We have learnt the key restrictions in a rural or low-resource environment by listening to people that we work with.
By setting up and running pods in semi-urban communities, we had the opportunity to deeply engage with and understand the restrictions we has to design around.
Unavailability of trained teachers
The need we are addressing is the access to quality English education in low-resource environments. We believe that the central restriction is the difficulty related to accessing good quality English learning material or well-trained teachers. The majority of content on the internet is in English, which means that a lack of understanding of English prevents these children from accessing information online.
Also, the inability to speak, read and write English severely limits the higher education opportunities available to children. Parents aspire to send their child to an 'English medium' school, however, with learning resources or opportunities, this aspiration is not being met for a vast majority.
In 2012, we went out to communities around Bangalore, to understand what parents would pay for their children to learn. They told us that they wanted their children to learn English.
We also know that there are other benefits to learning English, which include:
1. Preparing children for a better tertiary education.
2. Preparing children to access better job opportunities in the future.
3. Harnessing the power of the internet to carry out virtual transactions.
4. Increased confidence to engage in different forms of communication.
In Cambodia, the government had a policy to introduce English language to every child from the age of Year 4, and saw that leapfrog technologies like 40K PLUS can play a role.