“Imagine a world where you don’t have to learn how to drive. You sit in your car. The car asks you where you want to go today and BOOM! You are on your way. You just relax. Now how would you go around building such a car?” I asked the class.
There is a long pause. “Can you do that?” A kid finally spoke. “Oh yes!” I showed them the Google’s self driving car and I saw them look at each other in wonder. The video took their curiosity to another level. Another kid asked me if I had ever seen a real robot. I showed him the Honda Asimo. I told them about my invention, classes I am taking at Stanford and Machine Learning. At the end of an hour long class, I asked the kids what they want to be when they grow up. There were the obvious answers. Engineers, Doctors and there were some blanks but there was an answer which has stayed with me since.
I want to be like you. I want to build my own self-driving car.
That is a pretty remarkable story but what is more remarkable about this story is where these kids come from. Jharkand is among the most underdeveloped states in India. These kids are far far away from the world class education I receive at Stanford. They are far far away from the latest advancements in Computer Science or the latest 10 billion dollar Valley startup. The sad thing, though, is that they are still better off than other kids across the world. They have access to some form of education. Almost 70 million children across the world are prevented from going to school each day. It is time we accept that our education model is broken and we need to fix it.
eVidyaloka is an attempt at fixing this broken model. The idea is simple. Volunteers spend 2 hours every week teaching kids via Skype. All classrooms are equipped with a screen and an internet connection. The classes are taught in Hindi, Tamil and Telgu. Upcoming technologies such as Skype Translator will soon remove this language constraint. We are now looking at a future where anyone can teach anyone. As Internet becomes more and more ubiquitous, We will soon be connected to children who have had no prior access to world class education.
Internet and in a way, eVidyaloka, is our best chance at fixing this broken model.
Come, join us as we right the wrong. The system is in place. The kids are ready. Are you? Start teaching today.