New Delhi, India | 6th April 2021: With a radical approach to incentivise learning among school students, the Government of Sikkim has become the first state in the country to launch its monthly micro-scholarship programme for school students. The Government of Sikkim has signed a Memorandum of Understanding ‘MoU’ with Sri Aurobindo Society and has launched Auro Scholarship programme in the State for the students of Sikkim. The State Government has made an initial commitment of Rs. 50 Lakh to be given directly to Sikkim school students from Grade 1 to 12 in a transparent manner, if the students achieve benchmark learning outcomes.
In an event chaired by Mr. G P Upadhyaya, Additional Chief Secretary Sikkim, Secretary-in-Charge of Education Department, Government of Sikkim, the MoU was signed and the programme was launched for the State. It was attended by Ms. Preeti Hingorani, Vice President, Brand and Partnership of Education, Cambridge University Press; Mr. Sambhrant Sharma, Director-Education, Sri Aurobindo Society; and Mr. Nitin Bhalla, Outreach & Partnerships, Sri Aurobindo Society. The event was recently held at Sri Aurobindo Society Campus, New Delhi and a large number of audiences joined the event through social media platforms too.
Talking on the MoU between the Government of Sikkim and Sri Aurobindo Society, Mr. G.P. Upadhayay said, “The State Education Department is committed to provide maximum learning and growth opportunities to our students. Sikkim is a progressive State and we look forward to new ways of making students active participants in the learning process. We are hopeful, partnering with Sri Aurobindo Society for Auro Scholarship programme will nourish the students with quality education and the programme will expand to other states as well. With synergy of resources and efforts, the benefits will reach to the students at the grassroots.”
Expressing thoughts on association of Sri Aurobindo Society and Cambridge, Ms. Preeti Hingorani said, “Cambridge is associated with the Auro Scholarship programme since its inception, and expansion of the programme is a dream come true. We are committed towards uplifting the quality of education and look forward to more collective work.”
Working through Auro Scholar App, Auro Scholarship programme awards monthly micro-scholarships to K-12 students on achieving benchmark performance in a 10-min curriculum-aligned quiz on internet-enabled phone. The parents receive up to INR 1,000/month (INR 50 per quiz, for 20 quizzes across 5 subjects) in their bank account, which they can use to pay for their child’s education in various ways. The children failing to win scholarships in the first attempt can study and retake the quizzes in the same month in order to win scholarships. The achievement motivation thus achieved by the children creates mass-incentives to learn as well as parental engagement to focus on children’s learning. The Mathematics question bank for Auro Scholar was originally powered by the Cambridge University Press.
On the occasion, Mr. Sambhrant Sharma, Director-Education and Member-Executive Committee, Sri Aurobindo Society expressed his gratitude for the Sikkim government for supporting the initiative and said, “By incentivizing the learning process, we are trying to make students and the teachers an integral part of growth of education. The micro scholarship amount will motivate the students to learn more.”
Addressing the dignitaries and audience, Mr. Nitin Bhalla, Outreach & Partnerships, Sri Aurobindo Society expressed, “Auro Scholar’s vision is to incentivize the learning for all. The journey of Auro Scholarship Programme has just begun, and the aim is to reach out to all the students of the country. This model of monthly micro-scholarships is a 1st of its kind and goes a long way in incentivizing the learning outcomes.”
The Auro Scholar was originally launched at the national level by the Hon’ble Education Minister of the country Mr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on 24th November 2020.
Since the national launch, lakhs of students have registered themselves on the Auro Scholar App and around 15 lakh assessments have been taken by the students since the start of the programme. Auro Scholar aims to eventually reach 25 Cr K-12 children across the country and incentivize them for learning.