At Google, we have always been committed to directing our resources -- our products, programs, philanthropy and people -- towards making education accessible for everyone. And access to quality education has become even more critical in these current times. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, over 32 crore children in India have been impacted by school closures. Educators have had to adjust to the reality of:
- Students not being able to physically attend classes, and
- Continuing to meet the learning needs of kids in these challenging times
There is a clear and present need for tools and resources that facilitate remote learning. We are delighted to announce today our collaboration with the Maharashtra State Government, to enable a digital platform for over 2.3 crore students and teachers in the state to access blended learning that combines the classroom approach with online learning, using free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, Google Meet and more. As part of this partnership today, the state will be providing each of the educators and students with their own G Suite ID.
The digital transformation of education in a country as large as ours requires many partners to come together, united in their vision to deliver quality education to everyone. We are heartened that the Maharashtra State government is championing this vision with today’s announcement, of working toward a reality when every student -- whether in private school in Mumbai or in a remote village in the Sahyadris -- can get access to the same quality education. When the Maharashtra Government rolled out a survey asking teachers from the state to register for the first set of teacher-training programs, we were humbled by the tremendous demand: of the 700,000 educators across the state, we received 150,000 sign-ups in less than 48 hours. Whether learning takes place in the classroom, at home, or within a hybrid model, Google for Education solutions spark learning anywhere, and empower teachers to provide excellent educational experiences, nurture individual needs, and enable students to learn better together. These tools enable educators and students to be more productive when when connecting remotely, with powerful features like:
- G Suite for Education: A free suite of familiar communication and collaboration tools including Gmail, Docs and Drive, as well as Classroom. These help enable learning anywhere, anytime, and on a range of devices.
- Google Classroom: An easy yet powerful tool in G Suite for Education, which helps educators to easily create, review, and organize assignments, as well as communicate directly with students in the classroom or while distance learning.
- Google Forms: A simple question and response tool that allows educators to fill out or import questions to quickly create quizzes and tests.
- Assignments: Quickly and securely create, analyze, and grade coursework, and provide students with a more flexible way of learning.
Each of these solutions have been designed to be easy to use, flexible and scalable, built for collaboration, and secure by design, and will now be available to scores of teachers and students across Maharashtra, for free.
Just recently, we announced at the sixth Google for India that we will be enabling over 1 million teachers across 22,000 schools in India to deliver blended learning by the end of 2020 in partnership with CBSE. Earlier this year we collaborated with FICCI Arise to ensure teachers and students can transition to remote learning seamlessly, where we trained teachers in over 250 schools across 23 states in the use of digital tools such as Google Meet. In this new reality, the biggest challenge that faces us all is to find a way to continue to meet the learning needs of children, even as we continue to find ways to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, the last four months have demonstrated how technology has played a vital role in helping people come to terms with a new way of living. Our teachers and schools have the huge responsibility in shaping the future of our new generation, and we continue to be honored to play a role in offering digital tools that can enable more teachers to help even more students stay firmly on their journey of learning, during these times and beyond.