The collaborative education technology effort, Bharat EdTech Initiative (BEI), announced that it has on-boarded more than 1,17,000 students from underprivileged homes onto its platform. The mission of onboarding the students is to bridge the learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These students will be supported with necessary tools and effective, equitable access to edtech to bridge the gap.
As students return to school across the nation in April, the initiative, through on-ground efforts, targets to impact the students in 10 states in five months. The students will have the flexibility to learn using the platform at their convenience. They can also choose to learn in any of the nine available languages.
The students receiving assistance are aged 9-17 (Class I-XII) and are from households with monthly incomes up to Rs 25,000. BEI provides these students with dedicated learning devices through various initiatives like HardWare Pilot.
The initiative is anchored by four reputed organisations. The lead anchor is Sattva Consulting, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and British Asian Trust are the lead donors and donor relationships and fund management is supported by GiveIndia.
Rathish Balakrishnan, co-founder and managing partner, Sattva Consulting, said, “Our efforts towards improving learning outcomes for students in India have made significant progress over the last couple of months. And, we are delighted to be able to reach this milestone in such a short period. Through proven EdTech solutions, we aim to continue working towards bridging the digital learning divide and unlock the potential of every student.”
“BEI's intends to provide a platform to learn anytime and anywhere beyond and in addition to school-based learning. Our EdTech partners have been selected based on their track record and suitability to the target population. We believe that as the world enters a unique phase of blended learning, resilience and reflection can help EdTech become a catalyst for high-quality, universal education,” said Prachi Jain Windlass, director, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India.
“Bharat EdTech Initiative functions with an innovative, outcome-based funding model, working with the three pillars: community, capital, and proven products. Utilising these three pillars, we aim to improve learning outcomes through collective action and efforts”, said Abha Thorat Shah, executive director, Social Finance at British Asian Trust, adding, “We are positive that the initiative will be a resounding success going by how Phase 1 has fared. Beyond Phase I, Bharat EdTech Initiative aims to build an ecosystem of enabling capabilities that would continue engagement on the platform beyond school reopening through these pillars.”
“An innovative, outcome-based funding model is used by the Bharat EdTech Initiative to drive social impact. By using innovative finance in conjunction with community engagement, BEI aims to enhance learning outcomes for students across India,” said Sumit Tayal, chief operating officer (COO), GiveIndia.
BEI is a collaboration of 36 partner organisations from philanthropy, social impact, EdTech, finance, and monitoring and evaluation sectors. The partners offer support in several capacities and categories, with the aim of learning outcomes for one million Indian students by 2025.