Mumbai: Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, announced grants of $8.4 million to four Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the education space on Thursday. This is a part of the company’s $50 million global commitment made a fortnight ago.
These four NGOs—Learning Equality, Million Sparks Foundation, Pratham Books StoryWeaver and Pratham Education Foundation— will receive the grant over the next two years to expand and scale up their activities to enhance the learning experience for students in the classroom.
At least three companies working actively only in the Indian market bagged the grants. Pratham Books-StoryWeaver bagged the largest grant at $3.6 million. The company creates an open-sourced platform for translating books. Pratham Education, which gives children self-driven, offline lessons to learn in any environment bagged $3.1 million. Million Sparks Foundation received $1.2 million. The company connects teachers to create a knowledge sharing community.
ALSO READ: New guidelines for regulating NGOs formulated: Centre tells SC
Learning Equality, an organization that takes digital content offline for students without Internet connectivity, won $500,000.
Google.org has also invested in NGOs working in Brazil, Kenya and has rolled out grants to NGOs working at a global level with products relevant to multiple markets, Nick Cain, program manager, education, Google.org, told Mint.
“We have allocated half of our $50 million commitment already, across nine organizations globally. The grant amounts for each organisation is a co-creation between Google and the grantee. We identify the vision of the product and resources they already have and the ones they need to be able to scale up," Cain said.
Google.org quoted ministry of human resources development data showing that about 260 million children are enrolled in schools across India and a survey by Pratham Education that says 50% of all children in the fifth grade cannot read a second grade text or do a two-digit subtraction problem.
“Google has never taken a conventional approach to solving problems, and neither does Google.org. Our approach is to find the most promising non-profits and put the best of Google— our philanthropy, our people, our products— to work and help them close this gap," said Rajan Anandan, VP, South East Asia and India, Google, said in a media statement.
The education grants in India will focus on three areas where technology can be used to improve the quality of education. First is to make available quality learning material that overcomes language and connectivity gaps. Second is to provide better training and support to teachers as they are key to educational outcomes. Finally, it is to support students beyond classroom learning, Google.org said in the media statement.