DEVELOPING SCIENTIFIC TEMPER & INDIA-AFGHANISTAN TEACHER TRAINING CO-OPERATION
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Our work impacts two Sustainability Development Goals, SDG 4.1 and SDG 4.c SDG 4.1 states, "FREE, EQUITABLE AND QUALITY PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION LEADING TO RELEVANT AND EFFECTIVE LEARNING OUTCOMES": Significant inequity exists between under-served and well-resourced schools. By increasing access and quality of science education in under-served schools, we contribute towards reducing this inequity. By using PARENTAL OCCUPATION LINKED LEARNING(POLL), we make the classroom transaction very relevant to a childs life, an explicit goal of SDG 4.1, but unfortunately ignored at times in under-served schools. ACHIEVEMENTS AND MEASURES OF SUCCESS RELATED TO SDG 4.1: (a)Reach: From a modest Science Club (founded 2/10/2011; Grade 7), we now reach approximately 3,000 children in over 100 under-served schools across two education sub-districts of Ballabgarh (semi-rural) and Faridabad. (b)Quality: We conduct a science test before and after our intervention, including a retention test. Almost all students report an increase. (c)Outcomes: Statistical testing (control group: Activity Based Learning; experimental group: POLL) demonstrated that POLL increased the number of correct responses by 20.83% (post-test) and 29.30% (2 months retention) based on single tail Student t-test at 99% confidence (findings accepted in UGC Conference). SDG 4.c states, "INCREASE SUPPLY OF QUALIFIED TEACHERS INCLUDING THROUGH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ESPECIALLY LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES......". By training teachers, we help increase supply of qualified teachers. Our inaugural teacher training in Ballabgarh, Haryana (December 2013) expanded to a few Indian states before reaching a Least Developed Country, Afghanistan (2015 onward). ACHIEVEMENTS AND MEASURES OF SUCCESS RELATED TO SDG 4.c: (a)We've trained nearly 1500 Indian teachers (e.g. Haryana, Karnataka states) and 40 Afghan teachers (Bamyan, Baghlan provinces from Aga Khan Foundation). (b)We've signed Teacher Training co-operation Agreement with Bamyan Provincial Government, Afghanistan to train all teachers of all 7 districts of Bamyan Province, Afghanistan.
Sustainability and future plans
BUSINESS MODEL DESCRIPTION: i-Cube Science Club serves both PRIVATE and GOVERNMENT under-served schools, charging the former to serve the latter for free. We develop and conduct science experiments for Primary and Middle school (40 minutes sessions; 30-40 students in each session), besides training teachers. Fee: Upto Rs.15 (20Euro cents) per student per session; 4 year annualized profit of Euros 2700. Profits fund our free service to GOVERNMENT under-served schools. SUSTAINABILITY: The venture has robust financials. Gross Profit Ratio 35%-40%. Net Profit Ratio 20%-25%. Cash business. Low fixed costs. Low operating costs. Cash positive in Year 1. Break Even point in Year 2(Quarter 1). Profit share in lieu of salaries keeps the salaries tab low. Experiments once developed do not require more expenses to scale. SCALABILITY: Euros 900 (recovered in 2 years), inquisitiveness, willingness and ability to work with kids are necessary ingredients for establishing the venture. Euros 900 is required for capital equipment, and revenue costs (cost of materials and running expenses) for an initial period of three months when revenues are NIL. During this period we conduct demo sessions and neighbourhood awareness drives, after which revenue generation begins. Most education school boards do not offer hands-on science education, particularly at Primary/Middle school, which creates a strong natural demand. Hence, given robust financials and high demand, the venture is scalable. FINANCING SOURCE: I started the venture in 2011 in my parents basement (for which I pay rent) with a loan of Euros 900 from my dad. I repaid him in 2012. All requirements of funds are met with internal revenue generations. FUTURE PLANS: Reach out to more Indian states. Execute Teacher Training Agreement No. AFGHAN-INDIA/2016-2018/SC.EDU/170-4-99 with Bamyan Provincial Government,Afghanistan.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I like to think of myself as an inventor. To invent means come into - to arrive, to adventure, to explore. I have explored ancient Sanskrit classics literature and designed artifacts (13 design registrations are pending). My first patent concerning pedestrian safety was granted by Australia in 2014, making me one of 50 youngest patent-holders in the world. I like finding better ways to do simple things, for which my small semi-urban town of Old Faridabad is perfectly suited. My core belief is very simple: people should have access to things. Knowledge, learning, sidewalks. I was 12 when my home proud mom resisted me founding i-Cube Science Club at home. She finally relented on the condition that my grades do not suffer (to the contrary!). That was 2nd October 2011. Today the Science Club enables science education access across semi -urban areas in Ballabgarh and Faridabad education sub districts in Haryana, India, besides teacher training in Indian states of Haryana and Karnataka, and Afghanistan. My book on science experiments was published by NCSTC-Network and released at National Science Congress 2015. It has been translated in Dari language for Afghanistan schools. I have had the honour of being felicitated by two Presidents of India. I study in Class 12 in DPS Faridabad which uses the national Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum. I chose to study six subjects instead of the CBSE mandated five, split evenly between science and humanities/arts. I am in a harmonious relationship with science and humanities/arts. My science club work has contributed to my inner harmony as much as my Sanskrit work/potters wheel in the basement of my parents home. I am inspired by late C P Snows thoughts on assimilating the two cultures, as he called them.