E-Shiksha in Ekal Vidyalaya: Merging Technology with Education
As the world continues to embark on a technological revolution, various aspects of life have become intertwined with technology. Such aspects include service and education, with new scientific advancements making service opportunities more prominent and education increasingly accessible. Ekal Vidyalaya has recognized this global development, implementing the use of technology in its various projects from virtual fundraising events to hosting mobile computer labs. One way Ekal has utilized technology to promote its mission of holistically developing rural communities in India is through e-Shiksha, teaching with tablets.
On December 6th, 2019, Ekal reached a major milestone in the history of its organization: Ekal launched its 100,000th school to serve the members of a rural community in Gujarat, India. This milestone was accompanied by a celebration, where the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, delivered a speech pushing for the further digitalization of the organization to better serve the rural areas of India. Applying the guidance of the Prime Minister, Ekal set a new goal of administering the e-Shiksha program throughout all of its schools by the year 2022.
Ekal’s e-Shiksha program includes providing tablets pre-loaded with an in-depth curriculum to its schools and training teachers at those schools to use those tablets. Benefits of this program include increasing the digital literacy of students from a young age and providing more resources to teachers and students to gage in more thorough discussions and lessons of topics. Enforcing this program may come with difficulties in maintaining constant electricity to power these tablets and raising enough funds to train teachers and providing a suitable number of tablets per school. Nevertheless, Ekal has been able to combat these difficulties, shown in its previous phases of this program.
The first two phases of e-Shiksha have been greeted with immense success, as students who are visual learners are able to better comprehend topics with these tablets. Additionally, teachers and students are more updated with the latest information on educational subjects with these tablets. With confidence from the prosperous outcomes of the previous phases, Ekal has launched the third phase of e-Shiksha in March of 2020. Although this phase has been met with difficulty due to the spread of COVID-19, Ekal has continued to support the schools remotely, furthering its goals of empowering and developing rural villages in India through educational engagements.