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  Social Responsibility

Education
Published on: Feb. 13, 2020, 12:19 p.m.
L&T Infotech connects students in rural India with volunteer teachers through e-learning
  • The company is reaching out to 33,400 children in remote areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand

By Business India Editorial

E-Vidyaloka is a virtual learning project, through which L&T Infotech (LTI) connects students in rural India with volunteer teachers by leveraging the power of technology. This project is executed on a video conferencing tool.

Through this initiative, LTI is reaching out to over 33,400 children in some of the most remote areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.

The CSR arm of LTI first approached NGOs that worked actively in this space. For this virtual learning initiative, LTI partnered with eVidyaloka and ARWEL (Association for Rural Women’s Education for Liberation). These NGOs helped in identifying the right regions that comprised an academically deprived population and accessibility in terms of gathering, teaching, volunteering.

The company began by setting up the infrastructure to connect schools with volunteer teachers. A virtual classroom is set-up within the school premises with ’digital infrastructure‘ (such as CPU, LED screen, camera, UPS and broadband modem). Subsequently, the curriculum was recreated and delivered on a digital platform that tracks and monitors the delivery of classes in real-time.

Volunteers from LTI team who have a passion for teaching nominate themselves for this project. Partner NGOs train these volunteers before inducting them into the programme and then connect them to schools virtually. In addition to this, community volunteers are sourced by eVidyaloka to cater to further demand.

Over 70 per cent of the volunteer teachers involved are qualified professionals from various fields. The State Board curriculum for English, Mathematics and Science is being taught by the volunteer teachers, with an objective of enriching learning experience by leveraging digital content like videos, visual flows, pictures and activities. This in turn also inspires children to reciprocate to the learning process with higher engagement.

Giving them confidence Since the beginning of this initiative about 246,000 hours of online classes have been delivered. The virtual learning programme has scaled from 500 to 30,000 students in over four years. Children have shown significant improvement in attendance (up from 73 per cent to 85 per cent), which also reflected on the engagement and quality of the programme. The digital learning experience also enabled students to gain confidence and participate in various events.

Over 345 children from government schools participated in various district, state and national level competitions. Suma Turumari, a young girl from the Government Higher Primary School in Bogur (Karnataka), a beneficiary of the initiative, won the Raman Awards for 2019-20 under the middle school category. She was given a cash prize of Rs20,000. The award aims to establish Science as a fun and interesting stream that can be explored with simple materials. Nearly 200 children also participated in the National Student Innovation Challenge. The shortlisted finalists presented their working models in a grand event at Bengaluru.

LTI also runs Rubaru, a thought leadership platform that brings together industry experts including bureaucrats, educationists and connects them with children from rural and urban India, to discuss possible models that can drive inclusive education and growth.


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