The COVID-19 pandemic has given a forceful nudge to the Indian education system to improve upon online education rapidly. A lot of problems arose during the time in implementing the new standard operating procedures in conducting classes. Additionally, the digital divide that existed in the country costed the underutilization of the educational potential of thousands of students.
Aspirational districts are the districts in the country that are among the most developmentally challenged across sectors including education, healthcare, basic infrastructure and finance, in states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Karnataka, Sikkim, among others. Considering the fact that these districts are lagging way behind in most development criteria including education, it is no surprise that students from these districts suffered much more during the pandemic in terms of loss of education and learning, as compared to more developed districts.
In order to address the woes of the students of these districts and provide them with an equal opportunity to learn, BYJU’s has committed them with free and quality education. The prominent ed-tech company has said that it has collaborated with NITI Aayog to provide tech-driven learning programs to the children of these districts. The collaboration between the company and NITI Aayog has two components:
Education for All
The first component includes a voluntary programme by the company which will allow children of school-going age (Classes 6-12) to opt for scholastic content from Byju’s Learning App for three years, under the edtech’s social impact initiative, Education for All.
Byju Raveendran, the founder of the ed-tech giant has highlighted the achievements of the ongoing program by saying, “Through our Education for All programme, we have been empowering and impacting millions of children across the country, and by partnering with NITI Aayog, our efforts are being strengthened further. We are confident that with this partnership, kids from underserved communities and locations will be empowered with tech-enabled learning and bring in positive systemic changes in the education ecosystem.”
Career Plus Program
The second component of the company’s collaboration with India’s top think-tank is in form of the career plus program. Under this program, the company will identify and provide high-quality coaching to 3,000 students of Classes 11 and 12 who aspire to appear for NEET and JEE. The coaching received by the students will be the same as offered by the Aakash Institute. For this programme, students will be selected through a pre-designed test and provided teaching and content material, along with mentoring support and guidance. This initiative will combine classroom and online learning.
In addition to these components, the company has clarified that it aims to make the supplemental learning resources available to children in the government schools in the Aspirational Districts on a pro-bono basis (without charge or nominal fees). The main aim of the program is to improve the online education system in India and mitigate the digital divide in education.