New Delhi [India], Apr. 7 : Google.org on Friday announced grants of USD 8.4 million to four Indian NGOs, including Learning Equality, Million Sparks Foundation, Pratham Books StoryWeaver, and Pratham Education Foundation over the next two years to expand and scale the work they are doing to enhance the learning experience for students in the classroom.
These grants are part of a global USD 50 million commitment that Google.org made a fortnight ago and will go towards supporting nonprofits that are building tech-based learning solutions.
Grants from Google.org will be used to scale existing initiatives to reach more children, and to build more innovative and engaging tech-based learning solutions to close the gap in learning and academic opportunity.
Since the implementation of the Right to Education act in 2010, there has been much progress in India with respect to infrastructure, enrollments and literacy levels.
But the inequity in the quality of education continues to grow. Various studies show a decline in learning levels among school students. Data from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India indicates there are about 260 million children enrolled in schools across the country, but a recent survey by Pratham Education revealed that 50 percent of all children in the fifth grade cannot read a second grade text nor do a two-digit subtraction problem.
In the National Policy of Education Report 2016, poor learning outcomes have been attributed to serious gaps in teacher motivation and training.
Lack of access to relevant educational material, tools and aides that enhance the classroom experience are some of the other areas that must be addressed.
"Google has never taken a conventional approach to solving problems, and neither does Google.org. Our approach is to find the most promising non-profits and put the best of Google- our philanthropy, our people, our products- to work and help them close this gap," said Rajan Anandan, VP South East Asia and India, Google.
The education grants in India will focus on three areas where technology can be used to improve the quality of education.
First is to make available quality learning material that overcomes language and connectivity gaps. Second is to provide better training and support to teachers as they are capable of improving educational outcomes.
Finally, it is to support students beyond classroom learning..