The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted virtually every industry, either positively or negatively. It has been over nine months since the outbreak, and the world has started to learn to live with it. Although these nine months have been terrible for some businesses, they have proved to be a blessing in disguise for others.
To prevent public gathering and enforce social distancing, stores and educational institutes have either been forced to shut down or limit their opening hours. Educational institutes around the world remained closed for over 7 months. Even those that were allowed to remain open had to ensure safety measures, including limiting the number of students allowed at a time. People have also been more cautious in the way they used to do shopping, avoiding public places. All this has resulted in unprecedented growth in online learning.
As mentioned above, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of exponential growth for some industries. The industry of online Quran learning saw a boost like never before. The period of self-isolation and the closure of all physical learning centers left people with no option but to resort to virtual learning. And this worked quite well utilizing the time productively. Muslims all over the world found it a great opportunity to connect with Allah and learn Quran online as they were staying home anyway.
Boost in Online Quran Learning
Mr. Ajmal, the founder of a leading online Quran academy revealed that his academy witnessed a 200% increase in their sign-ups from March to July 2020. The number of students enrolled to learn Quran online increased at a sharp rate. The new students they got in these 5 months would normally take almost 2 years to get. This should not come as any surprise given that people were stuck at homes and there were no social activities. To learn Quran online was the best option they could go for.
The manager of another online Quran Institute told us that his academy hired 20 new male & female online Quran tutors as there was an overwhelming number of new students. The academy had managed to hire 35 tutors during the course of 5 years. This shows that their students increased exponentially during the pandemic which reflected in their tutors’ strength. The 5 months of COVID caused the academy to increase the clientele that took them almost 4 years. The pandemic has brought great fortunes to many online businesses and the industry of online Quran tutoring is certainly one of them.
Besides allowing a maximum number of people to learn Quran online, a healthy result of this boost is that it provided employment opportunities for aspiring online Quran tutors. Every academy hired new online Quran tutors to accommodate new students. As it is estimated, as many as 3 thousand new online Quran tutors were hired by online Quran Institutes during the pandemic. A great number of people started teaching Quran online as freelancers. Although the surge slowed down after August 2020 as physical educational institutes opened and the lockdown eased, the number of students enrolling is still higher than normal.
After talking to more than 15 owners and managers of online Quran learning centers, all of them seemed pretty happy with the growth of their businesses. They also felt a sense of honor for enabling more and more people to learn Quran online and earning a fair share of thawab (blessings). However, they hoped the pandemic be over soon and things return to normal.
Growth in the Online Hifz Program – A Peculiar Case
An interesting revelation was made by Mr. Ali who is the founder of IQRA Quran Tutoring, another leading online Quran institute. He sighted an overwhelming growth in the online Hifz program, a course to help people memorize the Quran. He stated it was a little strange for him too that students enrolled in the memorization course more than any other course although Quran recitation or Tafseer courses are way higher in demand. Before the pandemic, he said, they would get one or two new signups for the online Hifz program or Quran memorization course in a week while 3-5 signups every day for other courses. During the pandemic, the situation reversed making 2-3 new signups for the online Hifz program every day.
This forced Mr. Ali to take new hifz tutors on board to accommodate these students. According to him, he hired 5 new tutors specifically for online Quran memorization. An increase is recorded in other courses too and he had to hire 5 more tutors.
Being a strong supporter of Quran learning whether online or offline, these revelations were pleasing for me. It occurred to me how Allah created a worldwide environment so that people turn to His glorious book. How He caused this pandemic a source of earning blessings and virtues for both Quran learners and teachers. Indeed, He has His scheme of things that no one understands.
What Could This Mean for Online Quran Tutors/Academies?
The upward shift we have seen in the online Quran learning patterns will allow for a modification in the industry. It will accelerate innovation and adoption of the latest technologies by the virtual service providers. Academies have to stay on their toes to provide flawless customer service. Be it improving the tutor’s qualification, communication, updating the content, utilizing rates, and reviews to promote services.
These unusual circumstances ask for positive behaviors and responses from all segments of society. Only by adapting to the evolving learning landscape and rising to the occasion can we tackle this in the right way. We should remember that life is not always a straight line staying the same all the time. Instead, it changes between highs and lows and only our reactions to different circumstances determine whether we will be hit hard or come out of it victorious.