Mumbai: EnglishHelper (EH), a Boston based ed-tech start-up, and IL&FS Education, the education & technology arm of IL&FS group organized a thought-leadership conference on 25th October to discuss and deliberate on the road map for technology enabled English Language Learning in India.
Shri Nand Kumar, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of School Education & Sports, Govt of Maharashtra presided over the conference and released the findings of the impact evaluation of a large scale technology-led English language learning intervention – Right-to-Read – which was piloted in more than 3,000 Govt schools in Maharashtra jointly by EH & IL&FS Education, covering 6 lakh students and 6,000 teachers. The report indicated an average 20% improvement in reading and comprehension ability of children through this year long intervention.
Ms. Madhu Ranjan of USAID, the agency which co-funded this Right-to-Read intervention in multiple States covering 15 lakh learners, highlighted how the technology (ReadtoMeTM – an AI based application that uses multi-sensory approach) has played a significant role in enhancing English literacy outcomes specially in the space of early grade reading.
Several eminent global ed-tech experts, thinkers, strategists and philanthropists participated in panel discussions to deliberate and charter a road map for solving problems related to English language learning in our country through efficient use of emerging technologies, including :
· Shri Nand Kumar, IAS, Principal Secretary, School Education & Sports, Government of Maharashtra
· Dr Venkat Srinivasan: Chairman, EnglishHelper, a serial entrepreneur and an expert in computational linguistics & NLP, based in Boston, USA
· Dr Vijay Kumar: Associate Dean of Digital Learning and the Executive Director of J-WEL (Jameel World Education Lab, MIT, USA )
· Dr. Shailesh Kumar: Visiting Faculty at ISB, Hyderabad and entrepreneur with rich expertise in AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning
· Mr Ashish Dhawan, Founder & Chairman, Central Square Foundation (CSF), a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist with special interest in Indian education system
· Mr Ranjan Pant, CEO, Advisor Global Strategy Management Consultant
The conference concluded with the launch of an online solution for learning spoken English – EnglishBolo (englishbolo.com) - a first-of-its kind language learning platform designed for India’s young adult and youth. Developed jointly by IL&FS Education & English Helper, EnglishBolo provides anytime, anywhere access to users to learn English using mobiles and/or tablets. English Bolo has the unique feature of providing both self-learning and teacher-lead learning using the same personalized learning platform. 1000 English Bolo scholarship coupons were handed over through this conference to Govt of Maharashtra.
Mr. Sanjay Gupta, CEO of EnglishHelper and Mr. RCM Reddy, MD & CEO of IL&FS Education announced that through this partnership, they intend to democratize English language learning across the country leveraging the power of technology and make it convenient and extremely affordable for millions of learners using the strength of public-private partnerships.