Published: 19th June 2020
Call them, maybe? How Dost Education is stirring up an edu revolution using one-minute calls
EdTech platform Dost Education allots everyday task to parents so that they can actively engage their children in activities that teach them about numeracy, good touch, bad touch and a lot more
Mixing all kinds of lentils and asking children to sort it out teaches sorting. Teaching them about good touch and bad touch via a drawing of their own self can be compelling. Inculcating a sense of responsibility in a child can be done with a load chart for all family members. There are various ways to engage children now that schools will be closed for the foreseeable future. Dost Education can prove to be a very good friend to all parents and help them with these tasks. This EdTech platform passes on the information about these activities in Hindi via simple one-minute calls to parents and is the brainchild of graduates from UC Berkeley Sindhuja Jeyabal and Sneha Sheth. They started their India operations in 2017 from Delhi which are helmed by Arushi Wasan, who is the Partnerships and Program Lead.
A mother and her children | (Pic: Dost Education)
Taking a call
With their focus primarily on early age education, they started off a pilot project with 200 parents in Bhajanpura, Delhi. Since then, they have lent their services to over 54,000 parents in Delhi and NCR alone. The curriculum or the tasks that they have come up with has been developed in tandem with the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and further localised for the Indian community, informs Arushi. In fact, it is her voice that has been pre-recorded for all the calls.
A mother listening to their call | (Pic: Dost Education)
What is unique about Dost Education is their focus is not just on learning outcomes but also on the socio-emotional development of the child. Which is why they have included activities related to good touch, bad touch, conversations and narrating stories too. "We are doing a lot to involve parents and are encouraging them to participate in their child's education in new ways. We constantly remind them to talk to their children and gently guide them through the tasks. We also request them not to get angry if the child is not able to nail the task in the first go because we genuinely understand that they have their own work to do," says the 27-year-old who met Sneha (CEO and Founder of Dost Education) through a mutual friend. They had part-time workers who would visit mothers and offer on-ground assistance, but now because of the virus, this part of the operation is on hold.
Dost champions helping mothers | (Pic: Dost Education)
Speaking of the lockdown, apart from their 24 week-long programme for kids aged between three to six years that involves them in activities, they have also launched a four week-long programme for COVID alone which helps with hygiene techniques and positive behaviour management, all sourced from World Health Organization. Over the last month, 8,000 plus families have made the most of their new programme. "Our engagement has doubled by introducing this programme," informs the alumna of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University.
Arushi Wasan | (Pic: Dost Education)
So for their 24-week programme, expect tasks that teach children how to tackle bullies, about growth and having a fixed mindset, parenting, general numeracy and much more. They even have an activity that helps ensure that kids get to bed on time! The plan ahead is to expand to five more states and reach out through more people using different mediums like Facebook, TikTok and so on.
Child doing an activity | (Pic: Dost Education)
For more on them check out dosteducation.com