New Delhi, July 10, 2020: The need for distance learning as social distancing appears to have become the new normal in this COVID-19 era, a fact that has been emphasised by education stakeholders, child rights organisations and agencies, health experts, and governments across the world. Yuva Unstoppable, one of the premier non-profit organisations working in the education sector in India, is working diligently in the domain of digital learning so that government school students supported by it and its partners are not left behind. In order to broadly impact these students, the organisation, founded and led by Amitabh Shah, has launched a remote learning initiative supporting close to 10,000 students and more than 500 teachers.
Yuva Unstoppable spoke to 89 school principals, 900+ parents, and about 2500 students pan India to understand the current gap in education, especially among the children from less privileged backgrounds. Additionally, it also convened a digital dialogue with its advisory board members, supporters, partners and key stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive plan for these children. Well-known public figures, extraordinary leaders, and subject experts like R. Balki (legendary Indian film director), Parthiv Patel (former Indian cricketer), Paul Polman (former Global CEO, Unilever), Gaurav Gupta (Co-founder, Zomato), Dr Ruth Kattumuri (Co-director, India Observatory, LSE), and many more, participated in this dialogue. Yuva Unstoppable has started a pilot with Grade 6-8 students from 50 government schools of Gujarat.
“Children have the opportunity to be exposed to and learn much more things when the schools are shut down (in non-traditional settings) than in traditional settings. This is the right opportunity to engage them remotely through technology,” said R. Balki, Indian film director
“The need is to build effective supply chains to deliver educational content online as well as offline to students. We must focus on going beyond real-time e-learning. Remote learning will help enhance digital literacy among the students,” added Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder & COO, Zomato.
Till now, Yuva Unstoppable’s team of over 50 experts delivered close to 2,000 hours of online learning for hundreds of students in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana, New Delhi, etc. The online learning sessions are continuing. Amitabh Shah, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yuva Unstoppable shares, “All schools and colleges have shut down to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Even when they reopen, the scope for classroom education will remain curtailed for a longer period of time due to social distancing. Moreover, it will hit the economies of disadvantaged families harder, thereby, increasing the chances of dropouts in government schools. Our initiative is aimed at addressing such long-term challenges so that no child loses out on the essential learning hours.”
Yuva Unstoppable is engaging students with access to smart devices and internet through a range of diverse existing and unique online content via different digital platforms like YouTube, WhatsApp, Google Future Classrooms (GFCs), and so on. Key topics include awareness about COVID-19, health and hygiene, mental health and overall wellbeing, value-based education (gratitude, self-belief, leadership, etc.) and extra-curricular activities like art and craft, yoga, and much more. This has not only benefitted the students but also helped promote awareness among and empower their family members, teachers, and the communities at large.