The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted education like no other crises before it. Since March 2020, the education of nearly 300 million students, especially those from underprivileged sections, have been affected. To address the scenario, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with Wipro organized a webinar called ‘Conversation 2.0- Covid19 Social Impact: Solution Ideas on Nurturing Education – During Pandemic and Beyond’ on June 10.
Sheetal Mehta, Executive Director, KC Mahindra Education Trust, and SVP, Corporate Social Responsibility, Mahindra & Mahindra, attended the webinar. Rishikesh BS, Professor, Azim Premji University; Vijay K Thadani, Former Chairman, CII National Committee on Higher Education, and Vice Chairman and MD, NIIT Ltd, also participated.
Ms. Mehta stressed the need for embedding digital learning into India’s education system. “Schools will need to equip themselves with learning technology because it is only through these tools that children will learn,” she said.
Focusing on the gender divide and how it deprives girls of a quality education, Ms. Mehta said, research has shown that underprivileged girls are often the ones that are left behind. And this is the sphere in which Nanhi Kali – a Mahindra Foundation Initiative, is striving to make a difference.
Nanhi Kali was founded in 1996 with the aim of educating underprivileged girls from Std. I-X. The initiative offers after-school academic support as well as an annual school supplies kit that includes books, shoes, socks, and even sanitary napkins to allow underprivileged girls to attend school with dignity. Nanhi Kali provides 360-degree support to 160,000 girls across 20 locations in 4,000 government schools in eight states. It has so far supported over 400,000 girls.
To bolster education efforts, Nanhi Kali will soon be signing an MoU with ‘Educational Initiatives’, a leading Ed-Tech company, which will allow girls students access to a learning software called ‘Mindspark’. This personalised software allows each student to learn at their own pace. The curriculum has been made available in 9 different languages. The organisation will also ensure that every child has a tablet.
Nanhi Kali has drawn support not only from the Mahindra Group, which is its largest supporter, but also from other corporates including Titan, Hindustan Petroleum, Saint Gobain, PNB MetLife, Standard Chartered Bank and SAP. It is also committed to doubling investments into this initiative after the pandemic subsides.
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