Role of FOSS in bringing equity and quality learning to education



The lack of technology built by India for India is a significant issue, as most of the solutions used in India are built outside the country. There is a strong need for the Indian FOSS ecosystem to step up and lead the way in building technologies that can penetrate rural education, including AI programming and digital literacy skills. This will ensure that every child from the remotest part of the country can learn and fulfill the vision of inclusive technology for education.

In this talk, we will introduce our work at NavGurukul, where we are working with government schools and ITIs across three states and over 50,000 learners to teach them programming using a mobile-first application that works offline for most of its use cases. Students can program in Python on an Android smartphone or build Scratch-based games and learn typing without needing an internet connection once the application is installed. Both the frontend and backend of the application have been built by NavGurukul Alumni, which stands as a testimony to how inclusion in the talent pipeline being enabled in NavGurukul will also fuel inclusion in the products being built for Bharat. With support from the community, we can make a significant impact on rural education in India.

About the speaker

Nidhi Anarkat

Nidhi Anarkat is the Co-Founder and CEO of NavGurukul, a not-for-profit organization on a mission to create access to aspirational careers for students from marginalized communities. NavGurukul is building an equitable higher education offering where students learn the right skills, mindsets, and the ability to learn on their own to thrive in the world. Nidhi is an alumna of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has been working in the learning sector with a strong belief in education as a tool for social change. Prior to NavGurukul, she worked in various Edtech ventures such as Educational Initiatives, Knewton, EmpowerED (Founder), etc.

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