They got everything a young B-school graduate could ask for, but the yearning, perhaps, was different. And led to three youths Lavin Mirchandani (24), Lehar Tawde (25) and Haren Paul Rao (24) to start EkShiksha campaign, which aims at bringing about a collaboration between corporates, NGOs, school managements and educators to improve the learning environment and academic performance across Maharashtra’s rural schools and provide world-class education.
At the heart of EkShiksha lies ConnectEd’s ‘smart classroom system’, which is a solar-powered education-technology solution designed to work with teachers. The panels are placed on the rooftops of schools that help teachers to teach children with the help of a projector on the whiteboards provided in schools.
Tawde said, “The campaign aims at showcasing our model project in Palghar and garnering support of these stakeholders towards replication of the same in the region they belong. It has been received quite well and we hope to considerably expand our network of schools to cover institutions across the state very soon.”
In the academic year 2016-17, ConnectEd’s ‘smart classroom systems’ were introduced in the 11 schools of Palghar taluka, where the team successfully united local authorities, socially-responsible corporates, school trusts and educators to upgrade educational infrastructure and impact thousands of children.
Mirchandani said, “We were working with good companies when we decided to begin a start-up. After much discussion, we decided to do something for rural education, where schools face a lot of problems due to lack of technology-based education. We started our research in 2014 and visited Palghar. We then decided to improve the learning environment there by providing educational content that could be shown to children with the help of projector on whiteboards. We were successful in setting up smart classrooms in 11 Palghar schools with the help of corporates through their CSR activity.”