Excitement is palpable among school going children in in Varanasi District. They have a new friend now. Known as Class Saathi, a smart education device developed by an IITian and incubated by Samsung Ventures, it is helping students, teachers, parents and administrators in government run schools in raising the bar in education delivery system.
The device and app, which run without any internet connection, help teachers manage attendance, teach students efficiently and check behavioural issues of the children as well. Explains Pankaj Agarwal, the founder of TAG HIVE, the company which has developed the solution, “It’s a bluetooth based technology, which uses clickers and app”.
He elaborates, “It is a playful device which engages teachers with students. This solution allows teachers to have an accumulated score for their students on a daily basis and the students will be given incentives to improve their behaviour. It further allows teachers to create their own quizzes and polls for various subjects. Students can record their responses by clicking their tags.”
The teachers can view all student records, such as attendance, score and quiz/poll results for one day, one week, one month or for the whole semester. The parents can also see the status and progress of their children. It automatically sends students’ performance updates to their respective parents. Parents will also have an app, where they can track their kids’ progress in real time.
If a student misses a class for three consecutive days, a custom phone call goes to the parent and the recorded call of District Magistrate requests him/her to send his child back to school. Pankaj says, “This small feature reduced absence and dropout rate.”
Earlier, the school administrators’ challenge was monitoring attendance and resolving dropout issues. They also had no clue on what was being taught and how. Class Sathi gave them a solution through which they are now monitoring not only the attendance and courses, but also behavioural issues of children.
Pankaj Agarwal, a 37-year-old IIT Kanpur graduate, is also an MBA from Harvad Business School. Agarwal is the founder and President of IIT Alumni Association of Korea (IITAAK). He had earlier worked with Samsung Electronics. Samsung encouraged him with support for his endeavour. TagHive is a technology company that was spun off from Samsung Electronics.
“We are looking to partner with corporate and schools in India to create affordable smarter classrooms. We are happy with the results of the pilot and are willing to expand further.
India’s education system needs an overhaul. With limited broadband access in rural India, this solution would be a win-win for the government, children, parents and organizations,” says he.
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