Google.org — the philanthropic arm of tech giant Google — today said it has made an additional grant of USD 3 million to two Indian non-profit organisations, taking its total commitment to USD 11.4 million in the country. These grants are part of Google’s global commitment of USD 50 million, being used to help these organisations scale existing initiatives and fund content creation and teacher training through tech-based learning solutions. Last year, Google.org had given a grant of USD 8.4 million to four Indian NGOs: Learning Equality, Million Sparks Foundation, Pratham Books – StoryWeaver and Pratham Education Foundation. Since receiving the funding last year, the grantees have reached more than eight lakh students and teachers with their tools and programmes across India. India is the largest recipient of these grants, ahead of countries like Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia.
“We strongly believe that technology can play a powerful part in solving the learning gap in India, and we are expanding our investments in India to ensure that all teachers and students are able to benefit from it,” Google.org Education Lead Nick Cain told reporters here. He added that these new funds will help towards building more locally relevant solutions and content for students and teachers. Cain explained that limited access to quality materials and under-resourced teachers are some of the challenges. As per government data, there are 11 lakh teachers currently teaching in schools that are not properly trained, while according to a World Bank report, there are about 1.3 lakh single teacher schools in India.
Of the USD 3 million, USD 2 million will go to Central Square Foundation (CSF) and USD 1 million to The Teacher App. Apart from the grant, CSF will also receive technical assistance from the YouTube Learning team. This will support a minimum of 20 content creators to produce at least 200 hours of science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related content in Hindi and vernacular languages. With a grant of a USD 1 million, The Teacher App aims to empower teachers with the right training and resources on concepts of math, science, language, and pedagogy, for a more holistic learning experience. The funds will be used to scale the platform to reach five lakh teachers in two years.