stated another user. Many criticised the edtech firm for bullying a popular teacher like Sangwan and many wanted others to uninstall Unacademy app.
Senior Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde compared it with the Ashoka University row. He tweeted, “If a teacher cannot freely teach or learn, the platform whether it be Unacademy or Ashoka University is not a marketplace of ideas but a government-approved theka (prop) trafficking in knowledge”.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate castigated the edtech founders for sacking the teacher and said that those who cower under pressure and get bullied can never help nurture citizens who stand up against all odds to take on this world. “Sad to see such spineless and weak people run an education platform," Shrinate said.
Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha MP, Priyanka Chaturvedi asked: “How does saying vote for literate politicians a biased opinion?” … Shame if merely expressing this view gets you to take someone’s job, Unacademy. Don’t understand why everyone felt Karan Sangwan, the professor’s opinion on educated leaders was about Mr. Supreme.” Chaturvedi said.
Meanwhile, right wing BJP supporters are calling for beheading Sangwan for asking people to vote for an educated leader.