COVID-19 Project Overview
Students from low-income backgrounds in India are more than seven times less likely to get into India’s best colleges as those from higher income urban families, in part due to the lack of quality math and science education they receive in grades 9-12.
To help level the playing field, Avanti Fellows provides curriculum, teaching, and mentorship to help equip students for financially secure careers and instill a culture of responsibility and lifelong learning. Part of that program includes providing peer instruction to communities that would otherwise not have access to a high-quality education.
To continue advancing this work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Avanti team quickly launched digital learning and mentorship tools so there would be no disruption in their services.
At Avanti, I got access to the best study material, mentoring, and coaching. One day, I would like to help other students like me exactly as my mentors helped me live my dream.Bhuvan Gowda, Avanti Student
How it Helps
When India’s schools closed in response to COVID-19, Avanti introduced digital learning resources to more than two million students studying in Hindi medium government schools. The organization made its comprehensive educational content — produced in partnership with the government of Haryana — available on YouTube and via its “Avanti Sankalp” app. Avanti also shared this content with the government of India, which uploaded it to the national e-learning portal called Diksha. The content is in the Hindi language and is tailored to students in grades 9-12.
From live classrooms to recorded content, Avanti’s digital learning movement #GharPeSchool (#SchoolAtHome) shows that it is possible for children to continue working toward a quality education despite restricted access to school. About 800,000 students receive the daily lesson plan and there are two million views each month to the YouTube channel. The movement aims to create equal opportunity for learners during the pandemic and beyond.
Preparing Students for Entrance Exams, Virtually
In addition to providing educational content, Avanti gives students the opportunity to meet virtually with an academic coach for exam preparation. In 2020, 63% of students who took a joint entrance exam for technology college admission qualified. Nineteen percent of students scored in the 90th percentile or above. And an unprecedented 92% of students who trained for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test passed it.
These results are on par with those of 2019, when Avanti’s professional coaching classes occurred face to face. Weekly WhatsApp-based tests for class 9-12 students see participation of more than 35,000 students. It’s clear that Avanti’s tool is helping students practice, learn, and prepare for competitive exams to open the door to more opportunity.
In a time when students from low-income backgrounds are even more vulnerable, Avanti is doing its part to bridge the learning gap and keep them on track toward a meaningful career.