Avanti, a social enterprise set up in 2010 has launched a free learning app for Hindi Medium government school students in Class 9-12. Avanti runs the largest system-wide interventions for Math and Science learning in government schools in India. Avanti is funded by Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Pearson, TPG , Asha Impact and Rise.
The Sankalp app has recorded video content, solved examples and quizzes in all NCERT topics of Mathematics and Science built in collaboration with government school teachers and pedagogical experts in India and at Harvard University. The company has also made the source code of the app open-source and is aiming to enlist the support of the larger development sector and ed-tech ecosystem to add content for all subjects from Kindergarten to Class 12 on this app in the next few months. The application can be downloaded at http://www.avanti.in/sankalpapp.
In addition, Avanti has announced free live classes on the Sankalp YouTube channel for class 9-12. These classes will also be streamed on TikTok, Facebook and other social media platforms.The YouTube channel is accessible through http://www.avanti.in/sankalp. Live classes will begin on April 20 and will continue throughout the academic year.
Over the past 10 years, Avanti has created tremendous impact within government schools. Avanti works in close collaboration with two major school systems – the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti and the Government of Haryana where collectively over 250 schools use Avanti’s technology, content to ensure that students have a good blend of online and offline learning. Govt of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh , Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are in dialogue with Avanti to replicate this model to ensure that students across classes 9-12 do not have a break in classes.
India is currently under a 21-day lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Unlike students with more means, who will be able to either pay for premium education products or receive online instruction from their schools, government school students are extremely vulnerable during this time – especially those in grades 9 through 12.
A large percentage of these students can learn online with more than 50% of the students in Grade 9-12 having access to an android phone with an internet connection. Given the likely disruption to the school year, it is critical that these students have access to regular training and quality content online.
Most government school students study in their local language for over 3 Crore students between grades 9-12 the primary medium of instruction is Hindi. There is a lack of comprehensive and complete digital learning content in Hindi and most content that exists is either siloed behind a paywall or not curated and mapped properly. In addition, Government school students rely on the government to provide them books and materials through the school year and do not have the means to purchase textbooks (even if options were to open up after the lockdown).
“The lack of access to education at home as well as the immense financial distress that this lockdown will bring to families poses a massive risk to students staying in school. India has very high drop out rates after Class 10 and it is critical that we maintain a sense of normalcy and educational security among our most vulnerable students and they enjoy #GharPeSchool”, says Akshay Saxena, co-founder of Avanti and an IIT Bombay and Harvard Business School Alum.
Avanti has already demonstrated the massive impact that the provision of digital content and its integration into day-to-day learning makes to outcomes in these systems. In the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Schools, Avanti’s students are 3x more likely to qualify national level competitive exams (a selection rate of 60% in the IIT JEE and NEET). In a large RCT funded by the MacArthur Foundation, Avanti students improved by more than 30% in Math in a single year. In a single year of the intervention in Haryana more than 50% of classroom time is now running through the use of digital technology. All 45,000 students in Haryana already had access to the Avanti App and are continuing to learn on the platform despite the shutdown.