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Innovative tech bridging learning gap for a million students in India’s interiors

Edtech social enterprise ConveGenius collaborates with multiple state governments to make quality education accessible to children studying in Government schools and Anganwadis. Shashank Pandey, Co-founder, ConveGenius shares that from half a million students before Covid, the number has now risen to 1.1 million due to rapid adoption of it's AI-enabled app and WhatsApp solutions

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What is the vision of ConveGenius as an edtech social enterprise ?

Shashank Pandey, Co-founder, ConveGenius

ConveGenius, founded in 2013, is an edtech social enterprise that focuses on personalised education, mainly for emerging markets. We are the edtech for Naya Bharat as we provide affordable and quality education that strives to leave no learner behind.

We collaborate with state governments, CSRs, NGOs and affordable private schools to implement personalised and adaptive learning for students that can be accessed anywhere, anytime – either online and offline, at school or home. We have impacted the lives of more than 1 million students till now.

Our vision is to make quality education accessible to the bottom 100 million students and bridge the learning and skill gaps in India.

What have been your efforts to bridge the digital divide in India’s education scenario?

We have partnered with governments and schools around the country to set up 5300+ PAL Labs (Personalised and Adaptive Learning Labs) equipped with affordable tablets/ laptops/ smartphones for students and TV/smart boards for the teachers. These are fully enabled with curriculum-mapped content which is the lowest cost-per-child edtech model in India.

Along with the product, we have a program management team that provides extensive on-ground training and a support helpline to all the teachers to assist them in the process.

What are your key technology products and solutions for the education sector? Your focus on tech innovation.

We have two major solutions for the education sector.

ConveGenius Platform: Our hardware-agnostic adaptive learning platform available in 9 vernacular languages, fully equipped with base-line and end-line assessments, LIVE impact dashboards that help track the progress of students for teachers to plan personalized homework and doubt clearance classes. It works as a blended model that backtracks on student’s progress to cover any possible gap of learning. The platform is available both online and offline making it accessible in the most remote areas.

AI-based Chat-Lite Version: Made specifically for home learning, our Whatsapp based chatbot provides personalised assessments and content recommendations for learning. Students can also clear their queries through the doubt solving service available on the Whatsapp-helpline number. The content perfectly aligns with the regular/virtual classrooms so that when students return to school, they have not fallen behind. Teachers can use WhatsApp-based assessments to calibrate their teaching process in the class. Whatsapp is the one application installed in every parent’s smartphone and can be accessed through limited internet plans as well, making it the most scalable online learning platform.

What have been the nature of your tie-ups with state governments? In which regions?

We have collaborated with multiple state governments including Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, etc to solve for educational equity and learning outcomes for children studying in Government schools and Anganwadis. We hope to bring systemic change through innovations in data and learning sciences, and solve some of the most pressing problems of our students, teachers and administrators in the whole ecosystem.

Do you believe the increasing adoption of technology in education, due to Covid, will also benefit students in the hinterlands of India?

Yes, I do. But the method used in urban areas cannot be reciprocated in remote areas. There are a lot of factors in play, access to smartphones, internet connectivity, and family background to name a few. Students from government schools usually have a single smartphone in their house, owned by the earning member. But, it does not need to hinder their growth. Including technology in their education, for sure, is harder than it is for a tech-abundant society but with right resources and support of the local stakeholders, students from the hinterlands of India can equally benefit from technology.

How has the Covid crisis changed the market dynamics for edtech startups like ConveGenius?

Covid crisis has certainly given a significant push to major edtech startups. Before Covid-19 outbreak, ConveGenius had been impacting half a million students enrolled with different schools and learning centres which has now risen to 1.1 million due to rapid adoption of our AI-enabled App and WhatsApp solutions.

Students and parents are conforming to online methods of learning in order to stay safe while continuing to learn. Edtech industry is getting support from parents, teachers, school administrators, and government.

Several companies are getting backed up by major investors. We have been updating our platforms to suit the needs of current situation and have received an overwhelming response. But, this growth has come with a lot of responsibilities. Never before did the education system depend so much on online classes. We are playing a significant role in the future of young minds today so it becomes our duty to provide them with quality education that is accessible to every student around the country irrespective of their background.

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