Cognizant, in collaboration with Nirmaan Organization, donated 500 tablets and 50 internet-enabled laptops to government schools in Telangana, India in early April, as part of the “Digital Inclusion” initiative of Cognizant Outreach, the company’s employee-led volunteering program and one of India’s largest corporate volunteering efforts.
This initiative will benefit over 500 students in grades nine and 10, and more than 50 teachers of government schools in the region. Cognizant has contributed more than $136,000 (USD) toward procuring these devices.
The devices were presented to the schools at a function held at Zilla Parishad Boys High School, Malkajgiri. The event was attended by Sailaja Josyula, Vice President and Head of Hyderabad Operations, Cognizant; Mayur Patnala, CEO, Nirmaan Organization; Ms. I. Vijaya Kumari, District Educational Officer, Medchal Malkajgiri district and M.Veeresham, Headmaster, Zilla Parishad Boys High School, Malkajgiri.
Once the students receive the devices, Outreach and Nirmaan volunteers will conduct programs to train the students on using the equipment effectively and monitor usage to ensure positive educational outcomes. Volunteers will also conduct training sessions for faculty members to empower them with digital skills and techniques to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions and worsened digital inequality in education,” said Cognizant’s Sailaja Josyula. “Lockdowns and social distancing restrictions have made it hard for schools that serve underprivileged communities and students to continue their classes. This donation is our effort to enable these schools to continue imparting education. As an organization that believes in the power of education to enable social progress and transformation, we will continue to serve the cause of digital inclusion in education. On behalf of Cognizant, I thank the state, district and local administration, as well as our implementation partner Nirmaan Organization for their support.”
“Nirmaan Organization has been working to ensure that children’s education does not stop during the pandemic,” said Nirmaan Organization’s Mayur Pantala. “Toward this, we developed the ‘Digital Schools Program’ to strengthen digital infrastructure in schools and create teacher training programs to equip faculty members with the knowledge to harness digital technologies. We are thankful to Cognizant for its support in mitigating the impact of the pandemic on the education of underprivileged students.”
Outreach has long-standing partnerships with the recipient schools, where volunteers have worked to improve learning parameters, increase interest and awareness in STEM disciplines, create avenues for extra-curricular activities and help students make informed career choices. Outreach has also helped in improving the infrastructure and facilities in these partner schools.
Cognizant has been supporting schools, educational institutions, community libraries and other institutions across India with computer infrastructure since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.