Project Rangeet Wins Innovation Prize at the 2021 Jacobs Foundation Conference

May 5, 2021

On 28 April 2021, Project Rangeet, one of the 23 Case studies captured in the South-South Network for Public Service Innovation’s South-South Matchmaker 2019/2020, won a Promising Innovation Prize on ‘Education Solutions for a Post-COVID World’ at the 2021 Jacobs Foundation Conference. The event was co-organised by the Jacobs Foundation and MIT Solve with the  objective  to support the core goal of enabling learning systems globally to afford equitable opportunities for children aged 2 to 12 years. The Conference was organized around a competition, and submissions were requested from educators, academics, researchers, inventors, technologists, funders and practitioners. Project Rangeet was also included in the third volume of UNOSSC’s flagship publication series Good Practices in South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development  and is a featured solution on South-South Galaxy.

The project consists of an easy to implement mobile app for educators that features structured Social Emotional and Ecological Knowledge (SEEK) lessons developed around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It uses playful learning methods and the understanding of intelligence to teach in the way different students learn, ensuring no child is left behind. SEEK’s aim is to complement existing core curricula and can be used as a teacher’s resource. The app includes tools that measure impact at scale and is designed to work without overburdening educators.

The project has been piloted in over 50 schools in Bangladesh, reaching 2,000 students. In India, Project Rangeet is operational in Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and West Bengal in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and State Governments. In total, Project Rangeet has touched the lives of 1,000 teachers and 20,000 students. The results of the intervention have pointed to positive changes in the students’ knowledge, attitude and behaviour, as well as to upskilling impacts to teachers’ pedagogy. Data collected revealed that children demonstrated greater awareness of social issues, became more resilient and more skilled in social emotional competencies.

Project Rangeet was founded in 2018 by Simran Mulchandani, Karishma Menon and Priyanka Pandit because they believe that classroom equity can be achieved through competence in social-emotional skills, and by reaching learners of all abilities. Social-emotional learning is the process of developing self-awareness, self-control and interpersonal skills vital to everyday life. Studies have shown that strong social-emotional skills are linked to positive mental, social and professional outcomes at the individual and community level, regardless of race, socioeconomic background, or geographical contexts.

Project Rangeet is rooted in research from noted neuroscientists, educators, as well as think tanks like CASEL, the Brookings Institution and even the World Economic Forum. Every lesson uses play and multiple intelligences and is designed to develop necessary social-emotional skills.

Judges believed that this was an impressive pitch and a strong approach to play-based learning that can bridge the divide between home/community and schools. They were impressed with the team’s strong track record and the potential for scalability and continuous improvement. It is encouraging that only one phone is needed rather than requiring each child to have a mobile phone to access learning.

About the Jacobs Foundation

The Jacobs Foundation invests in the future of young people so that they become socially responsible and productive members of society. In order to achieve this goal, children and youth must be given better opportunities for positive development and equitable access to education. Whatever their background, place of residence or family income, all children should have the chance to reach their full potential.

About MIT Solve

Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to solve world challenges. Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation challenges, Solve finds tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. Solve then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of Members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help them drive lasting, transformational impact.