HAAH: A Helping Hand
A portal that aims to enable and empower parents to be a part of their child’s learning journey
Goyal Isha & Manglani Gehna
Future, Inclusion, Market Engagement, Prototyping, Social Impact
Being back home in India and seeing everyone around us transition to a digital way of learning raised a host of questions pertaining to poverty, internet access, the quality of education, and one’s access to education in general. How would a school-going child with no access to the internet join classes now? How have school curriculums changed to accommodate this shift, or have they at all?
These questions lead us to explore the primary differences or challenges that parents, faculty, and students face in the realm of education and pushed us to come up with a way to engage and enable parents across the country to know and thereby do more about their children's lives in school.
We began our research with the idea of accessibility in mind and carried out interviews, observations, and cultural probes to test out our hypotheses.
Some time into our research, we realized accessibility was too large of an issue to tackle given the span of time and the number of resources we had access to and the topic was something we found relatively difficult to let go of. Trying to narrow down our demographics as we were conceptualizing our intervention was also a long process that required several rounds of iteration.
Our research entailed a great deal of interactions with people while conducting interviews, and while testing; a process that the pandemic complicated for us initially. With schools functioning online, we were unable to observe a class in-person, but we were able to do it online. We gradually gained comfort and confidence in digital means of communication and relied on those going forward.
We found that parents across the country, irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds find it challenging to connect with their child's education beyond a point. Students deter the idea of speaking about school once they are done for the day, this along with the fact that room doors are most often kept closed during online classes left parents completely out of the loop.
Our aim was to rid parents of the annual shock they receive during parent-teacher meetings and allow for them to freely access and understand whatever it is that they may want.
Existing solutions are difficult to navigate, and logging into a website is not something that is ideal for many parents. There was a need for something more direct and streamlined that brought about a sense of convenience for both parents and faculty.
This led us to create HAATH; a portal that uses WhatsApp as the primary means of communication with parents on a regular basis and is made available to schools functioning digitally as a plug-in to their existing portals.
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