Rural India: Education thru’ Technology

When the rural India is so behind in getting a right access to good education because of poorly qualified teachers or somewhere even the lack of schools and colleges, can technology take over the role of teachers or be of help? There are possibilities but there are any entrepreneurs ready to explore the field in rural India. However, some social workers or NGOs are doing excellent job as an oasis in large desert. The government has only made promises for taking internet and broadband right up to every village with little progress.

Interestingly private educational institutions market for the kindergarten to Class 12 segment today is estimated at $20 billion; and tutoring at $5 billion. Out of one million existing schools, around 75,000 are privately run. But the private schools have not reached the villages and are mushrooming mostly in cities and towns. It’s certainly because of its commercial viability in villages.
As a good thing, the course materials for all the subjects for the various examinations are available. Some companies have already established themselves in the sector: EdServ Ltd, Everonn Education Ltd, Educomp Solutions Ltd and Pearson Education. As reported, nearly 10 million students have logged into their online classrooms in India. So it has been a proven and successful model for educating the students.

I am sure it is possible to take it to villages. As on today, the villages in India lack electricity and broadband facilities required for using computers and right size screens for business-like class rooms. And the cost of the facilities is also significant. But more than that, the people in villages require a showcasing of this possibility, some sorts of demonstrations.

I wish the educational companies such as Educomp start marketing it to reach every villages in India and let me assure them that a big market is waiting to be explored. However, the companies must work on Nano principle so far costing is concerned.

I have a special appeal to all the students graduating at IIMs, IITs, and other similarly high ranking engineering and management schools to take this task as a summer project. They must find a business model of the education through technology that can get some young men of the village engaged to earn. They must prepare the roadmap to make it happen and be successful. Let them facilitate just one village to get solution to their education problem so that they can avoid sending their children, particularly the girls to the town, by finding and training few young men who can take it up as business. After all, India has more than 6 lakh villages to cover. Distance education and learning can be the only solution and it is possible best through technology.

I wish the state education ministry facilitate and encourage the project and provide all facilities, say a class room in the village school or use of the school building after the school hours.

Every kid of the rural India must have similar opportunity to learn English language or use of computer or for that matter any subject or skill as one gets in urban India. The academician can work on creating the best of the content that can easily be grasped through videos and audios. Telecom companies that have now reached a large number of rural populations must also focus on educating the people in rural India instead of alluring them only to entertainment of songs and films and informing them about the commercial products.

Why can’t the brilliant content designers and producers of the digital world in the country participate in this mission of educating rural India?

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