How Dell India Aarambh’s PC for Education initiative aims to empower rural kids, their mothers and teachers

With 'PC for Education', Dell India addresses the foundational need of a Digital Economy involving students, parents and teachers from small towns

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These days, 10-year-old Shubham Vasanta Kumbhar has a new friend – a computer. According to his father, earlier his son would come from school, do some homework and go to sleep. But from the time the computer was introduced in his life, he has been busy and discovering new things in the deep oceans of the Internet. By his own admission, Google is his best friend as it gives him information in a second. His proud mother thinks that her son has started enjoying his studies because he is implementing and increasing his knowledge.

The small town boy wants to become an IPS officer when he grows up so that he can stop all the bomb blasts and crime in the country. Here is Shubham’s story:

If we look back, the majority of our education system has always emphasized on learning without focusing on execution. The idea of questioning and knowing the ‘Why’ has been missing in our learning process. Thankfully this generation has computers and the Internet, both of which are resurfacing the fun in education. But what about the last mile or the financially challenged section? Our country will only advance when each and every section in the society is educated.

A study says that rural India’s PC penetration is even lower at 7%. A majority of Tier 4 families have no knowledge of how to use a PC. But at the same time students in Tier 4 cities see a PC as an educational tool and are relatively more serious about computing.

The PC & technology giant Dell saw this as an amazing opportunity to make a bigger impact on ground and business. Keeping the objective of addressing the foundational need for digital economy, Dell India launched Aarambh – a pan India initiative aimed at spearheading the use of the personal computer (PC) for education. “Through Aarambh, Dell is leading the cause of accelerating PC adoption in a country where today’s students will become tomorrow’s workforce. Arming them with new-age skills, enhanced learning and the power of technology, we want to help mold young minds so they are able to find a firm footing in a Digital India,” added P. Krishnakumar, Vice President, Consumer & Small Business Dell India.

PC penetration in India has stagnated at anywhere between 9-10% – a number that needs grass root attention; Dell Aarambh aspires to represent the use of PC learning to unlock potential for young students. However without the involvement of parents and teachers, who are key influencers in a child’s formative years, this would be a halfhearted approach.

“Through the course of Aarambh, we will educate, engage, and empower students along with the two key influencers in their lives – their teachers and parents. We believe these two forces converge to build the personal and professional foundational principles for a young citizen.”

Hence Dell India is engaging with parents and teachers along with students, to actively aid in the educational development of the child. “The year-long project aims to reach 1 million students and 1, 00,000 teachers across 5,000 schools; and 2, 00,000 parents in 75 cities across the country.”

Meanwhile the company has released another video that showcases how PC is empowering mothers. From making education fun for children to discovering new recipes for their families and finding new opportunities of growth, mothers are educating themselves with the help of a PC.

On digital along with the two long form videos, the brand has created Aarambh Knowledge Hub – a portal to provide access to learning content for students, teachers and parents as well as offer live updates on on-ground activities that take place as part of the project. The portal has useful content for teachers, parents and even students. Dell has made sure the portal is accessible in Hindi as well as English.

“Our efforts will be driven towards building engagement through on-ground activities and social media conversations; with students, teachers and parents alike on how to best utilize the technology advantage. We were keen to make sure that the project sees unrestricted access and for this reason have developed the ‘Dell Aarambh – PC for Education’ website which will act as a knowledge hub through the course of the year,” Ritu Gupta, Director, Marketing, Consumer & Small Business, Dell India said.

 

Aarambh – the beginning of a true digital society

Aarambh, means “to begin”. Dell India is laying the foundation of a brighter society that will be built by the youth. Computers powered with Internet are making education fun, and with this initiative, Dell is championing the cause of growing PC penetration in the country.

Dell Aarambh aspires to represent the use of PC learning to unlock potential for young students. It has also made sure that it involves the parents and teachers in this process. Simultaneously Dell India is also challenging the age old mugging or Rote Learning – a virus that is very common in our education system. The company has been striving in this exercise from some time now; it wants to focus on understanding and comprehension of a concept rather than mugging it up.  It’s been working on a twofold approach: not only is it making education a creative and thinking activity, it is also including parents and teachers. (Read: Dell India aims to defeat rote learning and make education fun with #DellAntiRoteDay)

Besides, laying its focus at the grassroots level to grow PC penetration in the country through several strategic initiatives, is a need of the hour. The ongoing Dell’s ‘Go Rural’ effort in presenting a PC in the day to day life of India’s future youth also aligns to the government’s Digital India and Skill India initiatives. It is truly an Aarambh of a digitally empowered society led by the youth from each category and class.