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Company Feature
Published on: April 5, 2022, 12:39 p.m.
Lenovo’s smart learning program
  • Honing their skills: Lenovo Meghshala Teacher Enablement Program

By Business India Editorial

Lenovo’s holistic approach in collaborating with grassroots organisations and leveraging its cutting-edge technology expertise in supporting quality education for students encompasses capacity building and training of teachers as well as developing STEM mindsets in students. Lenovo’s EdTech Classroom Intervention with the Meghshala Teacher Enablement Program and partnership with Agastya International Foundation are supportive of providing inclusive, core educational inputs aimed at developing learners’ talents. 

India faces a multitude of educational challenges, including ineffective curriculums and a disconnect with ground reality. There are more than 100 million children enrolled in schools at the primary level in India. With such large numbers, the quality of teaching and outcomes are not of a uniform high level. Improving the quality of teaching and learning at every level of a student’s life is therefore of paramount importance.

Echoing Lenovo’s vision, Smarter Technology for All, these projects are intended to be technology-focused, minimising wastage and drop-out rates in poverty-stricken areas.

Starting off with an experiential hands-on learning session that thereby propagates STEM mindsets in students in their formative ages, Lenovo and Agastya Foundation’s Mobile Education Programme supports 10,000+ underprivileged students across India.

The project employs a new initiative, ‘Lab-On-a-Tab,’ that makes education more interactive and effective in government schools, aims to provide self-paced, high-quality hands-on education to supplement the existing teaching and learning methods. This will be implemented by using technology support from Lenovo to convert physical experiments into e-experiments for the children. Initially, students and teachers of government schools were provided with Lenovo A-1000 tablets which were pre-loaded with applications designed by Agastya Foundation and C-DAC, to enable the teacher to engage the students through interactive learning.

Lenovo also supports three iMobile Labs. In this programme, local community youth are trained to be teachers on the iMobile Vans, thus creating an economic opportunity within the community. The iMobile Labs reach out to rural communities on the outskirts of Gurgaon, Bengaluru and in the slums in Mumbai.

Lenovo-Agastya Science Centre: These programmes run in Haryana, Karnataka and Maharashtra, providing hands-on education to the underserved students and teachers have garnered a total of 106,000+ exposures to date. The programme seeks to transform and stimulate the thinking of economically disadvantaged children in schools where access to the Internet and technology is limited. One of the top highlights also includes the new learning pedagogy of Explore, Play and Learn sessions promoting self-learning, questioning capabilities, and self-exploring capacities of students using digital content.

The second initiative is that of promoting the use of technology for teachers’ capacity building with access to quality education through digitised and vernacular content through the Lenovo Meghshala Teacher Enablement Program.

The philosophy underlines Lenovo’s mission to empower a diverse, underserved and underprivileged populace by increasing access to Science, Technology, Engineering/English and Mathematics education. The adoption of the locations chosen to implement our programs also underlines the mission. For example, the East Garo and West Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya have low intervention in education in India as its geography and terrain pose a big challenge to development while the Yadgir district of Karnataka is one of the aspirational districts identified for education by NITI Aayog. This district lacks drinking water, toilets, drainage, transportation, and educational facilities.

In 2020, with Covid-19 causing a crisis of an unprecedented scale, schools shut down and almost overnight education went online. Teachers in the North East state of Meghalaya struggled to reconnect with their students. The Lenovo Meghshala Teacher Enablement Program was introduced in Meghalaya during the Covid lockdown. Teachers used Meghshala lessons on their phones to teach effectively, and the programme was monitored by field associates to provide the necessary support to teachers.

Volunteer teachers recorded lessons in their local language to teach their students and minimise learning loss. There are short professional development modules for teachers, e-lessons by teachers for students’ use, and science experiments and math learning content available on the Meghshala YouTube channel.

Today offline capabilities have been integrated within the app to help teachers teach in the absence of internet connectivity. The app also allows for collecting granular data for analysis, helping understand the usage patterns and trends. This use of simple yet modern technology enables working with local community-based organisations and helps overcome connectivity challenges to a large extent. Since social distancing and lockdown measures began in response to Covid-19, Meghshala has seen more than 18,000 app downloads.

Lenovo’s partnership with Agastya’s learning pedagogy on experiential learning and critical learning underlines the National Education Policy of India 2020’s (NEP 2020) focus as well. Lenovo’s belief in smarter technology for all is the driving force behind this collaboration which helps bridge the digital divide by providing access to quality education through the iMobile Vans and Lab on Tab. The Mobile outreach programmes that Lenovo supports fall under the Samagra Shiksha initiative of the government of India.

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