Published: 01st July 2020
How the Arivu project is crowdsourcing PPTs, videos in Kannada to help kids in Govt Schools learn better
Baalya Foundation is doing an incredible job of providing quality education to kids. Nagaraj S, founder of this non-profit organisation speaks about Arivu and their other initiatives in detail
A lot of students in rural as well as urban areas fail to get quality education for a multitude of reasons is what Nagaraj S, the co-founder of Baalya Foundation believes. And that's where the Arivu initiative plays an important role. Founded in 2012 by like-minded people and engineers by profession, Baalya Foundation has started several programmes in the interest of children studying in government schools and Arivu is one of them. Nagaraj says, "Students who attend private schools can afford to attend tuitions and there, they get to learn simple and unique methods to solve Math problems, learn about developments in science and, more importantly, to communicate in English. However, children studying in government schools can't afford any of these facilities. As their medium of study is Kannada, the general knowledge material available to them is far less. Having experienced and seen how difficult it is for these children to afford expensive study materials, we decided to start the Arivu initiative to bridge this gap for children."
Nagaraj and his friends started Arivu in 2013 through which they asked people to volunteer their services to help the children. "We have requested people to send videos and powerpoint presentations for particular chapters. This content should include relevant examples that the children can relate to and also include some general knowledge and current developments related to that particular concept - be it in Science, Math, History or any other subject. Once they send the videos or presentations, we take a look and give it a seal of approval before sending it to different schools. Our volunteers can either go to the schools and teach the children themselves or we will use their material and do the teaching ourselves," explains Nagaraj who is a software engineer by profession.
The core team of Baalya Foundation
If you're thinking about volunteering but don't really know how to make a good presentation or know where to source good content from, don't fret. The team at Baalya Foundation has included samples of presentations on their website to help you understand better. For instance, in one of their presentations, they explain the technicalities of two-wheelers with beautiful graphics and pictures. What makes these presentations better is that they keep the graphics short so that the children are not burdened by the content. Many of the presentations even connect two different subjects, like the one they have explaining how rockets are launched and their functions. This presentation also mentions the names of different kings who used rockets and other such weapons to kill their enemies, thus connecting Science and History.
This Bengaluru-based NGO has taken Arivu to cities like Anekal, Kolar, Bengaluru, Mandya and surrounding cities with the help of their volunteers. Nagaraj says, "Since the initiative runs on the interest shown by our volunteers, we can't take it to far away cities yet. But the response that we got before the lockdown was overwhelming. Some of the government school principals in Anekal liked our initiative so much that they called us back to do more. One of the important impacts this initiative has made is that children who were not good in a particular subject started showing more interest in it. The teachers even noted an increase in their marks. Some children who assumed that education was tough realised that education could be fun."
With no certainty about when government schools will open, you might think that their future is bleak. But Baalya Foundation is leaving no stone unturned to help these kids prepare themselves for the next academic year. Currently, they are choosing various study materials available in English, translating them to Kannada and uploading them on their website. "The translation of content is in process and we hope that this will help children understand the concepts easily," he concludes