Published: 22nd January 2020
Remember school field trips? This start-up is redefining the concept. Check out how
"What students learn in class, they can experience the same during our field trips. Let students have meaningful trips to enhance knowledge instead of resort visits,: Manoj Reddy, CEO, Trippko
Field trips are the best way to take learning out of the confines of the four-walled classrooms and into the open, where practical knowledge take precedence. And let's admit it, as students, we longed for these trips that were both fun and educationally enriching. But many schools struggle to organise effective field trips due to a number of logistical and financial reasons. Trippko, a Hyderabad-based start-up, eases the headache schools bear of planning these trips — in fact, they also make it a more frequent phenomenon instead of it being an annual event.
From visiting a nearby police station to learn first-hand how to file an FIR to a trip to learn pottery, Trippko offers it all. This two and a half-year-old start-up, steered by CEO Manoj Reddy, already has 1,400 Hyderabad schools on its list, including CHIREC International School, Sentia The Global School, Delhi Public School, Nacharam and so on. But why the interest in organising field trips? For everyone, practical learning lies outside the class. "My own daughter Parnika, who is in class II, wakes up on her own when there's a field trip planned and is so enthusiastic about it," says the 37-year-old. The four-member team has their eyes set on Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru next.
The number of students in each batch is 50 to 100. They concentrate on students from LKG to class I. They have started taking college students on trips recently
"Today, if you ask a child where we get milk from, they are more likely to reply with answers like 'supermarket' or 'kirana store' rather than 'cows' or 'farms'," says Manoj and that is what he wanted to change. When both the parties — the schools and the location, be it an airport or an institute — are on board, the Trippko team first visits the site in advance to check for safety concerns. While the school arranges for the transport, there are Trippko representatives (freelancers with experience in that particular area) who are always with the children at the location. And who guides them through the trip? The host themselves. "We train our hosts on how to deal with students, teach them how to engage them in a way that they will listen," explains the Tirupati-born entrepreneur. They also give the school pre and post-trip documents so that everyone is on the same page. "These trips are essentially part of applied education and are in sync with what the children learn in classrooms," explains Manoj, citing the example that students don't just visit a bee farm, one of their most interesting trips, they understand the composition of honey, its various uses and so on. As a bonus, they even get to touch the hives (under the supervision of the host, of course!) and taste the honey too! Sweet!
Reddy was brought up in Hyderabad and pursued his MBA from Rai Business School
The biggest challenge of Trippko is convincing the schools. "I tell them that it is the field trips that students will remember forever," says Reddy, who has over 12 years of experience as an SAP consultant in various MNCs. In the ongoing academic year alone, they have facilitated trips for about 1.5 lakh children in the course of about 100 trips. "When you watch, touch and experience, all your senses are engaged and you retain information longer. That's what schools and parents want and that's what we want too," concludes Manoj.
Scenes from field trips
For more on them, check out trippko.com