Pranil Naik

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2014


This profile was prepared when Pranil Naik was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
To ensure equal access to English across ages in completely English-illiterate rural environments, Pranil has designed a method that effectively “de-skills” the teaching and learning of the language. The design of the curriculum and delivery is such that eliminates the need for a skilled English teacher (a rarity in rural schools), or even a basic working knowledge of English amongst the student group. Pranil’s unique and contextualized methodology leverages phonetics, mobile recordings and interactive visual aids, to enable rural and semi-urban students to develop core competencies like reading, writing and comprehension within 20 to 24 months (having started from scratch).

To deliver his solution, Pranil has cultivated a network of rural English tutors who run local coaching centres before and after school hours, which not only provide additional livelihood opportunities for local youth (often school drop-outs), but also complement the efforts of in-school lessons because of the rapid improvement in the students’ ability to read and comprehend English. Pranil is now developing English assessment software to test the impact of the tutorial classes and use these granular, customised results to drive better content and delivery methods for his tutors.

By combining low-cost technology like mobile phones with his adaptable pedagogy, and several micro-enterprises in the form of English classes, Pranil is facilitating access to both quality English education and economic opportunity in villages. With the help of CSO partners, Pranil now plans to develop curriculum for Hindi-speaking states, thus scaling his impact to a wider belt of English-illiterate communities. Beginning with rural Maharashtra, Pranil has created a distribution network of six CSOs to spread his curriculum and delivery method to different parts of the country. He is simultaneously petitioned the government to incorporate his methodology of English teaching in trainings for municipal school teachers.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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