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The time we… created a phone-based learning platform for children with no internet

At diesdas.digital, we believe in the power of education and the importance of equitable opportunities for all (#SDG4). Making education more accessible, by a simple phone call. This is what we achieved with our project Educast and its pilot program 3 Minutes Tutor by PRATYeK.

From a big ambition…

In Spring 2021, we started working on a digital product called Educast with our partner Abhiroop Sen from Reason Y, a consulting business based in Dubai.

Our goal: develop a phone-based on-demand learning platform that provides access to information and education in places where there is no internet.

As part of one of our regular in-house hackathons and in a first step to achieving our ambition, we started to prototype a use case for Médecins Sans Frontières. We worked on speeding up their staff training in the field and eventually discussed means of bringing legal advice to women in remote areas of Afghanistan with the help of a large German NGO. Educast was also among the finalists of the 2021 DIHAD hackathon where we got a chance to present our project to an international jury made up of experts from NGOs, academia and the tech sector.

…to a simple phone call

We finally found our calling (no pun intended) in India. Reason Y made contact with the Delhi-based NGO PRATYeK, who have worked since 2013 to offer children better education and opportunities.

Over the past 9 months, we’ve been working hard to get a pilot program off the ground. Its aim? Providing phone-based tutoring to hundreds of underprivileged students aged 13 to 14.

This idea also got us accepted into Twilio’s Impact Access Program, which provided us with a generous grant for our test run in India and has been a reliable platform partner ever since.

With the pilot program 3 Minutes Tutor by PRATYeK, Educast gives underprivileged pupils access to a set of 25 pre-recorded audio lessons that were created with the help of local teachers. Those lessons, which last about 3 minutes each, will help the children prepare for their grade 10 exams by covering subjects like English, Hindi, History, Math, and Science.

If school is out or they cannot make it, the kids can simply call a toll-free number and Educast will guide them from there.

Educast — 3 Minutes Tutor

By combining PRATYeK’s expertise in education with Reason Y’s concept work and our technical knowledge, we were able to create a high-tech product that serves the needs of low-tech communities and makes it a little easier for children to get an education.

All of this by simply making a free phone call.

So far, we have successfully delivered 205 lessons.

And our ambition for Educast is only growing. There are so many cases where this powerful technology can bring a positive social impact…

PRATYeK would be happy to have a conversation with donors and foundations looking to bring education to disadvantaged populations without access to the internet.

Thanks, Jonathan Muth, Sophia Dietze, Robert Haase, Kyrsten Grima, Abhiroop Sen, and everybody who worked on the project during the hack day!

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Laura Tortel

Laura Tortel

Social Media & Community Specialist @diesdas.digital