Meeting girls from the residential schools of Rajsthan was an inspiring experience for all of us. We came across many facts that we tend to ignore in the glare of city lights. Rajasthan, the 7th largest state in India, recorded the lowest literacy rate for women, only 46 % in 2018. With the increasing need for education, the literacy rate has improved, but still, many researches show that 37% of educated women had dropped out of school before completing 8th grade. In order to provide quality education and better learning opportunities to the girls in the Bhiwadi district of Rajasthan, Union Government has set up Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya residential schools for girls of weaker sections where they stay, play and learn.
Our journey of meeting these girls from residential schools of Rajasthan
Foundation Saint Gobain is an arm of Saint Gobain that designs, manufactures and markets solar control glass, fire-resistant glass and other various types of float glasses in India. In coordination with its non-profit arm working for sustainable social housing and education, the company strive to enable quality education and improve learning outcomes for students of government schools. With their proactive communication with teachers and students of different states they found out that girls in residential schools ask teachers to play videos of content they teach to make classroom fun. This is when their team reached out to us to enable digital learning content to make learning enjoyable and engaging for these students.
Under this partnership, our team first conducted a need assessment survey based on the issues identified by Saint Gobain. From one to one interaction with students of schools we found out that students ask their teachers to play animated educational videos on their phones to see visual demonstration of the experiments being taught in class. But there are times when teachers are not free or can not hand over their phones or do not have internet recharge in their phones. So students end up turning pages of their textbooks or give up learning a few complex concepts. This is when iDream Education with the support of Saint Gobain implemented TabLab, a tablet based digital learning lab in residential schools of Rajasthan. TabLabis a tablet charging trolley & storage rack setup with a tablet which can be used on a rotational basis by students. At iDream Education, our objective is to make learning enjoyable and easy for students through multiple category offline digital content.
- To give every student a chance to enjoy personalised digital learning, in TabLab we provided them with 20, 7inch Android tablets with earphones and a book-style protective cover.
- Each tablet is provided with preloaded digital content on an SD Card in Hindi language aligned to the Rajasthan board so that students could switch to digital learning without any hassle.
- Academic content for classes 5th to 8th for all subjects including EVS, Maths, Science, Social Science, English Grammar, Hindi Vyakaran, and computer in the form of animated video lessons, and digital syllabus books to improve conceptual understanding of students throughout their syllabus.
- DIY and other activity videos and a comprehensive digital book library with thousands of books on health, safety, sanitation, inspirational biographies, and much more for holistic learning of students.
- Assessment and MCQ style practice questions to boost the confidence of students on topics learned.
- Reporting dashboard for continuous monitoring that provides a track of student’s usage of the content and their progress. Through this, teachers, principals and project partners can determine how effective our digital learning solution is being used by students.
Improved creative learning
When students got access to tablets and digital content they have been wanting for a long time, they explored it to their capacity. In a month, they explored most educational and activity videos to know the practicality of what they have been taught in the last few years. All of them participated in activity day and prepared their own working models.
Some developed a reading habit
Because of the availability of a comprehensive digital book library with thousands of books on biographies, poems, stories, safety, sanitation, and much more girls from the residential school of Bhiwadi developed a reading habit. One such girl from the school is Nisha who we haven’t personally met but while we were reviewing usage reports, we found out that between multimedia and digital books, Nisha has spent a staggering 63% of the time reading digital books. Before this, she did not have access to books and her interest would have waned off but, with the availability of digital books on tablets, she is now exploring her potential to the fullest.
Because now students had access to all the types of content they were looking for, their involvement in learning increased. Girls started staying back in classes, learning from the content of junior classes, which improved their understanding of concepts they missed in previous years, resulting in improved understanding of students and better results.
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