The Right to Education Act (2009) provides for free and compulsory education to children in the 6 to 4 age bracket. This has contributed to increasing in a number of students enrolling themselves in schools, but the quality of education being received by these students falls short of expectation. The infrastructure and quality of teachers create gaps in the system. The gap between private and Government schools students’ learning has been widening according to various study reports.
Most of the schools also lack proficient Science and Mathematics teachers, a common problem faced by most remote and rural schools.
Technology-enabled teaching can play a vital role as an effective intervention to bring quality education to schools. While the internet and computers have changed how information is shared across the globe, only 16% of rural residents in India have access to the internet. The bulk of existing online material available is not translated into regional languages. Many schools do not even have electricity for hours per day.
Against this backdrop, the CLT India (Children’s Lovecastles Trust) created a teacher-centric technology-based solution, which would facilitate the existing blackboard teaching with pedagogy-rich Digital STEM contents. CLT India, operating out of Jakkur, Bengaluru was founded by Bhagya Rangachar in 1997 out of her concern for children from marginalized families. It was one of the first organizations in the country to initiate the mid-day meal program.
At Children’s LoveCastles Trust, we believe that every child – no matter their circumstances – deserves access to a rich educational environment so they can build a wondrous life on their dreams and aspirations. This is the driving force behind our endeavor.
By designing interactive pedagogy for critical subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and delivering by means of a purpose-built low-cost technological platform, CLT India works within a community of caring partners to enhance learning and achieve better educational outcomes. While education technology was making its way mainly to high-end private schools about a decade ago, CLT, on the other hand, was deeply immersed in understanding the challenges of teacher shortage and its direct impact on missed learning opportunities for children, Joseph explained.
Thus, CLT e-Patashale, the flagship classroom-centric project was conceptualized to bring about a transformation in rural classrooms. For this, resources had to be in many regional languages, technology had to be robust yet affordable, teachers could be easily ‘upskilled’, and content could be accessed without the internet.
Today, CLT has a repository of 15,000+ videos in four regional languages, 2,000+ digital workbooks for teachers, 80,000 teachers upskilled, having impacted 1.8 million students in 12,000 classrooms learning from e-Patashale STEM.
State and district level governments, corporates, NGOs, and local communities – have made the model sustainable, enabling students to learn better, improve results and in the process reduce dropout rate besides increasing enrolment through its cost-effective and simple to-use interface. Android mobile apps were made available free of cost to students and teachers during the Covid phase. These contain high-quality educational content and videos to take care of the learning loss due to prolonged school closure.
CLT India won the second ‘Millennium Alliance Award’ in 2021 to develop Early Grade Reading resources for 1-4th in Kannada. The first Millenium Alliance Award award helped CLT with the seed capital for developing and delivering an entire suite of NCERT-aligned Science and Mathematics curricula in State languages on low-cost mobile devices for rural schools, which incidentally won the ‘Digital India Award’ in 2017.
CLT India was declared winner in the category of ‘SDG4: Quality Education’ in the most prestigious – ‘BRICS Solutions for SDG awards 2021’ in recognition of working to achieve SDGs through innovative solutions across BRICS nations.