Expanding our efforts to bridge the learning gap in India

Google.org to fund content creation and teacher training efforts

We believe that every student and every educator, in every classroom, deserves the tools and skills that set them up for success in building the future they want for themselves. Last year, as part of a $50M global commitment to close learning gaps, Google.org announced the first round of projects in India to support nonprofits that are building technology to provide access to quality education and learning for all.

We started on this journey with a commitment of $8.4M grants to four NGOs — Learning Equality, Million Sparks Foundation, Pratham Books StoryWeaver, and Pratham Education Foundation. These organisations are focused on solving some of the critical challenges that India faces when it comes to access to quality education for both students and teachers.

As per the annual ASER 2017 report, India has made progress to bring 86% of youth in the 14-18 age group to join the formal education system. But ASER findings have consistently pointed to the fact that many children in elementary school need urgent support for acquiring foundational skills like reading and basic arithmetic.
About 25% of this age group still cannot read basic text fluently in their own language and more than half struggle with division. The report also highlights that the learning deficits seen in elementary school in previous years seem to carry forward as young people go from being adolescents to young adults.

While we know that technology alone won’t ‘fix’ or improve education, we’re optimistic that it can be a powerful part of the solution, and we are investing to ensure that all teachers and students are able to benefit from it. Since receiving Google.org funding last year, our grantees have reached more than 800,000 students and teachers with their tools and programs across India.
With the right support and focus - these organisations are able to make a big difference. Their success gives us the confidence to expand our efforts in India and today we are announcing additional grants totaling $3 million to support teacher learning and educational content creation.

Supporting teacher learning at scale:
There are 11 lakh teachers currently teaching in schools that are not properly trained as per data shared by the Ministry of HRD. According to a World Bank report, there are approximately 1,30,000 single teacher schools in India. Needless to say, bridging this gap is not easy and it is equally important to nurture and support this talent. They are often isolated and working with very little interaction and engagement with the ecosystem. Technology’s potential to scale prompted Google.org to make teachers a central part of its global education giving strategy.

We’re supporting The Teacher App with a grant of a $1 million in India to enable a connected experience on the topics that matter most to teachers, and to develop additional video content in core concepts of math, science, language, and pedagogy for their use in their classrooms. They will use the funds to scale their platform to reach 500,000 teachers in two years.
Expanding education and learning content:
With growing connectivity and affordable data, YouTube is emerging as a favourite destination for learning in India. Globally, learning and educational content drives over a billion views a day, and we believe there is a huge opportunity for creators in India to enhance education and learning through YouTube.

We’re delighted to share that we’re collaborating with the Central Square Foundation, through a $2 million Google.org grant and technical assistance from the YouTube Learning team, to aid the expansion of education and learning video content in India. The grant will support a minimum of 20 content creators to produce at least 200 hours of quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Math content in Hindi and vernacular languages. If you’re an educator or content creator interested in learning more, be sure to get in touch with the Central Square Foundation!

We are excited about these new projects that we have launched today, and are motivated to continue and expand our efforts to help build more locally relevant solutions and content for students and teachers to bridge the learning gap in India. We hope these efforts will contribute in shaping the future of India’s young learners.

Posted by Nick Cain, Education Lead, Google.org