Low attendance and poor learning outcomes in schools in rural parts of India can be tackled effectively through the use of technology, TagHive’s Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pankaj Agarwal told India CSR.
TagHive is a technology company which designs innovative digital solutions for kids by merging real and virtual worlds for interactive learning experiences.
Agarwal spoke about his own experience of working with government schools in Varanasi where the company had done a pilot of low cost technology solution – ‘Class- Saathi’ – for futuristic class-rooms. The company designed an integrated solution which provides a clicker device to each student in a mobile app with teaching contents for the teachers.
The personalized solution helps teachers to keep the attendance record of students. It also has interactive content and statistics for teaching. The solution also helped teachers analyse behavior and needs of the students. The pilot was done on more than 1,000 students for one month and the results were “encouraging” for the company.
“It is a playful device which engages teachers with students,” Agarwal elaborated. This solution allows teachers to have an accumulated score for their students on a daily basis. This enables teachers to incentivise students to improve their performance.
It further allows teachers to create their own quizzes and polls for various subjects. Students can record their responses by clicking their tags,” Agarwal said.
The device also facilitates monitoring for parents to assess the progress of the child. It automatically sends students’ performance updates to their respective parents. Parents have an app, where they can track their kids’ progress in real time.
The device gives an automatic phone call to the parents, if a student misses a class for three consecutive days, Pankaj said. Along with it is a recorded call from the district magistrate requesting the parents to send the child back to the school.
“This small feature reduced absence and dropout rate,” Agarwal said. The attendance increased by over 10% “immediately” while the learning outcomes were up 8%, the company claims.
Class Saathi is revolutionary in a sense that it does not need internet connection to run, and could be very useful in rural areas where power and internet connectivity still remain a challenge, the IITian said. “It’s a bluetooth based technology, which uses clickers and app”.
Agarwal said that the product has already been launched in Korea and is likely to be launched in India by September.
Agarwal also said that the cost of the product is “competitive and best in the industry” costing USD 10 per clicker as against an average USD 20 for similar solutions.
“We need smart and affordable technologies that can capture in-classroom learning data and use that data to enhance the learning of kids when they are at home or at the learning center, after school,” Agarwal said. Learning will become more efficient then, he had previously told this news service.
“Rural schools need technologies for better teaching environment, to empower teachers and to motivate students towards regular attendance thus helping these students achieve better learning outcomes,” Agarwal, had then said emphasizing the importance of the technology-based solutions.
Agarwal, a 37-year-old is also an MBA from Harvad Business School. TagHive is a technology company that was spun off from Samsung Electronics.