Google.org, which is the tech companies arm for philanthropy, announced grants of $8.4 million (a little over Rs 54 crore) to four Indian NGOs. The money will be given to the Learning Equality, Million Sparks Foundation, Pratham Books StoryWeaver, and Pratham Education Foundation over the next two years so that these NGOs can expand and scale the work they are doing to improve quality of education in India.
These grants are part of a global $50 million commitment that Google.org has made for the groups working on tech-based learning solutions.
Google.org said that although the Right to Education Act in 2010 has improved access to education, the quality of education remains a concern. It notes that studies show a decline in learning levels among school students.
"MHRD data indicates there are about 260 million children enrolled in schools across the country, but a recent survey by Pratham Education reveals 50 per cent of all children in 5th grade cannot read a 2nd grade text or do a two-digit subtraction problem," the company said in a statement.
"We believe technology can help bridge the gap, it can get more books to students, more lesson plans to teachers, and classrooms to kids who can't get there themselves. At Google.org, we are committed to support and work alongside these organisations to bridge the quality education gap," said Nick Cain, program manager (education) at Google.org.
Google said that the education grants in India will focus on three areas where technology can be used to improve the quality of education. "First is to make available quality learning material that overcome language and connectivity gaps. Second is to provide better training and support to teachers as they are key to educational outcomes. Finally, it is to support students beyond classroom learning," the company said.