To address the issue of quality education in the country, Prajakta Mahajan started a website that helps students learn Mathematics in their mother tongue
Learning what is considered one of the most dreaded subjects, Mathematics, in your mother tongue and through interactive games — this was Prajakta Mahajan’s (in pic) vision when she started the website www.thefreemath.org, to help students understand the subject. “The aim of the website is to digitise the subject and make it easily accessible and comprehensive so that it can be easily learnt in the remotest villages as well,” said the city-based software engineer.
Making learning fun: Prajakta started the website to guide students in Math using Marathi and has recently included interactive games to help students learn as they play
Prajakta (42) started the website to guide students in Math using Marathi, about two years back, and she recently included interactive games to help students learn as they play. “I use Indian examples to explain problems that will help students relate to the questions. While there are many websites that teach Math, most of them are in English and the tutor in the video talks in English with an American accent, which most times is not understood by Indian students. Therefore, I decided to use colloquial language and day-to-day objects as examples to make it simple,” said Prajakta. She added that the mantra of the website is that every kid deserves quality education and that Math is more about attitude than ability.
The website, guides students studying from Std IV to VIII, and also has few lessons for preschool kids, free of cost. “I have also received requests from students appearing for competitive exams, as they get explanation in Marathi which they don’t get anywhere else. I get mails and queries from villages all over the state, sometimes telling me that they are unable to access the website as they do not have proper net connection there. In such a scenario, I usually send them CDs or pen drives with the information for free, as I feel that imparting knowledge is most important,” said Prajakta, who left her job in the software industry in the US and returned to India to start a venture that will help educate children.
The website includes videos, worksheets and games, both in English and Marathi. With over 270 videos (and growing), the website is accessed by people from more than 100 countries. Dhule-resident Bhimarao Tupere, who regularly takes the help of the website for teaching, said, “The website is very useful, especially for students in villages who cannot get proper guidance or coaching.” “While we talk about empowering through education, reality is that affordable quality education is still a distant dream in our country. This website is my attempt to address the issue at the individual level. I started the website for Mathematics as it is usually considered the most dreaded subject. Language should not be a barrier in learning,” said Prajakta.