Google.org announces $3 million grants to Indian non-profits
In its effort to bridge the learning gap in India, Google.org - Google's philanthropic arm, on Thursday announced additional grants of $3 million to Central Square Foundation and The Teacher App.
Together with the partner Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Google.org will help them scale their existing initiatives and fund content creation and teacher training, through tech-based learning solutions.
The reasons behind the lag in learning levels are varied and complex, but limited access to quality materials, under-resourced teachers, and barriers to learning outside the classroom are among the many challenges.
As per the data shared by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), there are 11 lakh teachers currently teaching in schools that are not properly trained and according to a World Bank report, there are approximately 1,30,000 single teacher schools in India.
The annual Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2017 report also points out the need to help students in the 14 to 18 age group, and to acquire foundational skills like reading and basic arithmetic. With a grant of a $1 million to The Teacher App in India, Google.org aims to empower teachers with the right training and resources on concepts of math, science, language, and pedagogy, for a more holistic learning experience.
The funds will be used to scale the platform to reach 500,000 teachers in two years.
"The success of our existing partners has given us the confidence to expand our efforts in India. We strongly believe that technology can play a powerful part in solving the learning gap in India, and we are expanding our investments in India to ensure that all teachers and students are able to benefit from it. These new funds will help contribute in building more locally relevant solutions and content for students and teachers," said, Nick Cain, Education Lead, Google.org.
With online video emerging as a popular medium of learning, Google.org will provide a $2 million grant and technical assistance from the YouTube Learning team, to the Central Square Foundation to aid the expansion of high quality, curriculum-aligned educational video content.
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.
In addition, it will also work to scale its reach by developing a hub to share best practices - such as tips on how to create engaging videos and guidance for aligning lessons with curriculum and standards - with the sector at large. Interested educators or content creators can get in touch through this form.
"With growing connectivity and affordable data, YouTube is emerging as a popular 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," said Satya Raghavan, Head of Entertainment for India.
These new projects are in addition to Google.org's existing projects that were funded last year in India.
Four NGOs - Learning Equality, Million Sparks Foundation, Pratham Books StoryWeaver, and Pratham Education Foundation got a total grants of $8.4 million to add scale to their existing efforts and help provide access to quality education and learning for all.
Since receiving Google.org funding last year, the grantees have reached more than 800,000 students and teachers with their tools and programs across India.
India was among the first country to receive grants from Google.org's global $50 million commitment to support nonprofits who are building tech-based learning solutions that tackle education challenges in developing countries.
With the additional grants, Google.org's total grant for NGOs in India to support learning and education efforts stands at $11.4 million.