A start-up from Kolkata has been offering vernacular based content in English, Science and Maths to students from rural Bengal to ensure that their studies do not take a hit during a lockdown. Want to know more? Continue reading.
Krishworks trains students from rural Bengal in English
Subhajit Roy, Gargi Mazumdar and her brother Kaushik were running a start-up, Krishworks from Kolkata to train rural students in English.
The trio were not only teaching English to students through their tablet based software “Techie Teacher” and sound systems in schools but were also creating rural micro entrepreneurs which were initially trained by them to operate the tablet. Hundreds of students who got trained in English with their help were becoming confident with a sense of belief that they were in no way inferior to others.
Covid changed everything
But the scenario changed completely when Covid-19 struck in March. Krishworks realised that a massive gap has been created between students and teachers because of the lockdown, “We have been already teaching English in vernacular content through our tablet Techie Teacher to students of rural Bengal since 2017. We found that the increase demands also began to pour in to teach science and maths also in vernacular languages. The demands were coming from far and remote areas where the Internet connectivity was poor,” said Subhajit Roy, the co-founder of Krishworks.
The trio, who are techies, came up with Slato, an app that would connect students in rural and remote areas to teachers and would provide vernacular based content in English, Science and Maths “We have launched this app during the lockdown. The app does not have live sessions but pre-recordings of the teachers on important topics as Internet is an issue in remote areas of Bengal. Besides, the students also have doubt clearing sessions. The students can take services in English, Science and Maths. We have so far offered our services to around 164 students in Bengal. The services have been so far been free. We are developing more features for the app,” said Subhajit adding that they are covering students from Classes-I to Class-12.
The trio, come from varied backgrounds. Subhajit worked in the field of Embedded Computing and was part of various DRDO projects. Gargi was previously employed at Cognizant and was a teacher at NGOs such as ChildLine, Schools On Wheels, and Outreach.
Kaushik had made numerous open source contributions for Godot game engine, “We found that students studying in rural schools were promoted year and year without any exams. But however although parents lacked awareness about basic education and sending their kids to school, every parent wanted their kid to become smart and confident English communicators. We tapped on this opportunity and began to approach schools for enrolling in our course. There is, of course, a revenue model connected to it,” said Kaushik to Chalgenius.
How Techie Teacher Works?
The start-up has trained more than 3000 students in Bengal and Tamilandu and created over 200 rural micro entrepreneurs, “We solve basic literacy problems by helping students in rural areas to read, write and communicate in English by training local teachers with training and technology. We provide robust teacher training by assisting them with technology. We convert demographic specific curated curriculum. Into games and activities. The students just need to participate in these activities and he continues to learn from them,” said Gargi to Chalgenius. The start-up has been incubated at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park.
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