New Delhi, Apr 6 To bridge the quality education gap and provide students with tech-based learning solutions, Google.Org today announced grants of USD 8.4 million to four Indian NGOs working to improve education in the country.
Pratham Books StoryWeaver, Pratham Education Foundation, Million Sparks Foundation and Learning Equality are the four NGOs that will receive the grants over the next two years "to expand and scale the work" they have been doing.
"We believe technology can help bridge the gap, it can get more books to students, more lesson plans to teachers, and classrooms to kids who can't get there themselves," Nick Cain, Programme Manager at Google.Org, said.
According to the company, the grants will be used to offer languge-oriented learning material, better training and support to teachers, and to support students beyond classroom learning.
The Million Sparks Foundations with its digital content platform and social community 'ChalkLit' provides teachers with lessons plans, learning modules and videos, which are organised in accordance with the government certified curriculum standards.
In December last year, the NGO was selected by Delhi State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) and currently provides training to over 60,000 school teachers through the ChalkLit app.
"Our vision is to create a platform using which anyone can teach a child one lesson at a time. What we are trying to create are bite-sized curriculum-aligned sources, which are basically around one particular chapter. We are trying to create resources that are 360 degree learning solutions," Abhinav Mathur, Founder-Director, Million Sparks Foundation, said.
While Pratham Education's hybrid learning program provides students with "self-driven" tablet-based solution, Pratham Books' StoryWeaver is an open-source online platform which allows teachers and parents to create and translate stories in over 67 languages.
"So far we have provided about 26,000 children with 2,400 tablets in 400 villages of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The cost of this model is USD 10 per year per child, which is quite less compared to government's spending of USD 250 per year per child on primary education," Vinod Khanna of Pratham Education said.
In association with local partner Motivation for Excellence, Learning Equality aims to "help educators access, organize and customize digital content, even in the most remote locations" through their platform 'Kolibri'.