But when the pandemic struck, it got wings and is now the best friend of students from Class 6 to 12 in India and the Middle East.
Though these four engineers sitting in various places of the globe, it was the common bind that being former students of Government Engineering College, Thrissur, they decided to move forward and found what they wished.
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It took a couple of years and fifty plus classrooms and online sessions for the team to prototype and fine tune the alternate educational model based on pedagogic method of “known to unknown”, application-based learning and integrated curriculum which is global and syllabus-agnostic.
The idea struck its big moment in early 2020 when the world caught Covid and online education became popular even in rural India.
Within one year, the portal has conducted 500+ sessions by more than 40 professionals across the world in successful careers in different domains like engineering to music, catering to mining, movies to scientific research and finance to history.
The working professionals who are giving the lectures include Dr Rajiv Mohanraj, neurosurgeon at NHS, UK, Dr Najeeb Kuzhiyil, Scientist at Exxon Mobil, USA, Sybille Sajeet, Engineering Manager at Qatar, Nidhi Jain Seth, CEO from Delhi, Rajesh Muttath, Advocate from Malaysia, Dr Arun Thankom, Professor at Essex University, UK, Rohin Narayanan, Scientist at Large Hydron Collider, USA, Dr Seena Devaki, Adolescent Psychiatrist from UK, among others.
“What makes GrainEd different is the encouragement for students to freely ask questions and the interest mentors display to answer all of them citing real life examples” according to Dhanushree Suresh, one of the regular students from Kuwait.
“Till date, these kids have had a combined 12,000 student hours spent on our live and interactive classes and lately, the momentum has caught up really well,” explains Satish, one of founders.
Most of the sessions are around 60 minutes long and parents and students can register through the portal www.grain-ed.com which provides the schedule, topics and meeting ID for each session. Notes, past session videos and offline activities are also managed through this portal.
“It’s alternate education at its best as it’s meted out by working professionals and does not depend too much on theories which the students would be already flooded upon by their conventional classes though done online now,” Miriam Joseph, a parent from Bangalore, said.
Satish said all of the sessions are done live with interactive participation from students and once complete, will be available on YouTube as videos.
“Focus is on imparting fundamentals and the unique approach of professionals based on application-oriented training methods make all the difference here,” said Satish.