Dec 03, 2020

In Conversation - Technology's Role in Addressing Educational Inequity


“Education is a hard enough space to begin with. To bring it to rural India where you can’t take anything for granted is harder. And you have to figure out how technology can impact at scale people who might only have access to a radio, TV or SMS.”

– Pradeep Singh, Pratham USA Vice-Chairman

The COVID-19 crisis has left 300 million Indian children out of school, exacerbating existing learning gaps and creating greater inequality. In March, when schools across the globe shifted to remote learning, government schools in India lacked the basic infrastructure and localized digital content to reach the vast majority of children.

Recognizing that the communities we serve have little or no access to devices and lack connectivity, our team turned to a variety of mediums—Zoom, WhatsApp, text messages, even old- fashioned phone calls—offering daily lessons so that children stayed reassured and focused on learning.

On November 19, the SF Bay Area chapter hosted a conversation with Nishant Baghel, Pratham’s Director of Technology Innovations, and Annapoorni Chandrashekar, Senior Manager for Program Management and Digital Innovations. The pair gave an overview of Pratham’s efforts to support children who are learning remotely and discussed  recent collaborations with corporate and institutional partners, which explore AI, machine learning and other computing tools to address educational needs in rural India.

Pratham has been leveraging technology to support children directly in more than 10,000 communities nationwide. A strategic investment in Edtech coupled with proven techniques for developing foundational skills has made this effort possible.

Learn more about how you can support Pratham’s Digital Learning Communities.