‘Learning Delight Gives Confidence To Teachers & Students Using Digital Tools’
Learning Delight founders -- Harshal Gohil, Vandan Kamdar and Parinita Gohil -- share their experience about the tech-based education and its acceptability in rural areas
The Rajkot-based edu-tech platform, Learning Delight, has been successful in converting the curriculum of Gujarat State Board from Class 1 to 8 into e-books, which had been predominantly conservative.
The founder trio, Harshal Gohil, Vandan Kamdar and Parinita Gohil, shared their experience with BW Businessworld on tech-based education and its acceptability in rural areas. Edited Excerpts:
On innovative idea
Harshal Gohil:The idea sprouted in 2009, when I took some time off to interact with children in rural schools to understand the quality of education they are getting, I found a number of disparities. During my MBA days, I met my now, co-founder, Vandan Kamdar, who was equally excited about the idea I had been toying with in mind. That’s how work on Learning Delight begun.
We came up with the solution of developing a software which would not only bridge the education gaps but also tackle with the ground realities most rural schools in India face. As we started working on the software development, we also realized that the one thing to further our dream of upgrading the education system was to initiate local participation.
On success rate
Vandan Kamdar: Vandan Kamdar:We developed the Learning Delight solution keeping certain ground realities in mind. Our operating software is in the regional language. The UI, animation, riddles, quizzes are also in regional language so that teachers don’t face any kind of language barrier.
The Learning Delight software is incorporated with e-books that have audio, video, and images as appropriate, this enabled the teachers to use the software more effectively in the classrooms and the software is based on the 3-click principal making the UI simple for the teachers to understand and use.
It is an offline software, therefore we don’t need to rely on internet connectivity to enable digital teaching.
On number of schools and curriculum
Vandan Kamdar:We started by providing solutions for government primary schools and have steadily grown over the last 5 years. Learning Delight is currently functional in 4400 rural government schools spread over 9 districts of Gujarat. Presently, we have covered Gujarat State Board Curriculum.
On working model
Parinita Gohil: We do not depend on the rural schools to generate revenues, as that would defeat the purpose of empowering these schools. Instead we appeal to corporate run CSR arms or individuals who have a focus on philanthropy to fund the project.
We started with 5 schools in 2011 and then garnered support from various large enterprises like Transpek Industries Ltd., Adani Foundation, Excel Crop Care Ltd. and others or individual donors to scale up the project.
In 2016-17, we started a similar project with Rotary International, Rotary District 3051 and 3060 to spread the Learning Delight project in 9 districts covering upto 4400 schools. In the last 5 years, Learning Delight program has improved IT literacy in rural areas where the company is present and we are striving towards closing the gap on the digital divide in the state eventually. This learning tool has also enhanced the interest of the students and enabled better learning among them. Additionally, it has motivated teachers and empowered their teaching experiences, giving them the confidence to use digital tools to teach their classrooms with ease.
On style of functioning and data management
Vandan Kamdar: Learning Delight is an offline software and is installed via DVDs in a school’s Computer lab, hence, we don’t rely on internet connectivity. Else, internally data is managed on our local server.
Parinita Gohil: Learning is the function of two variables: substance and engagement. Substance is easy — we need stuff to learn. But engagement is trickier. We work on both the variables. We have tried to create fun in learning by incorporating audio, video and images on the educational concepts and have succeeded in this. As we know that it’s a general human tendency that students grasp easily by watching rather than reading. Thus we have worked on the same thought and generated excitement among the students towards education. Also the rural segment is not exposed to such technology, it had created curiosity amongst them and they started learning from them.
On future plans
Parinita Gohil: Gujarat alone has approximately 32,000 rural and semi rural schools in the state. We feel there is ample of ground to cover here over the next year. We also plan to extend our reach to neighboring states like Rajasthan, over the next year, as an immediate target. Our ultimate goal, of course remains to empower each and every rural school in India with the Learning Delight software and support the government’s initiative to digitize rural schools all over the country.