With India becoming the fastest growing economy in the world, the quality of education in government schools has remained one of the most neglected subjects in both central and state governments. The conditions of government schools are pathetic and are getting worsened day by day.
“Right to Education” is a fundamental right in India, however many government school students are deprived of essential amenities and infrastructure that are extremely important in shaping their future. According to a survey conducted by New York Times, the quality of education in rural India is very limited and most of the students could not read, write or do basic mathematics.
When compared to the other developing countries, India is way behind in education. To solve this predicament, Education For Free (EFF), an NGO based in Hyderabad is working for the betterment of quality education in government schools in remote areas with the use of technology.
Started in 2007, EFF is the brain child of Amongla Imsong, as she worked tirelessly to set up the pilot project at Red Cross Govt. Girls High School, at Masab Tank Hyderabad. Later in 2008, EFF has become the CSR wing of PurpleTalk Inc., which offers enterprise mobility consulting services for smart phones and mobile computers through their products – [x]cube LABS, [x]cube GAMES and [x]cube DATA.
EFF’s innovative product – “Virtual Classroom” enables educated and knowledgeable volunteers to teach underprivileged students residing in remote areas, from the comfort of their home. It has some smart features such as bi-directional video streaming, whiteboarding, screen sharing and video conferencing to make teaching more interactive, lively and enjoyable.
The added plugins and widgets functionality allows the teachers to make use of visual aids such as audio, video, animation, polling, assessment, quizzes, 3-d graphics, and much more while teaching students virtually.
One of the Virtual Classroom in Progress.
With EFF, volunteers can adopt classrooms, contribute to the curriculum or study material and teach virtually. NGOs/ NPOs working for social welfare can also collaborate with EFF for spreading their initiative to remote rural areas of India.
Once in every three months, EFF visit schools to check the overall development and progress of the students. When Harsimran Kaur, a Freelance designer and EFF volunteer, visited a school to evaluate EFF’s learning initiative, she was amazed to see the performance of the students. She says, “It was an extraordinary experience for me to teach small kids. I was amazed to meet those kids and see how enthusiastic they were to learn the new things through online education system introduced by EFF.”
“After meeting the students, I couldn’t judge if they were the students of some govt. school in some village. This kind of initiatives can give a new shape to our Indian education system. Keep it up EFF.” She adds.
With Azim Premji Foundation, Byrraju Foundation and many other Non-Profit Organizations as partners, EFF plans to reach out to more government schools and increase their volunteers base.
When asked about any advice for entrepreneurs working in education sector, Ambica Ayla, one of the teachers at EFF says, “Treat the students as future of our country rather than customers in your institute.”
For their incredible social effort, EFF have been nominated twice for HYSEA Awards under social impact category. Presently, they are serving in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and plans to spread to entire India and even other developing countries in the future.