AI in government schools
The issue of English proficiency in government schools has been a challenge for many years, one reason being since most schools teach in their native language. Indeed, the All India Educational Survey found that only 28.73% of schools at the secondary level utilized English as the language of instruction. Furthermore, due to the arbitrary nature of English phonics and lack of English proficiency among teachers, government school students struggle to grasp the complexity of the language. These effects build up over time: starting from failing grades to dropouts and eventually employment issues.
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How has AI been used to solve the problem?
To combat this, EnglishHelper started a program called RightToRead, employing a free teaching program called ‘ReadToMe’. ReadToMe aims to promote multi-sensory reading among children as well as their verbal skills, having helped students in 25,000 schools to date.
How does it work?
ReadToMe cooperates with the school’s curriculum meaning students can read school textbooks, ensuring practical implementation of assigned textbooks and reducing the need for extra after school lessons. More specifically, teachers can download the app and connect their device with the screen, then use the software to teach. Or they can teach through Zoom and present virtually.
The results were impressive. After ReadtoMe had been introduced, schools noticed a 30% improvement in comprehension/reading skills. This was mainly due to the consistent exposure students had to the software, allowing them to strengthen their word bank with each encounter.
One other solution that has been used is Learning Matters, using Tara, a personalised teaching assistant that uses a conversational system and is priced at only Rs 100 per student per month. To use this software students only need three things: a smartphone/Alexa device, an internet connection, and any supporting books. Then, the AI teacher talks to learners and consistently provides feedback, bolstering proficiency whilst allowing learners to work at their own pace.
Written by Amanda Y