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Perth businesswoman’s hi-tech help for girls of Mumbai

A Perth businesswoman has helped a teacher continue her work with young girls in the slums of Mumbai by donating vital equipment.

Ann Attridge will send 25 computer tablets to the Indian city to help Aarti Naik, who has been unable to continue teaching English and math to the girls due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Aarti teaches the girls, aged between seven and 14, in the same slum area she herself grew up in and will now be able to teach them remotely.

Ann is chief executive of education technology company Klik2learn, and has sent the tablets with Kilk2learn’s educational software Journey2BasicSkills, a programme designed to give students the reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills necessary for further study in an English-speaking environment.

Ann, a former schoolteacher who launched Glasgow-based Klik2learn in 2012, said: “Aarti is quite a remarkable young lady, doing her best to educate hundreds of girls on her own, having not been able to continue her own education.

“She wants others in the slum community to benefit.

“She needs to be able to reach more people and she can only do that digitally because people can’t meet due to COVID.

“Tablets with our data packages seemed to be exactly what they are looking for. The devices will reach more than 25 girls because they share them at home with their siblings.”

Aarti, who launched her SAKHI for Girls Education project for slum dwelling girls who would otherwise receive no education in 2008, said the donations will help to prevent her work grinding to a halt.

She said: “It will be a great learning resource for every girl to access quality, basic education in this challenging situation of the coronavirus crisis and continuous lockdown.

“This program and the tablets will provide a solid foundation for girls in English, numeracy, and literacy skills. It will be a lifetime investment in every girl’s education for her better future.” 

Aarti launched the programme after dropping out of school aged 16. She failed English and Maths largely, she says, because she had no-one to guide or support her.

She has since helped more than 400 girls to continue into formal education or to gain employment. Typically, their household income amounts to around £2.50 per day.

She said: “Girls who live in slum areas find it exceedingly difficult to get a quality, basic education.

“They do not have a positive supportive environment at school, where the boys are typically given more attention.

“After school, in their slum community, there are no safe places where they can gather and learn on their own.”

Source: Daily Record

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