When we look around almost everything around us has changed, the cars we drive, the kind of clothes we wear, our methods of communicating and what not. If there is one thing that hasn't changed is the way we teach and the way we learn.
My grandfather recited his maths tables under a tree in a village in Punjab, My dad did it in the same village but in a classroom, I did it in a classroom, in a city. Although absolutely necessary, but we cannot list better school uniforms, bigger school buildings as changes in the education system.
Let us take a step back and look at learning levels of school children in government schools or rural schools across India. Various reputed NGOs publish reports of a very grim picture of the children in these schools every year.. Imparting high-quality education to one and all remains a distant dream.
There has been tremendous work done to improve student enrollments by the government. We have succeeded in bringing our children to school but now the question is how to keep them at school, will we be able to deliver quality to them?
It is becoming more and more difficult to fulfill India's need for good teachers, and incorporating technology looks to be the only way forward to ensure imparting high-quality education, consistently to every nook and corner of the country.
At Espranza Innovations, we continuously look for ways to build platforms and learning aids for school children using technology. We build these learning tools keeping all stakeholders in our education system in mind, - school, administrators/government, teachers, parents and most importantly students. iScuela is our one such attempt.
We have now reached 450 cities and towns across India catering to over 100,000 students. We at Espranza Innovations have partnered with NDTV for the Support My School Campaign to work on the ground and build a learning ecosystem using technology, in the schools adopted under this campaign. Work has already started in the schools in Punjab, where Lenovo tablets have been distributed in four schools and work on localising content is already underway. Global Shapers Community Hub from Chandigarh is also playing a key role in ensuring the on ground impact of this initiative.
As a part of this initiative, at the onset, we focus on teacher training, to assist with teacher adoption of technology, which is followed by student learning programmes. During the entire duration, a continuous focus on sustainability of the project is kept in mind and eventually school is made self-sufficient and sustaining. During my visits to these schools, one thing I have noticed spark in eyes of the children.
They want to learn, have the curiosity and are ready for the dream. It was heartening to see that these kids wanted to choose a number of different career paths some wanted to serve in the police while other had an inclination towards fashion. I take this opportunity and use this platform to invite other like-minded organisations to support us in helping these children make a strong foundation at school so that they can realise their dreams. Our country is undergoing a digital revolution and I have no doubts that this time education won't miss out.
Maninder Singh Bajwa is the founder and CEO, Espranza Innovations Pvt. Ltd. and a Global Shaper, Initiative by World Economic Forum Espranza, is an EdTech company focusses on providing high-quality education through the use of mobile technology bridging barriers of demographics, affordability and availability of resources.