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Education is a democratic right and no child should believe otherwise: BYJU’S Education for All

India faces a lot of disparity in its educational landscape. We have a wide range of students, from those who have access to a good education to those who have no idea what education means. Many children from low-income backgrounds are forced to drop out of school due to health issues or to work and support their families. In fact, survival is also a great concern for those who live in deep poverty. 

According to statistics, COVID-19 school closures have impacted students globally, causing millions of children to rely on virtual learning. Continuing their education has been difficult for children who do not have access to the internet.

The research reminds us that still, for the lakhs of young children living in rural areas, access to education remains a pipe dream. While many underprivileged children think that school is not for them, BYJU'S believes that education is a democratic right that no child should be denied. 

BYJU'S intends to educate over 10 million children by 2025. Encouraged by the mission, a social initiative called Education for All (EFA)  started in 2019, an endeavour to provide free education to students from underprivileged sections of society.

This project accelerated amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, which wreaked havoc on the education system, with schools closing for extended periods, making students learn through the internet. However, this expanded the divide between those who have and those who do not have access to online education facilities. 

BYJU’S has been collaborating with numerous organisations, especially NGOs, under the EFA programme, and its educational content has been made accessible on devices, with free access for students and instructors. Through its NGO partners, BYJU'S Education For All provides children with equal access to BYJU'S free streaming licenses in rural regions and urban slums in India, allowing them to continue to learn.

Boosting Umang’s* Goal of Becoming a Cop

One of the beneficiaries of this initiative, Umang’s life has not been easy for a long time. He lost his older brother a few months earlier after being orphaned at a very young age. At the same time, the pandemic had a negative influence on his studies and his future looked bleak. 

Fortunately, Umang's sister and her husband have been taking good care of him, assisting him with his requirements and ensuring that his education is not compromised. When Umang was in school, he was a consistent and bright student. However, he found that online schooling had taken its toll on him, and he felt lost without the classroom environment. 

But, with his sister’s support, he was able to enrol in his school's online lessons. Umang became more comfortable with the online lessons as time went on. One of the ALIG (A Literacy Initiative Group) Society volunteers provided him with a BYJU'S licence, which he used at home to learn several ideas from the class VII material. 

ALIG made it easier for him to grasp the films and topics by adjusting them to the regional language. The volunteer also showed him how to use the BYJU'S App to track his progress, take notes from the BYJU'S content, and practice by taking the exams and quizzes. Umang lives close to his school, and a majority of his schoolmates, who don’t have BYJU’S license, go over to his place for group studies.

Giving Pavithra* the Right Tools to Build her Dreams

Pavithra, another beneficiary of the EFA initiative, hails from a low-income family in Haveli, Pune. Despite the struggle to make ends meet, her parents wanted to ensure that their daughter received an excellent education and a great future. 

As a result, they enrolled her at Sortapwadi, Haveli's Zilha Parishad Primary School (ZPPS). For the little girl, this opened up a whole universe of possibilities. Pavithra made it a point to attend school every day to pursue her engineering goals. She was able to learn new skills while still having fun with her friends. Despite the hardships, Pavithra's life was happy since education was a source of hope for her and her family. 

However, things took a turn for the worse when the lockdown was declared in 2020. Pavithra, like millions of other Indian students, had dropped out of school. The learning had come to a halt, and she was emotionally down, unsure how to deal with the circumstance. 

Furthermore, because both of her parents were illiterate, she had no direction. Nobody in her family was able to assist her. Her father, on the other hand, was certain that their lack of money should not prevent her from receiving an education. He purchased a smartphone for her to help her continue her education when the family was trying to make ends meet. 

However, even though she was able to communicate with her high school instructor via WhatsApp, it was of little use to her. Due to the lack of an engaging lesson, she felt bored and uninterested. She even tried watching a few YouTube videos, but they lacked conceptual clarity and sufficient instruction. 

With assistance from Save the Children India, an NGO dedicated to the protection of children's rights, Pavithra got BYJU'S App licence. Pavithra is now pleasantly engrossed in the BYJU'S App, and her parents are relieved that their daughter is engaged with her studies.

Spreading the Wings of Learning

BYJU'S has collaborated with over 100+ NGOs to make education more accessible for children, including the Ladli Foundation, Save the Children, Smile Foundation, and European India Foundation. BYJU'S is also working closely with NITI Aayog to deliver high-quality test preparation tutoring to 3,000 deserving students in 112 aspirational districts who want to take the NEET and JEE exams.

While children's schools have reopened and the importance of online learning has reduced, the NGOs encourage the students to continue using the app and make the best use of its free features. The students may use the BYJU'S app to learn while at home. 

BYJU'S Education for All wants to ensure that education is accessible for more children like Umang and Pavithra, who can become tomorrow's leaders. BYJU’S along with its partners aspire to reach out to children with high-quality educational materials and provide them with a bright future.

 

*Names changed for the protection of identity.

Author

Smita Singh

Smita currently finished her Masters in Economics Major. Being an introvert personality, writing suits best to her. She has vivid experience in the content area from writing research papers to writing content for various websites, blogs & stories. Smita has worked for a Patna based digital marketing company named DigiwaleBabu.