Education

Google shows the way

To do good for society, you do not necessarily need money. However, it becomes easier to help the unprivileged if you have money. That is where philanthropy helps.

Working on the same idea, Google established ‘Google.org’ in October 2005. Google.org is the philanthropic arm of Google which addresses humanitarian issues. It helps not-for-profit organisations by providing them resources and monetary help. It develops and invests in pursuits that can have measurable impact on local, regional and global issues, and rallies Google’s people in support of these efforts with a singular goal of creating a better world, faster.

Commitment

In order to help the education sector in India, Google has announced grants worth $8.4 million to four not-for-profit organisations of India. These grants, that are part of a global $50 million commitment that Google.org has made, will help the non-profits that are building tech-based learning solutions for rural as well as urban students.

“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, vice-president Southeast Asia and India, Google.

Google.org revealed that even though there are more than 1.51 million private and government schools in India and around 260 million students are enrolled in them, the state and quality of education is still atrocious. Around 43% students of Class III cannot read a Class I-level text; approximately 30% of Class III students cannot do a two-digit subtraction and approximately 50% of all Class V students cannot read simple texts or do arithmetic. The condition of the education system in India has deteriorated to a level that around one lakh schools have only one teacher employed for the whole school.

Backup

To fight this, Google.org has awarded grants to four not-for-profit organisations. Grants from Google.org will be used to scale up 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.

“We believe technology can help bridge the gap; it can get more books to students, more lesson plans to teachers, and classrooms to kids who can't get there themselves. At Google.org, we are committed to supporting and working alongside these organisations to bridge the quality education gap,” said Nick Cain, Program Manager, Education, Google.org.

The beneficiaries:

Learning Equality

Learning Equality has received a grant of $5,00,000 and will be working with the help of their local partner — Motivation For Excellence. The organisation has built a free open-source software to bring online material — including books, video tutorials and quizzes — offline for students. Their platform, Kolibri, runs on numerous devices and helps educators access, organise and customise digital content, even in the most remote locations.

Million Sparks Foundation

This foundation concentrates on connecting teachers through a community to create a knowledge sharing platform. They have received a grant of $1.2 million. The Million Sparks Foundation with ChalkLit, a digital content platform and social community, supports high-calibre teaching with lesson plans, learning modules, videos, and so on. ChalkLit content is divided into bite-sized chunks and organised to align with public curriculum standards. It can be accessed by teachers through a lightweight mobile app built for users with limited connectivity.

Pratham Education

Pratham Education aims at providing offline lessons so that students can learn anytime and anywhere. The 21-year-old establishment has received a grant of $3.1 million. Pratham’s hybrid learning programme empowers students to use self-driven, tablet-based curricula to learn outside of the classroom. Students ranging from Class V to VIII self-organise into groups of five. Two groups share a tablet, and children in each group decide together what content they would like to learn. Along with learning science, English and math, students learn how to work collaboratively with their peers which fosters their curiosity.

StoryWeaver

StoryWeaver, an online platform created by Pratham Books, has received a grant of $3.6 million. It is an online platform whose open source technology connects readers, authors, illustrators, and translators to create free stories that can be translated, remixed, and even newly authored. Parents and teachers can easily find stories that fit students’ reading level and language preferences. All StoryWeaver content is free and can be easily accessed, downloaded, or printed. Today, StoryWeaver offers books in over 60 languages.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 26, 2022 1:51:27 am | https://www.thehindu.com/education/google-shows-the-way/article18053054.ece