Best Projects 2022 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs, or informal programs.
Back 2 School
Explain your project in details:
Project Back 2 School aims at providing free of cost basic foundational literacy, numeracy education and soft skill training to children & women from marginalized communities, particularly those who were displaced or were forced out of school due to covid-19. UNESCO estimates that about 6 million learners from south Asia alone, are at risk of not returning to school following the education disruption due to COVID-19, where students living in poverty, marginalization and those affected by conflict and migration are hit the hardest. To tackle this, weve created a solution where children dont have to be physically present at school and can still learn at their own pace. We provide micro-courses in the form of compressed text and audio messages in local languages, which can be shared via multiple channels like SMS, email or via messenger apps like WhatsApp and be consumed by students on low-end mobile devices with limited internet connectivity. In addition to learning resources, we provide one-to-one mentorship sessions and personalized counselling for vulnerable youth where students along with their mentors, can design their customized path for learning and discuss solutions for any specific problem they are facing. Students can sign-up for the courses by entering their mobile number on our website or by contacting with a representative in person at the community recreation and community health center on the weekends, where they commonly visit to avail government-sponsored services. The majority of our activities, including student registration and course distribution, are managed via a centralized, user-friendly software platform that enables us to provide students with 24-hour service and helps us keep track of key impact metrics such as the number of new learners signed up, the learner attrition rate, and the progress made by learners over time.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Our vision is to bridge the gap by providing alternative and accelerated pathways to basic literacy and numeracy skill training for young people who were forced out of school in covid-19 and are unable to join back due to economic, socio and other barriers. At Back 2 School, we design our micro-courses in collaboration with industry experts to ensure we are delivering quality education (SDG 4). We believe that by providing quality education and promoting life-long opportunities, we will enable our students to develop employability & decent work (SDG 8) related skills, which will in turn help reduce inequality (SDG 10). By providing students access to learning resources, we could save them from risk of exploitation and a lifetime of poverty and deprivation by helping them build competency and skills, that will better position them for opportunities in life. Also, as stated in a famed saying in India - "An entire generation is educated by a woman being educated", by educating people from marginalized areas, we hope to empower them to initiate a generational change. Our courses are organized into three levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary, and a learner who has completed the first two is thought to be capable of reading, writing, speaking, counting, and performing fundamental arithmetic operations and is prepared to acquire higher-order skills. Our impact is proportional to the number of students signing-up for the courses and progress made by them over time. Currently, we have 500 students registered on our platform, in which 65-70% are active learners (interacting with platform at least twice a week). Also, project Back 2 School received a micro-grant from Global Youth Mobilization and was featured at transforming education summit by UNESCO at their world heritage center headquarters in Paris.
Sustainability and future plans
Back 2 School is a not-for-profit project and we are currently a team of 14 members most of whom are students pursuing degrees in relevant fields such as computer science undergrads who maintain our software platform, education and learning sciences students who deliver course content and counsel, and general volunteers who help us expand our reach. In our project, we welcome people of all genders, races, religions, ages, and sexual orientations as our people are more important to us than anything else. To maximize our impact, we have vertical and horizontal accountability within the project, where each individual is responsible for fostering an environment that is trustworthy, respectful, & exciting to work in. We currently carry out our day-to-day operations with the help of micro-grants and donations we have received. However, we think that as our project evolves over time, we might need support from macroscale external donors like corporations, accelerators, and philanthropists, etc., not just in monetary terms but also in the formulation of project policies at different levels. Our target is to grow rapidly and increase our reach to up to 20 districts from our community, and so as to ultimately impact 2500+ learners by the end of year 2022. As soon as we have significantly large number of students registered on our platform, well be going for raising funds from external donors. We are also planning to partner with NGOs and regional political groups that are already working towards empowering students from marginalized communities in rural areas. These organizations will be a suitable choice for partnership as connecting with them will allow us to reach a larger audience and we can easily integrate our services of providing micro-courses with the services that they already provide to their network, allowing everyone to mutually achieve the sustainable goals.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am Adhyansh, from New Delhi, India, currently the Project Lead of Back 2 School. I have graduated with a bachelors degree in computer science. I served as the Vice-president of the Entrepreneurship club of my college where I collaborated with other members to support the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship among students by establishing an entrepreneurial culture in our institution. We held several seminars, inviting experts from successful start-ups to share their stories, and we assisted students in obtaining financial and other resources for their start-ups. I was invited as an international delegate to the Stanford's Student Entrepreneur Submit 21 and was winner of 'MAITSTUDENTPRENEUR' award, which is presented annually to the college's best student entrepreneur. I'm extremely motivated by freedom and the opportunity to write my own story, change many lives for the better and make a positive impact on the community, which is why I believe I have this foundation that compels me toward entrepreneurship.