With these collaborations, ACT For Education will provide catalytic grant funding to accelerate their impact – helping both Vidyakul & Josh Skills to personalise their educational content & improve their users’ learning journey.
Says Aakanksha Gulati, Director – ACT For Education, “ACT For Education aims to enable the bottom three quartiles of India’s population to learn at home by harnessing the power of affordable, accessible and high-quality edtech interventions. Both Vidyakul and Josh Skills are led by mission-driven founders who bring deep passion for India 3 through their lived experiences. Shobhit grew up in Kullu & Tarun studied in a Hindi medium school in Ambala, so they instinctively understand that strong, personalised learning interventions can create a meaningful shift in life trajectories. As ACT, we’re excited to be their growth engine partners!”
Vidyakul runs an affordable mobile app that offers both live & recorded classes for state board students in grades 9 to 12. Currently operating in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh & Gujarat, they employ local teachers to create vernacular educational content for all subjects with contextual examples to help students learn better.
Tarun Saini, Founder – Vidyakul, says, “70% of 250 Mn students in Bharat are enrolled in state boards and there is a huge demand-supply gap for after-school learning. While the online tutoring space has expanded since the pandemic, most edtech solutions cater primarily to students in tier 1 cities in terms of the medium of instruction as well as affordability. With our collaboration with ACT For Education, we hope to make our solution more holistic by adding doubt solving mechanisms & generating clear evidence of learning outcomes through both in app data and researcher led studies.”
Building spoken English capabilities is a common requisite for employment and critical for India to improve its labour participation and reap demographic dividend. Josh Skills aims to unlock the potential of Bharat’s under-served youth by building their spoken English skills through a peer-to-peer learning mechanism on the app which allows them to practise English with each other
Shobhit Banga, Co-founder – Josh Skills, says, “Our collaboration with ACT For Education brings us the catalytic partnership required to meet Bharat’s skilling aspirations. With 80% of the world using English as a medium of instruction and communication, the hesitation to speak in English restricts youth in Tier 2 and Tier 3 India from gaining access to decent employment opportunities. Through our spoken English course, our students learn to overcome this hesitation by practising with each other over a phone call. We look forward to working with the ACT team to help Bharat’s youth upskill, develop their confidence and truly unlock their potential.”
Says Mekin Maheshwari, Advisor – ACT For Education, “Josh & Vidyakul deeply understand and serve rural & aspirational India. They both have highly innovative models for enabling learning! At ACT, we are excited to support them & learn from their journeys of amplifying impact by building technology & measuring impact. “
ACT is a non-profit venture philanthropy platform that was born in 2020 in response to the COVID crisis and is built upon the premise that an entrepreneurial mindset, technology & innovation and collective action have the power to create meaningful social impact at scale.
They are driven by a bias for action to catalyse social change through collaboration across the board – startup founders, donors, NGO’s, expert advisors, government stakeholders as well as the public at large.
Their grants are given as seed capital to incubate and accelerate innovations that have demonstrated ability to address some of India’s most complex social needs. In addition to providing funding, they work with their grantees on their strategy as well as operations and help them harness the strength of ACT’s collective to build enduring, sustainable organisations.