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Pratham Houston Event Highlights Pratham’s Digital Learning Initiatives in India

Pratham Houston Advisory Board member Dhiren Shethia (left) and Pratham Co-Founder Dr. Madhav Chavan on Thursday, October 4, at the BBVA Compass Plaza in the Galleria area.

Pratham Houston Advisory Board member Dhiren Shethia (left) and Pratham Co-Founder Dr. Madhav Chavan on Thursday, October 4, at the BBVA Compass Plaza in the Galleria area.

By Peace Cowen

HOUSTON: On a Thursday evening in Houston, Pratham USA supporters of all ages gathered together to hear Pratham Co-Founder Dr. Madhav Chavan and Pratham Houston Advisory Board Member Dhiren Shethia discuss PraDigi (i.e. Pratham Digital), Pratham’s latest digital learning initiatives in India.

PraDigi is an innovative initiative that focuses on facilitating group learning outside of the classroom through providing content-filled tablets to groups of children. The tablets focus less on curriculum-based content and are instead used to trigger self-learning behaviors. Children are encouraged to engage in a hybrid learning model where they use the tablets to interact with each other and their environments through games and scavenger hunts, reenacting what they learn, and even generating their own content through creating videos.  

From left:  Scott Zindler, SVP-Financial Advisor, BBVA Compass, Ashok Garg, Eric Merchant, Commercial Banking - Vice President, Relationship Manager , BBVA Compass

From left:  Scott Zindler, SVP-Financial Advisor, BBVA Compass, Ashok Garg, Eric Merchant, Commercial Banking – Vice President, Relationship Manager, BBVA Compass

The model is simple in that one mother in a village is given custodianship of a tablet. She then gives the tablet to the children in her group as appropriate and helps facilitate their learning. These mothers themselves have even taken an interest in learning, requesting content like recipes to be added to the tablets.

This Pratham Houston event, generously sponsored by BBVA Compass, was held at the BBVA Compass Plaza in the Galleria area. Guests got to listen to the latest developments of the PraDigi initiative and have a Q&A session with the speakers. They then enjoyed good food, drinks, and a great view of the city from the 18th floor as they mixed and mingled among Pratham Houston Board Members, donors, young professionals, and members of the University of Houston Pratham group. They even got to play with some of the PraDigi tablets provided to children in India.

Attendees at the event

Attendees at the event

Pratham’s innovative efforts have not gone unnoticed. On October 4, 2018 in Hong Kong, China, Pratham was officially presented the 2018 LUI Che Woo Prize—a cross-sector innovation prize that recognizes outstanding contributions benefiting humanity. Pratham was unanimously selected in the Positive Energy category focused on the elimination of illiteracy.

The LUI Che Woo Prize is a relatively new international award presented to individuals or organizations that have displayed remarkable achievements towards three objectives: (1) sustainable development of the world, (2) betterment of the welfare of mankind, and (3) promotion of a positive life attitude and enhancement of positive energy.

PraDigi is just one of the ways Pratham is implementing innovation to enhance the positive energy in the learning atmosphere of India. As one of India’s largest education nonprofits focused on eradicating childhood illiteracy, Pratham is sure to continue to make a mark on education.

Pratham USA is a 501(c)(3) organization that aims to raise awareness and funds to support Pratham’s programs in India. Visit www.prathamusa.org to learn more.

Peace Cowen is the Chapter Manager at Pratham USA

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