April 20

Last Mile Solutions in Education Technology

From 2004 to 2014, India implemented big changes in policies, big funding increases, and big reforms in public education. Unfortunately, this did not translate in children learning in India’s classrooms. Today, most Indian students cannot do grade-level calculations and most read several grade levels behind where they should. Proposed reforms of the formal education system may be too slow to reverse this downward trend in student performance. The implications are severe; India has more people living at or below the poverty line (421 million) than in all of Africa (410 million). The lack of effective investment in India’s human capital to produce even basic skills has an impact on the global economy.

Dr. Madhav Chavan, CEO and co-founder, and Dr. Rukmini Banerji, CEO (effective July 2015), run the largest educational NGO in India. Pratham serves 6 million children a year in India through direct services and government partnerships. Real solutions developed from carefully constructed randomized controlled experiments and constant innovations in the field are the backbone of Pratham’s work. Dr. Chavan and Dr. Banerji are turning their attention to technology as they plan for Pratham’s next ten years.

Technology, especially technology in the hands of individual children and youth, can delink learning from the formal education system. This panel discussion will highlight the promise of technology to deliver literacy and numeracy tools for the 100 million Indian children and youth who still struggle with basic skills. With consideration for the logistical challenges and costs, what would education technology for these 100 million look like? What would motivate children and youth to take the step to use these tools “in the wild?”

For more information please email Addy Dawes.

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