We recognised our unique position to build 21st Century skills for young people across India, but also turned our gaze inwards to reflect upon areas that needed further strengthening.
We undertook several initiatives to ensure our growth was sustainable and inclusive, including forming new teams, instituting a formal professional development system, and initiating a review of our work from the lens of gender. Our team is now 100 strong and growing, and we are present across nine states.
Our new strategic partners include Oracle, Cisco, undp, International Youth Foundation and the Central Square Foundation. Our partnerships with Accenture, The Hans Foundation, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Godrej continue with renewed commitment. The Quest advisory board continues to be a beacon of guidance and an objective voice for the leadership team.
As we look towards 2018, we remain committed to our overarching goal of enabling young people and their educators to build self-learning pathways in a complex, uncertain and ever-changing world. We will never cease to question the status quo to strengthen the ecosystem for the learner. Onward!
Implementing Our Vision to Strengthen the System
25 Government functionaries (including district, block and cluster level officers, headmasters and teachers) came together in January 2017, to bring about a strategy shift in how we approach quality education.
➀ It is important to recognize and motivate teachers who are working to improve student learning outcomes.
➁ There is a need to enable supportive supervision at the school level around attendance, learning and student participation, that can ultimately improve the overall school environment.
With support from The Hans Foundation, we implemented the Change Leaders Program. An intensive capacity-building program, it assists 35 cluster and block level government functionaries in Samastipur in initiating change in their contexts. Emergent practices included active child parliaments or “bal sansads”, leading school libraries, kitchen gardens and student-led morning assemblies. Change Leaders mobilised the community to contribute Rs. 1,47,000, and supplies for their schools.
Teacher motivation plays a big role in quality education. Through the Anandshala Shiksha Ratn Puraskar, we want to recognize and reward teachers and institutions, to motivate them. When we share these good practices with others, then schools from other blocks will also be inspired to do the same.
Pranav Kumar, IAS
District Magistrate, Samastipur, Bihar
The Anandshala Shiksha Ratn Puraskar
In collaboration with the district administration in Samastipur, we launched the Anandshala Shiksha Ratn Puraskar, an initiative that recognizes good practices in government schools across the district. It shifts the conversation from problems to solutions and innovations at the grassroots. From over 300 nominations in the first year, 10 selected practices received technology kits for their schools from the Speaker of the Bihar State Assembly, Shri Vijay Chowdhary.
Bolstering The Community Connect
In partnership with Idea, we started four Anandshala resource centers in Samastipur. These are hubs for the community, where youth and teachers can access learning curricula like digital literacy, upskill themselves, and share good practices.
With support from Mr. Sanjeev Prasad, whose family hails from Kalaunjar village in Bihar, we worked closely to bring about holistic transformation in the only secondary school in Kalaunjar. In shaping a model school, we engaged 300 youth and eight teachers to enhance the learning experience, through Child Parliaments, a school management committee, infrastructure upgrades, and arts and sports based learning activities.
The arrival of Anandshala in our Panchayat felt like a wave of change. We have been studying in this school for the last three generations, but the condition of this school was deteriorating. With Anandshala, I now hope that this school will be a leading light in Samastipur and students from our village won't have to travel elsewhere to seek education.
Sarpanch Kalaunjar, Samastipur, Bihar
Watch the Video
Leveraging Education Technology
With support from Oracle, 300 middle schools in Samastipur now receive access to diverse digital learning tools: tablets with learning resources for teachers, portable projectors and speakers. We extensively used social media applications to engage with stakeholders across the system.
Building Government Partnerships
Over the past year, the MyQuest team has built extensive partnerships with several state Governments, enabling blended learning content in Life, Work and Career Skills to reach youth in government and private ITIs, polytechnics and secondary schools, impacting over 50,000 youth. These partnerships have been supported by Accenture, Cisco and UNDP.
We introduced industry and job specific formal training with a focus on career development. Overall we worked with 165 ITIs across multiple states. We have ongoing partnerships with the Directorate of Training and Technical Education (det) in Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Our partnership with Quest is all about creating new opportunities for youth in ITIs. Quest’s technology driven approach to enable self-learning is innovative, practical, scalable, and it is working. Together we have impacted 10,000 youth in just the first year and we look forward to deepening our partner-ship in the coming years.
Head, Corporate Affairs, South Asia, CISCO
Reaching Women and Women-Only Institutes
With support from UNDP and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we started dedicated projects for women and girls in ITIs and polytechnics. We reached 5000 girls in a year, equipping them with critical career development and work skills. Women form 50% of the total MyQuest program outreach.
In partnership with Central Square Foundation, Quest developed employability skills textbooks for higher secondary government schools to facilitate the school-to-work transition, and skill young people to make informed career choices. The pilot ran in 267 schools reaching approximately 8000 students, and will serve as a model that can be replicated across states.
The career sessions helped me know myself better. It made me realise where my potential and creativity lie. I could identify the areas where I can give my 100% and gain the most in my career.
Kasturba Polytechnic, New Delhi
Listening to Youth
In order to learn from our decade-long experiences and better prepare ourselves to stay relevant for young people in the 21st Century, we spoke to more than 5000 youth in ITIs, VTIs and polytechnics across the country about the Quest curriculum. Over 90% students said, “I can see a change in myself”, with 48% strongly agreeing and 40% agreeing, that the technology-led blended learning approach using multiple mediums for learning makes sessions interesting and engaging.
Developing Institutional Capacity
Quest started working with organizations across states to help them articulate a vision for youth development. The first visioning workshop, conducted in Guwahati with four youth organizations from the North Eastern states, defined a two-step process to understand each other’s work, identify areas of coherence and collaboration, and build a strong partner network.
Youth in Work
VTIs and Colleges
We formally launched MasterCoach as our third program: an in-service, trainer certification initiative. MasterCoach uses a powerful and transformative blended learning approach to give facilitators a professional edge. Trainers can now build stronger social capital within India’s vocational training sector, learning from new trends, concepts, tools and consistent feedback, to create 21st Century classrooms.
MasterCoach participants engage in a four-day workshop, then complete the course online at their own pace, to receive their certificates after six months.
After attending the MasterCoach Program, I realized how we can use technology to make classroom learning interesting and make it more relevant, so that I can prepare learners how to face the challenges of the 21st Century.
Sonal M Chudasama
From 71 trainers in three years, MasterCoach reached 245 trainers across nine cohorts in 2016-2017, and introduced the program to 25 institutions. We actively involved organization heads in the mobilization process to enrol women trainers, reaching 92 women in the first year. In partnership with nasscom Foundation and Aricent Technologies, we launched a customized version for 145 lecturers at engineering colleges in Delhi and Bangalore.
Trainers in 2017
Finding solutions to common problems
This year, 207 delegates from 14 states had insightful conversations about enabling individuals to find meaning and purpose, and preparing themselves for relevance in the 21st Century. Our focus was how to get young people to become anytime-anywhere-anyone learners. We enriched each other’s experiences, and reiterated the need to collaborate to create content and frameworks of sustained value.
The Learner, our first annual publication, gathers voices from government and private institutions, academics, students, funders, education practitioners and the Quest team. It captures experiences and stories from the field, reflections, innovations and trends in the sector, critical gaps and opportunities, along with individual learning journeys that have the potential to transform the learning ecosystem. This first issue specifically examines the education sector’s role in enabling young people to become lifelong learners.
Anytime, Anywhere and for Anyone
Learning Lab is an ecosystem that empowers and engages learners and facilitators with blended learning materials, strategies and networks to develop 21st Century skills and grow their social capital.
Quest Learning App on Play Store
Find the Quest Learning App on the Google Play Store, for instant access to 300 hours of digital content and Quest Toolkits for 21st Century learning anytime and anywhere, on the Web, offline, tablet, and mobile.
Learn Pi is a low-cost Rasberry Pi server, with its own power backup and 3G Internet connection, which enables access to high-quality digital content offline, and syncs learner data with the Quest cloud database for real-time insights. Piloted in 300 centers with the aim to reach 20,000 learners in the coming year, Learn Pi achieves an approximate 60% reduction in deployment costs.
Trainer Tribe is an online platform for trainers to connect, learn and grow, transcending language, state or domain. It seeks to provide ongoing support to the trainer community and help cultivate a culture of sharing and inquiry. We registered 300 users in the first month, and aim to reach 1000 trainers from diverse institutions in the first year.
All numbers below in INR
|Bank of America||17,140,000||9.60%|
|Central Square Foundation||1,250,000||0.70%|
All numbers below in INR
|Salaries & benefits||27,443,448||16.13%|
|Training & Workshops||4,798,463||2.82%|
|Innovation & Advocacy||8,212,372||4.83%|
All numbers below in INR
|Cash & Bank Balances||36,075,055|
All numbers below in INR
|Grants, Donations and Contributions||162,258,219|
|Excess of Expenditure Over Income||1,103,343|
|Overhead and Administrative Costs||13,969,607|
Quest established a presence in the North East, setting up our eighth office in Guwahati. Our team continues to grow and expand, from 80 people last year, to 100 in 2017. The average age of our team is 32.2 years. There has been a rise in the percentage of women employed at Quest: from 30% last year, to 40% of all staff this year. Women form 50% of the leadership team at Quest.
Reaching for the Stars
Quest places great importance on staff development and growth. The Reach for the Stars program was created through a series of co-creation exercises.
Its output is a blended learning toolkit that aligns the personal and the organizational, combining varied methods and tactics for goal-setting and measurement, understanding the organization’s vision, feedback from peers, and self-reflection. Individually and collectively, we reach for the stars.
Great Place to Work
Quest is a Great Place to Work, according to the 2017 survey from greatplacetowork.com
Our board comprises diverse professionals with a shared passion and vision to actively engage the Quest team, and through them, India’s youth.
This year, our board met on the following days:
— August 29, 2016
— December 1, 2016
— January 3, 2017
Aakash Sethi Managing Trustee Male QUEST Alliance, Bangalore
Vikas Goswami Advisory Board Member Female Head, Good & Green at Godrej Industries Ltd
Aashu Calappa Advisory Board Member Male Director, Million Jobs Mission
Anirban Das Blah Advisory Board Member Male Managing Director, Kwan Entertainment & Marketing Solutions
Nagesh Alai Advisory Board Member Male Founder & Principal Counselor at independent business and financial advisory; Ex Chairman, FCB ULKA Group
Sanjay Anandaram Advisory Board Member Male Governing Board Member, TiE; Advisor, Ideaspring Capital; Advisor at Endiya Partners; Advisor, iSpirt; Advisor, Ojas Venture Partners
Kapil Das Trustee Male Film Maker
Arvind Lodaya Trustee Male Strategic Innovation & Branding Consultant, ALo Consulting; Innovation Mentor, SELCO Foundation; Visiting Professor, School of Design, Ambedkar University, Delhi; Adjunct Professor, IIT Kanpur; Senior Advisor (Pedagogy and Design), Radical Skills