Published: 20th April 2020
School@Home is making sure that children get a jumpstart on next year's lessons. Here's how
Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder of LEAD School speaks about their online platform that can be used by schools if they want to teach the syllabus of the next academic year and assign homework amidst lockdown
When the COVID-19 outbreak happened in March 2020 and the government asked schools to shut down, the first thought that came to Sumeet Mehta's mind was about the affordable schools in India who might be in the process of finishing their syllabus. That's when he decided to launch a programme called LEAD School@Home. Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder and CEO of the LEAD School says, "We don't know when the lockdown is going to be lifted and finishing syllabus for the next academic year should not become a burden to teachers and children. Hence, we have launched the LEAD School Application for Parents. This can be downloaded on an Android phone only."
This is not the first time that LEAD school is collaborating with other schools. They have partnered with affordable price schools across India for the past three years. Around 800 schools are working with LEAD school with an intention to improve the learning outcome for children. "We provide these school teachers with an app that includes lesson plans, resources, videos and materials that are necessary to teach children. Students also get books and some special workbooks that make learning fun and parents get an app to track their children's performance etc. The whole eco-system gets connected through apps and online platforms like this."
Explaining more about their School@Home Programme, he says "I think Karnataka was the first state to announce the shut down of schools and educational institutions followed by other states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamilnadu and so on. Since we already know the working of the online system, we quickly worked on an app that can be used by schools to teach children when they are at home. We launched it in the month of March and many schools decided to make the most of this app."
Sumeet further adds, "Most of these schools in South India wanted to complete the syllabus for that particular academic year and make online assessments to promote children to the next academic year. So they used this app to teach lessons and assign them some work for a set of marks. At the same time, we realised that many schools in North India especially CBSE schools wanted to start with the syllabus for the next academic year as it usually begins in April month. Therefore, they collaborated with us to use this platform. Currently, over 515 schools are using this app to teach over two lakh children by sitting at home."
Sumeet believes that children should not miss the lessons or being part of school programmes. Therefore his platform has been able to serve that purpose. He says, "Students get a timetable for that particular day and the assignments that need to be done like they do at their schools. Over the weekend, they get activities which are co-curricular. After the class is completed, teachers can give homework to the students. Next day, they are given answer keys to check if their answers are right or wrong. Similarly, after 10 days, teachers can take up online assessment of the children to find out what they have understood. A simple smartphone and an internet pack is what the students need here."
So what about the syllabus that these school will follow on their platform. Sumeet says, "We know that there are different syllabus across all the schools. But broadly most of the education boards in the country follow NCERT textbooks. Hence, our partners follow the same NCERT material available on our platform. Children don't have to study different Math or English. The chapters and concepts are similar in these subjects and we have all of them covered on our platform."
When we asked how this programme is going to benefit schools post lockdown, he says, "The app is not going to stop working even after the lockdown is lifted. In case the child has been absent or there must be some late admissions, then they can go back to the recorded classes on this app and access them easily."