Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013
Avanti Fellows

Citation

This profile was prepared when Akshay Saxena was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Very few poor youth have access to higher education due to the low quality of prior education available to them, the financial barriers they face, and the lack of awareness or guidance about educational opportunities. To address this, Akshay is building supportive institutions that offer an affordable learning environment, high-quality content, social support, and mentorship to young people who would like to pursue higher education.

Understanding that the lack of teachers is a key barrier, Akshay has introduced a role for social workers in the educational process. While social workers are not subject specialists, they can facilitate an effective learning environment and guide students as they learn. To deliver content, Akshay uses a methodology of peer instruction, which enables students to learn from materials and from each other, without a full-time teacher. As a result, by significantly cutting teaching costs, Akshay is providing quality science and mathematics preparation for college entrance exams and making it accessible to the poorest children.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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