Quality education is still a major concern in many parts of the country. The Indian government, as well as the state governments, try to work in these sectors, but somehow the goal to bring a change is still not fulfilled. The government schools are still lacking attendance and the children are deprived of good public education. But we have always seen a ray of hope in the room of darkness. This ray has been ignited from the Banka district of Bihar through ‘ Banka Unnayan‘ Project.
Kundan Kumar, the district Magistrate of Banka always had a concern about public education of Nexal affected area-Banka. The joint project ‘Banka Unnayan’ by Kundan Kumar and Eckovation, an education startup by Ritesh Singh are helping to sow the seeds of quality public education in Banka District. The project is currently running in every public school of Banka where the students are taught by a unique method of video lectures and concept based assessments. The teachers are trained under this project and students are foster with this new method of learning that encourages them to come to school.
The initiative has grown from 5 schools to now more than 3100 high schools of Bihar. The project has expanded its reach from Banka to all the districts of Bihar. The project is soon to be adopted in middle schools of Bihar.
What is Banka Unnayan?
The Banka Unnayan experiment is an offline and online education done through interactive concept videos, with the method of doubt clearing, examination digital report card generation for better assessment. This project has been adopted by the Central government’s flagship scheme, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) which aims to get implemented in the other villages of the country.
The literacy rate of Banka is 58.17%, which is almost a shocking 12% below the national average of 70.04%.To change this data, the real struggle was to improve the education of the place. The lack of teachers in the place was also a drawback. But, the implementation of Banka Unnayan Project brought major changes like the growth of attendance from 24% to 55%. A positive result is that out of the top 20 toppers from Bihar, 3 are the students of Banka Unnayan Project.
From Monday to Saturday, across 143 senior secondary government schools in the district, students of Class 10 watch videos and slides cast on a television screen, for various subjects like science, maths and social studies up to 90 or 120 minutes.
Method of Teaching
1. The Banka Unnayan Project runs on Eckovation method of teaching, in this, the students are given video lectures and tutorials. That makes students more interested in the chapters and they stick to hours to complete their chapters. After the video slides, the pointers are reviewed to make the students remember the bullet notes from each chapter. After the end of video interactive sessions, students are given OMR Sheets to fill up with five questions to check what they grabbed from their visual lectures. The sheets are then checked by themselves with the answer sheets given by teachers. The results are then uploaded to the Eckovation app.
2. Besides the daily tests, a baseline test is also conducted on the first day of the week to check the week growth of the child. There is also an analysis test every Saturday to measure this process further.
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3. Doubt Discussions is the third process in which the students facing any doubt at any point of preparation can discuss the doubts with a team of experts on Eckovation Platform. The students are then ranked on the performance data points. Based on these performance data points, students are provided with AI-based recommendations to help them strengthen their weak topics. Eckovation’s AI built into the app analyses student’s performance on school basis, then on state and then on country level mapping. The feedback of performance is then shared with the student through push notifications, SMS and through student help groups which consists of teachers and experts from Eckovation.
Start of Eckovation App
Coming from a Bihari family and completing his early studies from Chhapra, Ritesh Singh left for Kota for his IIT preparations after 12th. He noticed a drastic difference between the qualities of education in his district at Kota. He made into IIT Delhi and completed his graduation with a hope of doing something for the education of Bihar.
“During college, we had a discussion about the divergence of education in our state and outside. We were in the third year of college when we started this Eckovation project in 2015 with audio and visual methods. One of the co-founder Akshat helped me to put this infield and do our research. We chose Delhi and Chhapra, the two diagonally different places. During the research Kundan Kumar contacted us, and we did our first pilot project in August 2017 with five schools,” says Ritesh Singh, the founder of Eckovation app to PatnaBeats. He further adds, “The motto behind starting this app was conceptualization and reach of quality education to the core”.
During the visit to Banka, CM Nitish Kumar praised this initiative and interestingly watched the video lectures one by one. All because of the success of this initiative, this project has been awarded and received many applauds all over the country as well as the world. Jharkhand and Maharashtra schools are adopting this Eckovation project in their government schools. Even Africa is going to start this project in middle schools there.
In 2018, it won the Prime Minister’s Excellence Award for Innovation. More recently, Eckovation received the Bihar Gaurav Samman award for the Unnayan project. Along with this; District Magistrate Kundan Kumar won the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration in April 2018.
It is said, ” Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them”. Similarly, Unnayan Project despite many hindrances has achieved a good number of expansions in one year. We wish that Unnayan Projects extends this unique method of teaching, and make learning fun so that it enhances student’s attendance and value education could be imparted in the state.
Quote of the day:'Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education'- Dr. Martin Luther King