Student engagement in rural classrooms in our existing education system has been a concern for several years. Poor student engagement directly leads to poor learning and student’s struggles to master foundation skills in primary grades. These outcomes have been highlighted by several research reports. As per Annual School Education Report (ASER) 2018 data, only 73% of Grade VIII students can read Grade II level text. ASER also reported that only 44% of children in Grade VIII can solve a basic arithmetic problem.
The COVID-19 crisis has forced the Government to take drastic measures for public safety. The pandemic left millions suffering. The schools are shut down and uncertainty around when they will reopen further adds to students’ woes. To ensure education of children is not affected much, educational content has been developed by government and non-governmental organizations (NGO). This content is distributed through WhatsApp, Online classes and TV , which has very limited outreach due to limited accessibility of smart phones & TV ( personal usages), resulting in massive learning loss. A recent study by Azim Premji University indicates, due to pandemic and shutting down of schools, 92% of students have lost a language skill that they already knew and 82% lost at least one mathematical concept that they had learnt in their last session in school. Also, this inaccessibility to alternate education medium and material, is leading to increase in school dropouts and may force an increased number of students in the labour market.
Ennoble’s proposed solution
YeloJuju – YeloGreen reconnecting with Education Program
“Suno Banao – Sikho Sikhao”
“YeloJuju” is an audio device with a preloaded educational syllabus to be distributed to each student. The device does not require internet connectivity or even electricity, enabling anywhere anytime learning. The students can listen to any subject, as delivered by a teacher in a regular school. This countermeasure ensures that learning happens even during COVID time, when the schools are closed. Moreover, YeloJuju can be used by the students to get better clarity of concepts even after the school reopens, wherein, they can refer to the lessons from earlier grades helping them build upon the concepts that are currently being taught. The self-learning study material provided with YeloJuju will complement delivery of learning even after the schools reopen. It is also designed with a solar charging feature so that students in remote locations who do not have access to electricity can also use this device to study without any break. Thus, the device not only connects students with learning new concepts but also connects students to overcome the learning loss due to pandemic and school shutdown.
Our past experience
Among many projects, Ennoble Social Innovation team has successfully implemented the Gondia Engaging Learning in Gondia, Maharashtra. This project was implemented in 5 rural schools of the district in collaboration with 15 teachers to impact the learning of 150 students in the year 2020-21. You can read more about this in our stories from the ground.
On a final note, seventeen months into the pandemic, there is abundant evidence of the damage the prolonged closure of schools has done to the children. While reopening still seems like a monumental task ahead, we believe some of these challenges faced by the students can be mitigated with our innovation. Please help us extend our solution to counter the digital divide and reconnect more students back to education.