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Making school education freely accessible through the Suno Kitaab App

Piramal Foundation
May 15, 2019

Tanu Aggarwal and Ajay had been working in Rajasthan schools since 2018 when they realized that teachers have an excessive workload which results in their non-availability in classrooms. This hampers the learning curve of students, leading to an increase in the dropout rate, low academic results, absenteeism and deviant behaviour within students.

It appears that the issue of teacher absenteeism is a result of us forgetting that the primary role of teachers is to teach. Tanu and Ajay asked a few parents about what made them feel teachers were complacent. Parents said that they had witnessed and heard that teachers are often absent from classrooms (especially in Primary Education). Moreover, the schools in which their children were enrolled had shortages of teachers to begin with, and teacher absenteeism from classrooms over and above the existing shortages meant that children from two or three different classes were clubbed together and taught in the same classroom.

With this information they both realised that teachers not only have to teach but in the current scenario, they must also be available for an onslaught of administrative work passed on to them through government circulars and by their superiors.

To tackle this, they started to work on finding alternative techniques for teachers to handle the workload through which student's education would not suffer. They believed that if not dealt with immediately, it would adversely affect the students and teachers both, costing us skilled human resource, human development index and literacy rate. They also felt that this was the right time to introduce tech-based education solutions in rural and government schools because they are lacking behind and this will help bridge the gap between teachers and students.

Tanu and Ajay started creating audio learning materials based on the school's textbooks. This was collated and presented on a mobile Application - Suno Kitaab, that can be used by students, parents, tuition centers and schools.

The major features of Suno Kitaab are:

1. Support system

2. Accessible to all including PWDs

3. Highly scalable and customizable

4. Localized content

5. Easy to connect to all stakeholders

6. Approaching student to become self-mentor

Benefits to students:

  • 24X7 learning environment
  • Great teachers
  • Cost effective
  • Self-learning even in schools
  • Increase in student learning outcome

Benefits to teachers, parents, schools and tuition centers

  • It will be a help book
  • They can use this as a teaching/learning materials (TLM)
  • Can use this as a supplementary when they need

To compliment this initiative, they are also planning to help provide the relevant infrastructure in schools. The infrastructure would include audio instruments and internet connectivity.