By Pankaj Agarwal, Founder & CEO, Taghive
How has the Class Saathi app been used by professors/students at Harvard University?
We sent a professor at Harvard Business School a bag of our Class Saathi clickers, to be used for his MBA classes there. Truly goes to show that Class Saathi can work for any class, any grade, any environment and any infrastructure
How is Class Saathi proving to be beneficial for the Government schools here in India?
Government schools are able to comply with the National Education Policy’s vision of enabling tech integration in schools across the country. Through us, government schools are realising that tech integration need not be heavy on the pockets. We are giving these students the opportunity to experience technology in classrooms without putting pressure on an already stressed system to upgrade infrastructure. Through Class Saathi, students from the most rural areas can now experience the beauty of technology and it is truly a winning moment for all parties involved to see the impossible happen especially since our product needs no internet or electricity in the classroom to work.
How are Indian government schools coping up with the digitizing of education?
While the aim is simple, the execution is a lot more challenging than can be imagined. It is not easy to change the infrastructure of government schools across the country overnight. The situation needs to be managed more sensitively. It is easy to focus on what government schools don’t have – infrastructure, human resources, funding etc. It is however, exceptionally difficult to innovate for these problems and there are companies, like ours, out there innovating to serve the need of the hour without getting distracted by the hoard of other problems plaguing the system. Government schools are strategically trying to introduce flexible technology slowly while also improving infrastructure. This is a process that needs a scientific temperament and the fact that they are relying on companies like ours to help them shift to digital education displays their scientific approach to fixing a large scale problem.
What were the performance statistics after using Class Saathi in Government schools?
Our pilot tests in UP indicated the following outcomes in less than a month.
Increased learning outcomes in Math (Impact Score) – 7.8%
Increased learning outcomes in Science (Impact Score) – 8.3%
Our pilot tests were conducted in 20 schools with over 1,000 students and with over 50 teachers.
What are the on-ground difficulties/roadblocks that you have faced in this whole transformation?
In general, people are suspicious of technology and have a lot of trouble using it in its most basic forms. Before we could get schools to use our hardware properly, we realised we needed to address basic challenges like coaching teachers on how to sign in with an Id, creating invite codes and troubleshooting basic problems that can crop up during sessions. We noticed that teachers had issues creating even a login id. Our challenge was to simplify the process so much that they wouldn’t feel discouraged using our systems. That is when we realised that it is crucial to set up extremely supportive orientation programs so that our patrons can maximize the output from using Class Saathi.
What are the new developments you look forward to after the expansion of Class Saathi in different states of India?
Once we break into the system with our technology and offerings, our next goal is to innovate heavily. Right now, our offerings are all about AI powered assessments and student learning outcome monitoring. We believe that we are only a short way away from launching technology that revamps teaching capabilities in the classroom through artificial intelligence. Over and above that, we want to create operating systems for schools. Short answer is that our long term plan is to innovate very aggressively and very quickly.
How many students and schools are benefitted from this innovative program and in what way??
Students in over 2000 schools across 52 districts in Madhya Pradesh are benefiting from our revolutionary technology in their schools. The UP government has also confirmed their interest in deploying Class Saathi in 200 schools across Varanasi in the first phase of our tie up. Students in these schools benefit from having technology that does not need electricity and internet to integrate with the classrooms. That in itself is thought provoking since we are giving students a real time example of what innovation can look like and we hope to also inspire them to come up with simple solutions for complicated problems that government schools face everyday. In short, we hope that our innovation inspires students in government schools to nurture curiosity and activate their creative prowess in a way that enables them to solve critical problems in the world tomorrow.