In 1994, Shiv Nadar, the founder of HCL, established Shiv Nadar Foundation to address illiteracy and improve the quality of education with a mission to create lifelong learners. Its latest initiative is Shiksha Kiran, which aims at bringing mobile classrooms to the students and adults in Uttar Pradesh who are struggling to get proper education due to COVID-19.
Shiksha Kiran, a part of the Shiksha initiative was started by the Shiv Nadar Foundation in 2012. The Shiksha initiative’s primary goal is to eradicate illiteracy in India and remove the literacy gap between urban and rural students. Shiv Nadar believes that India, with the level of population, has immense potential, which could yield massive growth for the nation if utilized and empowered accordingly.
Shiksha is our youngest program aimed at making primary school education engaging for young students using ICT. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting education, especially in rural India, where hosting virtual classes is also a challenge, we decided to take the school to the students. This is a unique initiative that will help ensure that young students do not miss out on their learning journey in these challenging times. – said Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson, HCL Technologies and Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation
Shiksha Kiran is mainly focused on the local and disadvantaged rural inhabitants of Uttar Pradesh, who do not have proper access to virtual learning. Initially, specially designed vehicles would cover 36 villages across UP to provide an interactive learning experience for students and adults. The vehicles would be adequately equipped with the necessary technological tools such as loud speakers and large screens.
Seeing high rate of school drop-outs in India, mostly from economically unstable families in rural areas, Shiksha Kiran aims to help these students bring back their long-lost interest in learning and engage them in creating a better future. The 15-week program curriculum is based on the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) syllabus for grade 1 to 3. Instructors teach the lessons under open spaces with canopies accompanied by proper social distancing and hygiene.
Shiksha Kiran not only focuses on primary students but also on adults who will be taught various life skills and farming techniques, including Aloe-Vera farming, animal husbandry, farming of medicinal plants, dairy business and much more.
As per the pilot program, a single unit covers four villages a day. Separate classes will be conducted for students and adults, and each batch will attend a total of two classes a week. Philanthropic initiatives such as Shiksha Kiran by Shiv Nadar Foundation assist the whole nation in bridging the gap of digital learning by providing education to their doorstep.