BYJU’s has launched a digital film to remind us of the catastrophic education emergency that the pandemic has created i...
- With an aim to make digital learning accessible to millions of children from underserved communities, EdTech giant
BYJU’S launched its social initiative ‘Education For All’ last year.
- So far, BYJU’s has reached 3.4 million students and has now revised its vision to empower 10 million students by 2025.
- To celebrate its social outreach program's one-year anniversary, BYJU’s has launched a digital film to remind us of the catastrophic education emergency that the pandemic has created in our country.
- We speak to
Vineet Singh, VP- Brand and Creative Strategy, BYJU’S and Mansi Kasliwal, VP - Social Initiatives, BYJU'S to find out more about the initiative, the brand’s new CSR campaign and discuss how school closures have impacted the country.
The film shows how children in remote areas travel miles to go to school. With the ongoing pandemic, many of them have been deprived of their right to education as schools have shut down or have moved online.
Across India, 1.5 million school closings have affected 247 million children in elementary and secondary schools, according to a UNICEF study. As the pandemic drags on, more and more students have dropped out of school and the most marginalized communities are paying the biggest price. Many young kids have been forced into child labour or child marriage and are cut off from the early development stages of childhood.
With an aim to bridge this gap, BYJU’s launched its CSR initiative called ‘Education for All’ last year. So far, the EdTech giant has reached 3.4 million students and has now revised its vision to empower 10 million children, up from 5 million, by 2025. Under the initiative, BYJU’s has partnered with over 110 NGO partners and launched its program in 26 states, whereby its educational content is loaded onto the devices with free access for the students and the teachers.
“Even pre-pandemic, there were about 13 million children out of school and 67% of these kids out of school are girls in the grade category of six to eight. Experts predict that the pandemic is likely to double this number. Now, in terms of the quality of education, the SSO report says that there are about 110 million children in India who do not receive good quality education, even though they're part of some base-level education or primary education level system. Education is a fundamental right of every child in India, as per the Constitution, but it's about the quality of education. It's also about the availability of teachers. So if you just look at the education sector in general, I think the problems are just plenty and the scale of them is something that I don't think a single organization like ours can actually address which is why we've taken the ecosystem approach. It is a mix of NGOs, the government, other corporates, everybody is going to contribute,” Mansi Kasliwal, VP - Social Initiatives, BYJU'S told Advertising and Media Insider citing various studies.
As per UNICEF, only 24% of households in India had access to the internet pre-COVID and there is a large rural-urban and gender divide. With its EFA initiative, BYJU’s has been providing at-home school through a personal digital device.
However, every child has different needs. Kasliwal told us how BYJU’s devices are supporting them in catching up on the learning they have missed. She said, “The needs are different in terms of the grade, their state board and language; these are the three basic things that we need to know about before giving out a course. This information comes to us from the NGO, and we are able to customize the program for each child. So each child gets a course that is aligned to their learning needs. Also, we understand that great competency is a real challenge on-ground. So a fifth-grader in one of these areas may actually not know addition and subtraction. Whereas for a regular child of fifth grade, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and everything has to be known. So before we begin a program, we find out where the learning gaps are built through bridge learning programs and then give them content. So there are multiple efforts that are being taken through aptitude tests, bridge learning programs, gap identification, assessment tests and then there’s teacher training.”
BYJU’s film, which has been released to raise more awareness around the digital divide and its CSR initiative, was conceptualised and created by BYJU’S internal brand team. Panning and tilting across the scenic views of Uri in Kashmir to the panoramic white deserts of Kutch to the hinterlands of Sundarbans, the film is shot across Sonmarg, Jaisalmer, Alupuzzah etc for over 120 hours along with 1000+ beneficiary students.
Talking about the film, Vineet Singh, VP- Brand and Creative Strategy, BYJU’S said, “An impactful story needs an impactful, even more, or a little bigger impactful way of communicating the story out and that's what we tried to do with this. The objective is simple - get the story out to more and more people. The objective is not to piggyback on this to build a brand narrative The objective is to just reach out to more and more people. And the more and more people see this film, the more people join in. That's our end objective. We’ve started with a digital-first narrative. The music is available on all leading music platforms as well including Spotify, JioSaavn, Apple Music, and we have some specific digital strategy pushing towards the music as well. So you will see a lot of content around that and we partnered with a few influencers.”
The film’s music follows along with the unique rhythm of the mathematical ‘table of 2,’ and is rendered artfully by actor-singer Raghubir Yadav. The music, composed by Sneha Khanwalkar, aims to capture the innocence and hope of young children for a better tomorrow.