About the Organisation
Asha for Education's mission is education of underprivileged children in India, catalyzing socio-economic change. Asha for Education is a volunteer-based, secular, democratic organization with very low overheads. Asha for Education has been working on its mission since 1991, annually helping over 84,000 children have a brighter and optimistic future. Asha closely partners with over 400 non-profit organizations (project partners), working on educational needs specific to a region or community. (One example is the organization of Kailesh Satyarthi, co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.)
The Chennai chapter of Asha has been active since 2002. We been working with government schools to try and improve the quality of education since 2003. Our primary strategy has been to appoint teachers in schools that have insufficient number of teachers, provide training to our teachers and to government teachers, provide materials to aid the teaching at the school, and improve the infrastructure at the school to make it effective.
About the Project : Project Asha Kanini looks at ways to improve the education provided in the government schools using technology. The steps taken include,
1. Targeted training for our teachers to align it to the materials we provide them or they otherwise have access to in their schools. The focus is on English and Maths.
2. Empower the teachers at the schools by providing them laptops and Internet connections. Provide suitable contents on these laptops and on government computers that they can use to enhance their own teaching methods as well as show children in the classroom for a richer education experience.
3. Maintain computer labs in these schools.
4. Develop and conduct assessments at these schools to help us assess the weak areas and the impact of our intervention.
5. Deploy computer teachers to schools one or two days a week to teach computer science and also curriculum subjects using innovative contents we have collated.
Towards this, Asha Chennai is mapping and making available free contents already available. We are also developing and translating contents of our own where there are gaps (esp. for contents suitable for Tamil medium Samacheer Kalvi syllabus). We are also developing software for delivering contents to the classes in an easy to use manner and otherwise aid in the education process.
Software Development Efforts : Asha Kanini App Asha Chennai has been developing an application for Windows called Asha Kanini that provides access to the mapped contents available on their computer as well as through the network. We have several plans for enhancing this application to make it suitable for wider distribution to all government schools. These are stalled for want of developers. Good UI designers can also significantly improve our minimal UI for this app.
Asha Kanini is developed using React framework for Node. There is a minimal backend developed using ExpressJS for Node.
Assessment Data Handling and Analytics : We have automated the process of scoring the assessment and uploading these into a database. We are further doing analytics on this data to identify weaker areas, to correlate the data with available social factors to observe broader patterns etc. There is lot of scope for continued development in this as well as assistance in routine processing of the data.
The data manipulation is done using Perl scripts. The data itself is stored in MySQL. The backend for analytics is also done with ExpressJS for Node.
Computer Science Curriculum : We are also developing a curriculum for teaching computer science to children of classes 1 to 8. We are already teaching these. But we are trying to put these into a good curriculum framework and a series of lesson plans with all the required resources so that it can be more easily used by others. People from Training, Documentation, etc. would be able to help with this effort.
Job Openings - 2 Software Developers
Work Description :
- Develop client software to deliver contents in a classroom.
- Develop server software to manage assessment scores, administer tests, track usage of our software, etc.
- Develop other application software as required.
- Statistical data analytics of the assessment data.
- Good knowledge of web based application development.
- Good knowledge of Java script and SQL.
- Preferably knowledge of node, Express JS, React framework and Perl.
- Preferably familiarity with government schools and education system in Tamilnadu.
Willingness to travel to rural TN will be a strong plus.
For more Details :
About Asha: www.ashanet.org
About Asha Chennai: www.ashanet.org/chennai
About the project: http://www.ashanet.org/projects/project-view.php?p=1228