Axis Bank sets up ‘Digi Labs’ in 108 Schools across Leh & Kargil District


New Delhi: Axis Bank, in collaboration with 17000 ft Foundation, a non-profit based in Ladakh, has adopted 108 remote government schools of Ladakh under a 3 year project to improve infrastructure and bring in learning improvement for the children of these schools. In the first year (2017), each school received a playground and library consisting of 500 storybooks in multiple languages catering to different reading abilities.

This year (2018), we have launched Digi Lab, a project to bring Digital Learning opportunities powered by Solar to the 108 schools by providing access to the hardware and software needed to reach specially curated and customized e-learning content direct to the student.

The first Digi Lab was inaugurated today at Middle School Ayu Saboo, Leh District, by Mr. Sanjay Silas, President & Head – Branch Banking, Axis Bank. The function was presided over by Ms. Tashi Dolma, Joint Director Education, Ladakh, Ms. Kunzes Angmo, Project Officer, ICDS Center, Leh, and Ms. Sujata Sahu, Founder 17000 ft Foundation, along with other senior dignitaries.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Silas said, “Axis Bank strongly believes in holistic development of communities with focus on creating sustainable livelihoods. Access to quality education thus becomes an important enabler to achieving this. We believe that with the introduction of ‘Digi labs’ in these schools, will improve the learning abilities of children and will help in promoting computer literacy.”

He further talked about the deep commitment of Axis Bank to Ladakh, not just through the commissioning of CSR funds, but also through the involvement of senior officers who travel each year to volunteer and help implement the project at the ground level. He also spoke about deepening community engagement with the local people through the opening of new branches at Khaltse and Kargil, which not only provide services, but also employment to the local people.

Ms. Tashi Dolma spoke about the importance of the project, of reaching and using technology to improve learning of students, placing due emphasis on the fact the digital content was customized to match the local curriculum. Ms. Sujata Sahu expressed her appreciation towards Axis Bank to extend its CSR reach to such remote areas of Ladakh. The children of MS Ayu Saboo presented a small cultural program to welcome the guests.

Initiatives under this project:

Under this project, each school will receive the following:

· Electricity – Electricity to power up a Digital Lab in the school consisting of a 200 W Solar Panel and Battery

· Furnishings – Desks and for the DigiLab room in the school

· Tablets / Tablet PCs- 6 to 14 Android tablets (depending on the enrolment of the school) pre-loaded with a student centric learning platform with specially curated and graded content to enhance learning

· L.E.D T.V – A 32” L.E.D T.V. to allow the teacher to display digital content as a part of her teaching process.

· Content Server – A Raspberry Pi content server to create a local wi-fi to sync student usage and house extra content

· Books – Graded Computer Literacy Books for individual students of grades 1 to 8

· Educational Content – Specially curated content for Grades 1 to 8 in Maths, EVS, English Reading and Grammar, General Knowledge. Exploratory stories, videos and games aimed at increasing exposure, and finally, access to software aimed at building Digital Literacy

· Individual Student Learning – Personalized Student Logins, individual learning journeys and student assessments that will be stored in a central dashboard and will be accessible to teachers and the School Management within the school, as well as centrally to the local Administration.

· Individual Teacher Content – Personalized Teacher logins to allow teachers access to learning content and to monitor progress of students

· Training for Subject Teachers as well as Computer Literacy Teachers to implement and run the program in accordance with the school curriculum

· Performance Monitoring – Assessments, Usage and Performance data that will be available to teachers, the Headmaster and the local administration

Status of Project:

With this inauguration, 108 schools across Leh and Kargil will receive DigiLabs. With multiple implementations happening simultaneously across Leh and Kargil, the setup of all schools is expected to be completed by early to mid-October 2018. Over 300 teachers across Ladakh have already been trained, and a Dashboard to monitor the progress of the project is being setup centrally at the 17000 ft office and at multiple Education offices.

Way forward:

In the last year(2019), the project will provide Classroom furniture for each of the schools, as well as improve the Anganwadi Centres in the villages by providing age appropriate TLM, furnishings and training to the workers in an effort to set them up as model centres.

The 3 year project will be closely monitored by the Department of Education with the help of 17000 ft Foundation.