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School Ki Ghanti

School Ki Ghanti aims at making remote learning more inclusive and accessible.

Photo of Vedika Lall
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I am a.....

  • Social and Communication Designer/ Visual Artist/ Illustrator/ Writer

Tell us about your idea

School ki Ghanti is an initiative to provide primary school learning to under-priviledged children (first-grade learners) aged 6-12, from distressed communities and low income homes by initiating a storytelling routine during this lockdown. It aims at engaging them with stories over a call to keep their learning and growth alive. Creative use of phone technology, content creation, planned collaboration and sustained community engagement can induce learning and routine into their lives, tapping into their curiosities and imagination. These stories are designed to make the children laugh, teach them something new, create awareness, and instil curiosity. We want to engage kids with little or no access to internet or new media and introduce a learning tool in their lives. Here, an Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system is deployed which uses phone calls to connect with children and narrates useful pre-recorded lessons as stories that keep the young students engaged and teach them to keep their learning and growth alive. This initiative has also gotten great response from adolescents and adults, who mention it to be a cheery experience to liven up mundane days locked down indoors.

This one-of-a-kind school bell rings Monday to Friday, sharp at 4 as an important reminder of love, hope and the little joys of finding a friend over a phone. We want to engage kids with little or no access and introduce a fun learning tool in their lives. With the powerful skill of listening, it allows them to visualize the plot and characters.

School ki Ghanti aims at empowering communication and democratizing education through a voice call system. We believe that technology interspersed with storytelling can bring can about change. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated telephony system technology that interacts with the callers, gathers the required information and routes the calls to the particular appropriate recipient. This telephone-based system delivers stories, literacy, and healthy habits content to the children. These phone calls carry stories for children or anyone who wants to listen to make their heart happy.

We ensure engagement through a phone call which connects the tale and teller to the listener without any internet connection or a call cost therefore creating communities without borders. The core is to understand the digital divide and understand the challenges confronting educators and learners in remote, low income, low resource communities.  While this lockdown promotes social distancing, these stories are fresh waves of comfort seeping into the listeners’ curiosities and imaginations. This pandemic has brought an urgent need to reimagine the teaching and learning landscape. Therefore, we aim to understand the new public narrative by responding to such situations both mindfully and empathetically. It is important to understand how simple technology can carve tailored learning paths to engage students and improve adaptive learning. While private schools take over digital space and provide experiential learning though zoom calls and google hangouts, the underpriviledged are witnessing the digital divide. It is important to design empathy driven systems which promise equal access and optimize reach. When we talk about Future of Education, we as young designers, teachers, creative practitioners should ensure that making remote learning more inclusive, accessible and empathy driven.

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today. With regular handsets and smartphones becoming cheaper and widely popular, children from marginalized and economically deprived communities have an easy access to them. Phones act as a perfect tool to interact, engage, inform and effectively educate listeners in their first languages. It is still the most accessible medium for both urban and rural citizens, and establish accessible remote learning.  Our storytellers perform these stories, and give life to the dialogues, thus encouraging  imagination in our little listeners. We believe that stories hold a strong value and align with our oral traditions too. Here, phones act as a perfect tool to interact, engage, inform and effectively educate listeners in their mother tongue. It is the most accessible medium for both urban and rural citizens and can facilitate remote learning.

1) The module consists of an introduction of the new chapter/ or story with an engaging sound of a school bell.

2) The story starts with the narrator performing it with different voice modulation to keep the children engaged and excited. To increase the element of fun, we also intersperse the narration with sound effects and tunes.

3) The story will then be followed with a small exercise, which the child can act upon and may/may not send it to their facilitators.

4) To keep a track of the listenership levels and also add a physical concept where the child engages with the phone, a YES/NO question asks them to tap on the phone’s keypad.


What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

As one prepares to indulge in smarter ways to enable remote learning, and not just online learning, we also need to rethink pre-Covid assessment systems and develop more conducive and healthy engagement mechanisms. To ensure a wholesome development of a child, competition and stress of achieving better grades should be mended. As remote learning should evolve with an empathetic approach, academic performance of every student will be measured by deploying mindful parameters.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

This initiative showcases my role of a designer as an advocate of design in the society, working on complex design projects and concepts to catalyse solutions in order to have a real and effective impact on any problem. With a potent amalgamation of debating, provoking and positioning oneself as a designer who challenges the status quo on the critical issues of our times, using creative writing and reflective practices, making with multiple media, my art/concepts/ designs should offer a space for advocacy and activism.

What region are you located in?

  • Southern Asia

Where are you located?

One of the world's oldest cities, Patna in Bihar is situated on banks of the holy waters of the Ganges. From birth to adolescence, the stories and stereotypes of this enchanting yet enduring city have fuelled my imaginations and curiosities. I revel in the determination to use mediums of communication to develop solidarity and grassroots movements in the rural heartland as well as globally.

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