Rashid, who is based in Srinagar, teaches a class in a course on cost management accounting. His students come from nearly all districts of Jammu and Kashmir, from Doda to Shopian and Kupwara. And even at the restricted data speeds in 18 of the 20 districts in the Union Territory, the lesson hits home loud and clear.
These classes have been made possible by the use of a mobile application called ‘Wise App’, which has been developed by two friends from IIT-Bombay, Mubeen Masudi, and Bilal Abidi. Wise is a 2G-friendly video interface mobile application designed for the teachers and students of Jammu and Kashmir.
The app allows students and teachers to cut through problems of scheduling, makes teaching and assessments over the Internet easier, and makes the experience as close to a real classroom as possible.
“Two graduates of @iitbombay have developed an Android application “Wise App” to enable #onlinelearning on the 2G service. The application is extremely user-friendly, completely free of cost, and comes without any advertisements,” Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank posted on Twitter. “Kudos to the team,” the Minister said, with two thumbs-up emojis.
The developers of the mobile app were also featured on the Government of India’s 74 years, 74 series campaign.
A month after its launch, the app is being used by 3,000 teachers, a vast majority of whom are in J&K, and who are now able to reach thousands of students even over restricted network speeds.
“I have been an educator for the past eight years in Kashmir. During all these years I have worked directly with students, schools, local NGOs, and the government’s education department. A significant part of this time has been spent in classrooms teaching mathematics and chemistry to high school students,” Masudi told The Indian Express in an interview.
For Masudi and Abidi, the purpose of the app was to “democratize education” by empowering teachers through technology. They now hope that wise will reach all corners of the country where connectivity and slow Internet speeds are a problem.