AAS Vidyalaya sets up Education Cafes for rural students through its CSR initiative
New Delhi: AAS Vidyalaya has come up with a unique low-cost concept of ‘AAS Vidyalaya Education Cafes’ for students in rural areas. These cafes are equipped with TABs and students can walk in anytime of the day, login with their registered ID & password and study for as long as they desire. The beauty about these cafes is that they can be quickly set up in small towns and villages. Responsible companies with robust CSR initiatives and having their manufacturing plants in distant locations, have tied-up with AAS Vidyalaya to set-up these Education Cafes in and around their manufacturing plants. These can serve the children of their own workers, contract labourers and nearby villagers. Presently, AAS Vidyalaya is executing such projects for reputed company like Godrej, ACC, TMILL (a TATA group company) and NCC (formerly Nagarjuna Construction).
Students’ progress is monitored basis app usage, sessions attended, tests taken, marks obtained and a few other criteria. The impact is gauged by increased marks vis-à-vis previous years for those who are going to some school and number of drop-outs who enroll to restart their education. A few NGOs and responsible citizens have helped AAS Vidyalaya in this initiative by collecting used smartphones and distributing them to the ones in need.
About this unique idea, Vikas Kakwani, Founder of AAS Vidyalaya said, “At these education cafes, we provide students with unrestricted Premium Access to AAS Vidyalaya’s content which includes classes of all subjects and tests and we have online subject teachers for query resolution. We also have dedicated mentors / class teachers hired from the local community who help us in identifying and enrolling the students, spreading awareness, as well as interacting with students and parents to ensure everything runs smoothly. Right now we have opened 7 cafes which cater to more than 1500 students and we plan on opening more in the coming few months.”
A lot has been read and heard about the digital divide between India and Bharat especially since the COVID-19 pandemic forced all schools to close down that left online education as the only solution. The digital divide is indeed a reality. Smart phone penetration in India as on date is between 40-45% depending upon the source of the research. This also includes a substantial number who have only one device in the household and if the earning member has to carry it then that leaves only a short period of time either in the mornings or in the late evenings when the children can use it to study. Then again it has to be shared amongst the children. Through this social initiative AAS Vidyalaya hopes to address this issue and make it possible for students to study for longer periods of time in a school like environment.
About AAS Vidyalaya: Established in the year 2017 by Vikas and Leena Kakwani, AAS Vidyalaya is a company seed-funded by the Department of Science & Technology, Govt of India through its NIDHI scheme (National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations – Seed Support System). With 10,000+ video classes, 50,000 + Q&A’s, easy accessibility to teachers and a lot more, the organisation is also recognised as a ‘Changemaker’ by global action on poverty (GAP). Its mission is to provide schooling for the masses – ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ and bring mobility to the education for the students. It works like a real school as compared to other ed-tech learning solutions which are ‘tuitions’.