NEW DELHI: Two ex-IITians have come up with a unique open-school communication and social learning platform that allows teachers, parents and students to interact freely and effectively on mobile phones.
Ritesh Singh and Akshat Goel wanted to provide innovative solutions for effective knowledge transfer in our ecosystem. Hence, these chose the name Eckovation for their startup, a portmanteau of ecosystem, knowledge and innovation. Founded in March 2014, the app was finally launched this June after more than a yearlong market research and study.
CEO Singh, who hails from tier-III town Chapra in Bihar, he had language issues from the beginning and these never left him.
"So, I was always thinking about solutions that could help people just like me, who do not get access to quality education early in their life. I always wanted to make quality education accessible even in places where only minimal infrastructure exists. That's how Eckovation came into being," he told PTI.
From conceptualising to its practical usage, there were many challenges.
"We first explored MOOCs (massive open online courses) but they were cumbersome and required a lot of self-discipline on the users' part. Next we thought about providing data analytics through an ERP system that monitors a child's performance and equips teachers and parents with sufficient data to improve a child's performance by finding gaps, weaknesses and strengths.
"But looking at the size of a normal classroom, the actual implementation seemed extremely difficult and would have required greater efforts from the teachers instead of simplifying their lives. We also did a market study with 30,000 students across 4 cities across tiers to understand the gaps. Therein, we observed that parents are not in the loop, when it comes to classroom teaching," says Singh.
According to him, the turnout of parents for PTMs is a mere 15-20 per cent and this needed to be fixed.
"So we decided to build a product that brings together all actors of education - parents, students, teachers and school administration. Eckovation not only helps connect parents with teachers and students while safeguarding everyone's privacy, it also connects students to teachers who are willing to transfer knowledge beyond their classrooms." Singh says the major challenge they faced was dependence of teachers on WhatsApp.