Research has shown that 250 million students around the world can’t read, write or count. One newly launched nonprofit organization, Zedbridge, is on a mission to change these statistics by drawing on experience over three decades at a school for underprivileged children in Kolkata, India, with funding help from a crowd-funding campaign beginning Oct. 24, 2015.
The upcoming crowd-funding campaign aims to raise awareness, funds and volunteers for the first phase in a planned two-year project. During the initial stage of Zedbridge’s mission, the organization will harness the help of education professionals to develop and implement an alternative education model that will be an all-in-one, low-cost, effective educational model for students and teachers grades pre-K through 8th.
Rajiv Patnaik, the founder of Zedbridge, said unlike other solutions, he envisions an all-encompassing education system (“A School in the Box”) that can be used by virtually anyone and includes all the components needed to successfully operate an elementary school. The model will offer instructional material, training and administrative support through a carefully researched structure.
Patnaik also said that, unlike other solutions that rely mainly on autonomous learning, we understand the importance of working with existing educational infrastructures and having a teacher as a mentor and guide in these children's lives. To this effect, the Zedbridge solution empowers anyone to teach utilizing the best teaching practices and employs curricula that follows education standards and also develops the entire child. Additionally the program is easily deploy-able, customizable, scalable, and has a support structure that enables teachers to succeed.
The Zedbridge alternative educational model combines a traditional teaching environment and a low-cost technology center to provide an innovative learning environment. The traditional teaching approach follows education standards and uses detailed lesson plans following best teaching methods. Classes are taught locally but are monitored and administered remotely. The low-cost technology center follows the Self Organized Learning Environment (SOLE). Classes are taught and monitored remotely through the Internet via live or recorded instruction.
For the past 2.5 years, the Zedbridge team has been testing parts of their model at HCS Elementary, a school that serves 270 underprivileged children in Kolkata, India, and was run by Patnaik and his father for a combined 30 years. The system has had a track record of demonstrated success that includes dramatic improvement in student grades and teacher morale.
Zedbridge is now ready to formulate and develop a complete package that can be tested at HCS Elementary and then be replicated at other schools. Currently, Zedbridge is targeting underprivileged schools and has more than 20 schools throughout India that have shown interest in the program.
The upcoming crowd-funding campaign will aim to raise $60,000. Zedbridge plans to use these funds towards its mission of creating opportunities for underprivileged students where no other comprehensive alternatives exist.
“We are fighting to transform education for the underprivileged from the chains that bind the poor in the cycle of poverty to be the most powerful tool used to change the world,” said Rajiv Patnaik.
“As our children head back to school today with their shiny new shoes and brand-name backpacks, let us not forget that 250 million students can’t read, write or count,” said Kelly Patnaik, the founder’s wife.
Zedbridge recently released a video ( www.zedbridge.org ) that describes the problems faced by students and teachers and how Zedbridge provides solutions .
The Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign can be found at http://igg.me/at/educationmovement
Zedbridge is a non-profit organization that exists to provide high quality education for underprivileged students around the world. Zedbridge accomplishes this by offering under-resourced schools a pre-packaged, comprehensive elementary school program that includes everything from administrative support to instruction material and training. Zedbridge works with local communities and partner organizations to ensure that these teachers and schools have all the resources for them to be successful. Zedbridge serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
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Quality education for underprivileged children, Changing the world, Alternative education solution,