Published: 02nd December 2020
Pinky Jayaprakash and her husband started SkEdu to ensure that every student gets a positive learning experience
SkEdu combines the individual personality of students and their interests to build a schooling system that understands individualism and encourages students to grow through AI
Having taught at the Government Engineering College in Thrissur for four years, Pinky Jayaprakash has covered all the bases of understanding the issues faced by the student community as a student, parent and teacher herself. She set up SkEdu with her husband Jayaprakash T P in 2018 using the technology of enterprise resource planning with the simple intention of improving the performance of children.
Their expertise with artificial intelligence paved the way for a tech-supported skill development and personality development platform for children. But with all the changes education has experienced under the Coronavirus pandemic, it has grown to become what is essentially a virtual school. The platform offers individual and group-based activities for children in an attempt to understand their personalities and skills, helping them learn through their strengths by working with schools.
“Our students do not receive individualised attention,” begins Pinky, “Yes, the classroom size ratio has mandatorily been decreased to 30 or 25 in one classroom but teachers are still only concentrating on finishing their portions without any concern for who the student is. This is also a lot of pressure for the teachers. How can each student excel if they don't have the proper training? Especially at a time when mental health is at such a low, teachers need to know what their students need and this takes constant training.”
Introduced in over eight schools in Thrissur, Malappuram and Ernakulam, SkEdu works by merging technology with personal connections. The mobile application offers bite-sized modules focused on quizzes, a blogging space and workshops that continuously understands the strength of each child. Equipped with a team of psychologists and academics, the students undergo a psychometric evaluation that determines their range and areas of interest. Using this, they are offered various individual activities and group-based activities like debates and discussions.
SkEdu currently has a 15-member team including Chief Marketing
Officer Rohith Surendran and AI Scientist Ajees A P
Pinky understands that the virtual platform could never replace the school experience. She says, “Our mission is to enhance the learning experience in schools by helping teachers shift their focus from the curriculum alone to what each student deserves on a more personal level. All school boards have these ‘visions’ and ‘missions’ that they blindly list out without ever following their own promises. When we were doing our research for SkEdu, we understood that teachers, students and parents understand that the education system needs to change in this way but everyone thought it would be 2030 until we could actually bring it into practice. But we decided to wade into these waters ourselves.”
For Pinky and the team at SkEdu, the change was urgent. She continues, “Our students deserve all our attention right now. It is not rocket science to wait for someone to come and do it. We don’t want another generation to choose streams and subjects they do not want and end up in jobs they do not enjoy doing. These first years can make all the difference.” Launched officially in this capacity on November 22, more than 10,000 students have already signed up to alter their academic future.