A silent revolution is happening inside India. A revolution that is led by India’s leading minds. And they are putting their biggest investments behind the revolution – ideas, time and money. The revolution is working for providing world-class education to India’s children in rural areas. People across the board are working towards providing quality education for India’s poor and underprivileged children.
Anupama Nayar and Vineet Nayar created Sampark Foundation to provide innovation led large-scale changes in primary school education. The ex-CEO of HCL Technologies and his wife have impacted the lives of 3 million children in 50,000 schools in Indian states of Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Chattisgarh so far. They have committed to invest USD 100 million (INR 650 crores) and improve quality of education for 10 million children by 2020.
After researching the key issues in primary education in India and studying Global Best Practices, they have initiated audio-visual driven learning methods. Sampark Didi helps to improve the English and Maths basic skills for students and teachers.
Children love smartphones and tablets. Digital learning technologies can be an interesting catalyst for improving education. One such example is EkStep
Nandan Nilekani – Time’s Global Influential Thinker, Architect of India’s National Identity Project Aadhar and ex-CEO of InfoSys has founded EkStep Foundation. It is a non-for-profit foundation that aims to extend learning opportunities to millions of Indian children through a collaborative, universal platform that facilitates creation and consumption of educational content. Nandan, Rohini Nilekani and Shankar Maruwada are co-founder and have the leadership team that was instrumental in developing the Aadhar Project.
The Nilekanis have started with an initial commitment of USD 10 million and gamified Apps. EkStep Genie is a meta-app for creation and dissemination of gamified content.
Azim Premji Foundation is working with 350,000 schools across 8 different states of India. Apart from research and development of content, it is working with Governments to improve the approach and outcomes of education. It is also establishing its own schools.
The above initiatives are about the primary and basic education. India’s stock market expert Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and other foundations are working towards building curiosity and scientific appreciation amongst India’s generation next. Agastya Foundation runs one of the largest hands-on science education programs for children and teachers in the world. Agastya’s mission is “to spark curiosity, nurture creativity and instill confidence” in economically disadvantaged children and government schoolteachers by bringing innovative hands-on science education and peer-to-peer learning to government schools and villages across India.
It has 175+ Mobile Science Vans which take science education to the village doorstep and 74+ Science Centers for disadvantaged children. It also has a 172-acre Creativity Lab campus in Andhra Pradesh and 313 Night Village Schools.
Truly, the scale and execution of the above ideas is impressive. Even if a tiny percentage of the above efforts is successful, it will create a great impact.
Fruits of education will take a few years to bear fruit, but they yield results at the right time when India’s economic leadership will be significant. And these children bring a new perspective to India’s future and transform India.