Whereas children belonging to the middle class and affluent families have the necessary internet infrastructure to access learning - including physical education, but children belonging to marginalised communities have no such amenities. To reduce these inequities in learning, Sportz Village Foundation has designed the country’s first offline program called Race around India. This program delivers remote (offline) learning to children, who do not have internet access, directly at their homes.
“We aim to get children, who lack access to internet infrastructure, to become physically active through a series of travel-themed (gamified) workbooks. The idea behind this gamification is to recreate the sense of fun and engagement children have when they learn through play and physical activity. And the learning is completely self-directed – without the support of a facilitator or an adult. The Race Around India program has been primarily developed to address the inequities faced by disadvantaged children in learning. The program design ensures that children irrespective of class, age, gender and skill can participate, learn and stay healthy through play and physical activity,” says Parminder Gill, co-founder and Head Sportz Village Foundation.
The program takes children through a simulated race across the country, where they compete as virtual teams to complete specified tasks (earlier than others) to win this race. “Children are divided into different teams and get to ‘travel’ or ‘race’ through different cities in India even as they complete certain physical tasks and activities at their homes or communities. Each city or region lists down certain activities that the children must complete as a team before they can proceed further. At the same time, each city provides nuggets of information relevant to that city or region. The program not only gets children to be physically active but also helps improve their knowledge about our country. The gamification helps children to engage in and learn from these activities of their own accord,” he adds. The program has already engaged 185 children belonging to 14 public schools in Chennai.