Google for Education announcement with Maharashtra state government

BANI PAINTAL DHAWAN: Namaskar I’m Bani Paintal Dhawan I lead Google for Education for India and South Asia The last couple of months have caused unprecedented changes in our life and how we learn There is no doubt that we need to have a coordinated and innovative action that will support schools now, but also in the long run That is the future of education in today’s India, which is becoming increasingly connected I have seen students, teachers, school leaders, and parents forced to rapidly adapt to remote learning approaches and technologies We all have to learn, to learn quickly, with varying degrees of success But what is common in all is that we are all adapting On behalf of Google, I am excited and honored to announce that Maharashtra is the first state in India to adopt Google technologies in over one lakh schools, impacting over 2.3 crore students and teachers in the state G Suite for Education and Google Classroom will make remote learning easier, will allow teachers to teach lessons in synchronous and asynchronous mode, and stay connected with their students We will also help teachers and parents who are brand new to technology by making it easier for them to understand and adapt to these changes on their mobiles, tablets, or laptops Teach From Home, an information hub launched by Google, is also available in Marathi, which will help educators find the most updated and relevant information on technology tools to enable learning We will also offer teacher training and free teacher resources around distance learning content Our goal as Google for Education is to help learning happen anytime and anywhere The importance of education for India, with almost half of our population under the age of 26, is very evident Education will be that catalyst that will transform the future of the next generation and enable economic growth for India We have seen Indian teachers use Google Classroom and Google Meet Globally, we have over 140 million users using G Suite for Education, and we’ve seen over 1300 years of learning taking place Together, we have an opportunity to transform teaching and learning at scale And it is my honor now to invite honorable Minister of School Education Maharashtra Shrimati Varsha Gaikwad VARSHA GAIKWAD: Namaskar We have learned a lot over the last couple of months And with determination and dedication, the current crisis can be turned into an opportunity We have always believed in the power of the internet to take education to the masses and reduce learning gap With the impact of COVID-19, we are coming together as a community to build resilience and find a solution through the transformation taking place in education With emphasis on online resources, platforms, bandwidth, and availability of technological solution, we aim to make Maharashtra the most progressive state on education As you are aware, we have started initiatives like [INAUDIBLE],, the series of study materials, since the lockdown started We have also given the alternative academic calendar with all activities which are linked with learning outcomes, radio, broadcasting, [INAUDIBLE] telecast, [INAUDIBLE] portal for students I foresee a blended learning environment in which students mix face to face learning with an online learning environment that provides content in both synchronous and asynchronous mode across their mobiles, tablets, laptops, or Chromebooks Technology can play a vital role in creating richer learning environment but only if all teachers and learners can equally benefit from it I am excited to announce our partnership with Google

SCERT Maharashtra will partner with Google for education to train teachers to deliver blended learning using free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, and Google Meet This will enable the state to adopt EdTech technologies in 1 lakh, 9,942 schools for 22.3 million students and teachers using state-specific Marathi content developed by SCERT Maharashtra I am excited to share with you that when we floated an invitation link for Google Classroom training, we have almost got 1.34 lakh teacher application within 48 hours This shows how our teachers are excited to start the Google classroom in their schools It clearly shows that our teachers are taking the lead in transformation to digital education I know we have not been able to reach each and every student in Maharashtra, but we can commit to provide equitable access to every learner and teacher in the state Government will continue to work with the community, NGOs, and the school to solve the access problem I would like to thank Google for providing us with a free platform like G Suite for education and Google’s Classroom, and all the teachers who have adapted to this situation and are helping students continue to learn We look forward to a long term partnership with Google in building the digital education ecosystem in India Thank you very much SANJAY GUPTA: Good morning, everyone, and a very warm

welcome to the Honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Uddhav Thackerayji, and Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Ajit Pawarji, and Honorable Minister School Education of Maharashtra, Ms. Varsha Gaikwadji Before I begin, I want to thank the ministers for joining us today as we embark on a journey to revolutionize education for everyone in Maharashtra At Google, our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible to everyone And this mission is as true today as it was over 20 years ago We all know access to credible and authoritative information is hugely empowering and can transform societies Today, as a country, we have made huge progress to improve access to the internet And every day, more and more people are finding new ways of using the internet to improve their lives Whether you are in Mumbai or in the remote village in Satara, everyone can get access to the same information on Google not just in English, but also in Marathi, Hindi, and many other Indian languages Anjali [? Suthar, ?] a resident of [INAUDIBLE] village in the Satara district, has used the internet to help start a community-owned masala making business Anjali used the internet to search for information on different types of masalas and the right way of packaging them She learned about marketing and sales and brought together seven other women from her village to start [INAUDIBLE],, a masala making company

In the past two years, [INAUDIBLE] Masala has grown multi-fold, supplying masalas across India And they even have their own website Similarly, [INAUDIBLE] from Sangli, Maharashtra, has helped her son prepare and clear the Science Olympiad exam by finding study modules on the internet These stories are from our Internet Saathi program, which focuses on helping women in rural India how to use the internet and improve their lives I share these stories because it proves that when you make access to information easy, everyone can learn new skills to not just improve their own lives, but also help others These examples are no different from the work our teachers and schools do, helping our children learn and gain education that can transform their lives for a better future But the last few months have been very challenging for all of us The challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to adapt to new ways of doing things The biggest impact of this has been on the students and the education sector Since the COVID-19 outbreak, over 32 crore children in India have been impacted by school closures And out of this, over 2.3 crore of these students are in Maharashtra Schools, teachers, and parents have all worked hard to find a way to overcome the reality of students not being able to physically attend classes And in this new reality, the biggest challenge that faces us all is to find a way to continue to meet the learning needs of our children, even as we continue to find ways to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic In the last four months, we have all seen how technology has played a pivotal role in helping us adjust to the new reality And it is time for us as a country to use technology to transform our education sector We need to ensure that this happens both in private and government schools This is not a new area of focus for us at Google We have always been committed to directing our resources, our products, programs, philanthropy, and people towards making education accessible for everyone Let us see what we have done through an app developed in India for learning languages– Google Bolo, now called Google Readalong And now we are doubling down our efforts in India We are investing in programs and efforts to help teachers learn to use their digital tools,

both in classrooms and from their home to deliver remote learning We have launched Teach From Home, an information hub to help teachers keep teaching even when they are not in the classroom We launched this in Marathi and seven other Indian languages And we have launched a program with CBSE to train over 1 million teachers in a year We also made premium features on Google Meet, our video conferencing solution, free for everyone through September And to date, over 4 lakh teachers have made use of this resource As we focus our efforts in the education space, we must acknowledge that not everyone has access to a device or the internet With the hope to scale access to underserved low income communities, last week, we announced a new Google.org grant of $1 million US to Kaivalya Education Foundation through our Global Distance Learning Fund Through this grant, Kaivalya Education Foundation will work with Central Square Foundation and Teacher App to empower over 700,000 teachers for the next 12 months to deliver virtual education for students For those without access to a smartphone or the internet, TV, radio, and other channels will be used to reach children As you can see, digital transformation of education in a country as large as ours requires many partners to come together, united in the vision to deliver quality education to everyone And I’m delighted that the Maharashtra state government is championing this vision with today’s announcement The vision of Maharashtra to use digital platforms to ensure every student, whether in a private school in Mumbai or in a remote village, to get access to the same quality education will require all of us to work together to make it a reality Our partnership today aims to enable our digital platform for over 2.3 crore students and teachers in Maharashtra that is ready to deliver blended learning that combines the classroom approach with online learning using free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, Google Meet, and more Together, we’ll work to ensure that all teachers are equipped to learn their digital skills required to offer students across the state the best learning experience I once again want to thank the Honorable Minister School Education of Maharashtra, Varsha Gaikwadji, for her vision to make Maharashtra a model state and her faith and trust in Google to partner in this journey And I want to congratulate the Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ajit Pawarji, and Honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackerayji, on this new beginning I want to end with one [? part ?] many of you may already have Even at Google, where we swear by technology, we know that technology alone won’t fix or improve education in our country But we are optimistic that it can be a significant part of the solution Our teachers and schools have the huge responsibility in shaping the future of our new generations And these digital tools can only supplement education delivered in the classroom and help students in learning better And I want to thank all the teachers who are continuing to work hard to ensure that our children can continue their learning even in these difficult times Now I’d like to invite the Honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackerayji, to share his vision for education

Thank you BANI PAINTAL DHAWAN: Thank you, Honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr Uddhav Thackeray We acknowledge that there is more to do to bridge the digital divide, and online learning should supplement education delivered in the classroom in schools A big thank you to all the partners who have been part of this journey with us On behalf of Google, I would like to thank you all I would also thank the teachers who have adapted to today’s situation and are helping all of India’s students I know I’m personally looking forward to the day when my children go back to their school and meet their teachers again The next generation will need to have 21st century skills to adapt to the rapidly changing world, and Maharashtra has taken that stride forward I would like to thank Shrimati Vandana Krishna Additional Chief Secretary School Education Department, government of Maharashtra, Mr. Vishal Solanki, Commissioner Education, Maharashtra, Sri Patil, Director, SCERT Maharashtra, and Mr Garad, deputy director, SCERT Maharashtra Thank you all for joining us, and we look forward to being able to support the teachers and students through our work in Maharashtra