Partners with Nirmaan Organization to bridge the digital divide and aid learning for underserved students
Cognizant has donated 506 tablets and 20 internet-enabled laptops to government schools in Uttar Pradesh at a function held at Government Girls Inter College in Hoshiyarpur, Noida, in the presence of Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj, District Magistrate, Gautam Buddha Nagar. The distribution drive in NCR is part of Cognizant’s nationwide ‘Digital Schools’ initiative being implemented in partnership with Nirmaan Organization.
The initiative in Uttar Pradesh will benefit more than 506 students of classes 9 and 10 and more than 15 teachers at government schools in the region. Cognizant has contributed INR 93.3 lakh towards these digital devices.
The ‘Digital Schools’ initiative, launched by Cognizant aims to bridge the digital divide and enable access to education for students at Government schools.
Speaking at the event, Mukund Garg, Chief Operating Officer, Healthcare and Lifesciences and Centre Head, NCR, Cognizant, said, “As an organization that believes in the power of education to enable social progress and transformation, Cognizant will continue to serve the cause of digital inclusion in education. The Digital Schools initiative is our effort to ensure that rural schools that serve underprivileged communities overcome the extraordinary disruptions and digital inequalities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and continue imparting education. On behalf of Cognizant, I thank the state, district, and local administration, as well as our implementation partner Nirmaan Organization for their support.”
Cognizant Outreach, the company’s employee-led volunteering program and Nirmaan volunteers will conduct programs to train the students on using the devices effectively and will also support 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.
Commending Cognizant for their support, Mounika Konatham, COO, Education Initiatives, Nirmaan Organization, said, “We have been working to ensure that children’s education does not stop during the pandemic. We developed the ‘Digital Schools Program’ to strengthen digital infrastructure of rural schools and create teacher training programs to equip faculty members with the knowledge to harness digital technologies. Cognizant’s support and partnership has helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the education of underprivileged students.”
As part of the Digital Schools initiative, Cognizant plans to donate 3,730 tablets and 188 laptops with internet across nine cities in six states at a cost of INR 6.7 crore. Nirmaan Organization and CBM India Trust (both non-profits) were identified as implementation partners. The project will be executed in a phased manner in Telangana, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra by Nirmaan and in Kolkata by CBM India Trust for over one year.
The device distribution is planned in four phases this year. In the first phase, distribution was completed in Telangana and Karnataka where 500 tablets and 40 laptops were donated in April 2021 and Phase 2 has been completed in NCR and Maharashtra with donations of 1980 tablets and 80 laptops to underserved students in July 2021. Next month, distribution drives in Phase 3 and Phase 4 will cover West Bengal, Telangana and Karnataka, respectively.
Other attendees who were present included Dharam Vir Singh, DIOS, Department of School Education, Noida, Philips R, Deputy General Manager, DBO - Insurance Delivery, Cognizant, Anuradha Pulla, Program COO, Nirmaan Organization, and Hem Lata, Headmistress, Government Girls Inter College, Hoshiyarpur, Noida.