Just as a teacher was terminated by edtech firm Unacademy for airing his ‘personal opinion’ in the class, the popular online education platform faced severe backlash on social media platforms for its ‘undemocratic’ move.
The fault of the teacher, Karan Sangwan, was that he had encouraged his students to vote for educated candidates.
The company cited a breach of contract by Sangwan that prompted it to terminate his services, highlighting that personal opinions and views should not be shared within the classroom environment.
The incident gained attention when a video surfaced in which Sangwan was seen urging his students to consider educated individuals in their voting choices.
Co-founder of Unacademy, Roman Saini, emphasised Unacademy’s commitment to providing unbiased, quality education and stressed the importance of maintaining a strict Code of Conduct for all educators. He expressed concern that personal opinions shared in the classroom could inadvertently sway learners’ perspectives. Consequently, the company felt compelled to sever ties with Sangwan due to his violation of the Code of Conduct.
Sangwan has since launched his own YouTube channel and announced plans to provide further details about the controversy on August 19. He expressed his regret that the viral video had caused disruptions for his students who were preparing for judicial services examinations.
Meanwhile, #UninstallUnacademy started trending on X (formerly Twitter) with over one lakh subscribers uninstalling the app within 24 hours, making the app enter the breakout stage.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also questioned whether recommending the election of educated representatives could be deemed a crime. Kejriwal defended the notion of advocating for educated candidates, asserting that while he respected all individuals, public representatives should possess a certain level of education in an era dominated by science and technology.
Y Sathish Reddy, Chairman of the Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation, also weighed in, expressing concern over Unacademy’s decision. Reddy deemed it inappropriate to penalise a teacher who simply advocated against voting for illiterate candidates. He called for a proper explanation from Unacademy regarding their actions.
Karan Sangwan, as per his Unacademy profile, is an alumnus of the National Law University in Shimla. He previously worked at CR Law College in Hisar. He had been associated with Unacademy as an educator since February 2020, amassing a following of 14,000 on the platform. Sangwan also operates a YouTube channel named Legal Pathshala, boasting a subscriber count of over 45,000.
With an LLM in Criminal Laws, Sangwan has been instrumental in teaching several courses focused on judiciary entrance exams.