Google Unveils ‘Bolo’ Language App For Rural Children In India

20

Search engine giant Google has launched India-only language app ‘Bolo’, a personalized reading tutor application to assist children in improving their reading skills and in developing the education system in rural areas, in particular.

The company has designed the application for primary grade students with Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technology along with a built-in reading tutor named “Diya”. The software trainer is designed to explain and correct the children while they read out loud.

Google has been operating Bolo around 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh over the past few months with the assistance of research company Aser. The trial results proved that 64% of children were observed to be improved in reading capability in three months.

Bolo has been now launched all over India under an open beta program. It is reported that Google will be working with non-profit partners namely, Pratham Education Foundation, Saajha, and Kaivalya Education Foundation, Room to Read.

Bolo Makes Reading Fun

  • The app will assist kids in reading by themselves step by step, giving them accurate feedback.
  • The app’s reading material is for free, and the initial catalog includes 50 stories in Hindi and 40 in English.
  • The feature helps multiple kids to use the same app and track the progress separately.
  • The kids can play word games where they can earn in-app rewards and badges to improve their reading habit.
  • The virtual tutor “Divya” will read texts aloud and explain the meaning of the words of English.
  • It also works offline and an ad-free application.
  • Google, in its blog post, said that the app is currently available for native Hindi speakers but soon offers services in other languages as well.

As per the survey conducted by Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) on around 596 districts in rural India, about half of the students could confidently read a second-grade textbook, of students who enrolled in fifth grade in rural India.

The initiation took by Google is showing a progression in the rural parts of India. But there is a need for full force to develop the learning habits of children with the help of assistance of giants like Google and other organizations.