Sci-tech

Google launches reading tutor app ‘Bolo’ for kids in India

Google launches reading tutor app ‘Bolo’ for kids in India”

Further, the application works with no information and also when the phone is disconnected to the internet.

A study released by the nonprofit Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Center a year ago stated that only 44 percent of children studying in grade five are capable of reading books meant for students in grade two. It is a speech-based reading-tutor app that is designed for the rural kids who hardly have access to a good education support system. It comes with a built-in fun and helpful reading buddy, "Diya", that encourages, aids, explains, and corrects the child, as they read aloud. For example, when the kid reads the content accurately, Diya says "Shabash" or great.

As per reports, Google will be working with four partner organisations viz. Pratham Education Foundation, Room to Read, Saajha and Kaivalya Education Foundation, a Piramal Initiative, to take the app to more users.

The beta version of Bolo, launched in India first, is optimised for native Hindi speakers, and uses Google's speech recognition and text-to-speech technology. We believe that technology can be a powerful enabler.

"Nothing is ever sent to Google through the app", Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India, told IANS, adding the app is meant for just 10-15 minutes of daily use.

Read with Diya at Bolo.

The app mimics teacher-student interactions, using artificial intelligence to guide children and give them feedback as they read aloud. Now, with the wider release of the app, the company's aiming to reach more children across India. "With Bolo we wanted to bring a similar experience to anyone who needs it, via their smartphone", Zohair Hyder, Engineering lead for Bolo said, Indian Express reported. Google has banded together with Storyweaver.org.in for substance, which incorporates 50 stories in Hindi and 40 in English. Further, the app works without any data and even when the phone is offline. More details on Google's data collection from the Bolo app can be found on the company website. No name, age, sex is required nor is a Gmail account expected to sign in. They have launched this app keeping in mind, about rural students, how difficulties they face in Reading different sentences, stories, phrases and all.

BOLO app is used in about 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh and the early results are too much encouraging with 64% children showing improvement in Reading and their approach has changed regarding reading.



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