Google Launches ‘Bolo’ Learning App For Rural Kids

New Delhi: Google launched the beta version of its ‘Bolo’ app on Wednesday, which has been optimised specially for native Hindi speakers and seeks to enhance the reading and learning habits of rural kids.

Google ‘Bolo’ app aims to help children using speech recognition and text-to-speech technology. It seeks to help children read with the aid of a virtual tutor. The reading material, stories sourced from Storyweaver, are available for free.

As per reports, Google will be working with four partner organisations viz. Pratham Education Foundation, Room to Read, Saajha and Kaivalya Education Foundation, a Piramal Initiative, to take the app to more users.

According to ASER Centre, an autonomous survey unit, of all students studying in the fifth grade in rural India, only 50 per cent can confidently read a textbook for grade two. Google and the ASER Centre conducted a pilot study with children using the app in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh and claimed that 92 per cent of parents found improvement in their child’s reading skills after using the app.

“We have been piloting Bolo in 200 villages, and the early results are very encouraging. We are now actively working with a number of non-profit partners to take it to more people across the country, who could benefit from it,” said Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India.

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