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Online math education for Ajab, Gujarat

By Murray Bourne, 26 Nov 2012

Chiman Delwadia was born in a small Indian village in Gujurat, India, and moved to the US in the late 1970s. He now works as an engineer for a power company in the Southern US.

When he visits his home town, it concerns him that the quality of government education is quite poor. It is very hard for people there to move out of the poverty trap.

So Chiman set about to help his former village, by teaching the children math using online tools.

Ajab, Gujurat is a small town in the far North-west of India, around 700 km from Mumbai and fairly close to the border with Pakistan.

Ajab map

This town of just 8,000 people is surrounded by a vast rural hinterland:

Ajab detail

Chiman teaches remotely from Alabama, where he now lives. He and a small team use Web conferencing 3 times a week to help the students in Ajab with their math and science questions.

Students from grades 7 to 9 enthusiastically arrive at school at 7:00 am to enjoy the Web-based lessons. They also get exposure to English through this collaboration.

Here is a short article in The Times of India about this project:

Ajab story: Online classes in Gujarat village

Such education is vitally important to the rural poor in developing countries like India.

There's an opportunity here for anyone who knows math (or any other junior high subject) to help out by providing lessons every now and then. It's a great way to give back to the World community.

Here are some details provided by Chiman about his "eEducation Project":

Vision: Every boy and girl deserves an opportunity to get a quality education so he
or she can live happy and productive life (borrowed from Bill Gates).

Mission: To build learning centers to provide free quality education for students
of low income families (In India, there is a free education but it is not quality
education and there is a quality education but it is not free).

What we have done so far?

  1. In year 2010, we have started to teach math and science classes to the 8th grade students of a remote village in India from Birmingham, Alabama,
  2. We have installed web conferencing software and a web camera on the school computer.
  3. We have also hooked up that computer with a big screen TV monitor
    so students can see the presentation made from the teacher’s desktop
    computer in USA.
  4. We have provided a wireless microphone to the students so they can ask questions to the teacher.
  5. We have also provided a small writing board so the students can write answers on it and point to the web camera.
  6. It was a live and interactive class. The students loved it and it was a very exciting and successful beginning.
  7. We taught the same students for two years.
  8. This year, we have picked up a 7th grade class and started teaching them math, science and English subjects.

I know from my own experience how incredidbly fulfilling it is to do volunteer teaching in developing countries.

If you are interested to help Chiman, let me know in the Comments and I'll pass it on.

See the 10 Comments below.

10 Comments on “Online math education for Ajab, Gujarat”

  1. David Wees says:

    This is an interesting project. I'm particularly interested to know how the following occurs:

    "It was a live and interactive class. The students loved it and it was a very exciting and successful beginning."

    I'm curious about the interactivity in the class. I also think that the idea of the students asking the questions is very cool, but I wonder where they get the questions from?

    I'd really like to know about this initiative. I wonder also, could students from one country be paired with students from another country and achieve some of the same ends? Obviously expertise is useful for teaching, but so too is having just recently learned something.

  2. Stacey says:

    How awesome. Please let me know if I can help. I have a bunch of video lessons available for
    *Algebra 2:
    *AP Calc:
    -Stacey Roshan

  3. Akash says:

    I want to understand the Technical feasibility and financial implications of the project in more detail. How can I contact you? - Akash

  4. Murray says:

    @Akash: I haven't heard back from Chiman, even though I have written a few times since publishing this story.

    So I don't really know any more than what it says in the article.


  5. Chiman Delwadia says:

    Sorry for not responding on time and let you down again.
    At that time I was working on the job and also on various projects. I was teaching in local language so I did not know to use other volunteers.
    But now I am retired, working on the education projects full time and now I know how to use other volunteers. Those who are still interested, please contact me.

    Let me tell you little bit more about my current activities.
    This year, we have started a Brilliant students scholarship program (50% donation from USA and 50% from India). Recently, our team went to India to select 200 students. Response was over whelming and more than 6000 students showed up in the test (6 to 10 grade students). We are going to bring them at one location and give them world-class education.

    I am also moving my online teaching project from Ajab to a city called Rajkot where Gandhi had started a school 100 years ago. We are trying to repair that school and give the best education to kids coming from the labor class families.

  6. Monika Bhatt says:


    I am doing my PhD in Biology from Baltimore, MD and can help with teaching the Sciences/Biology/Microbiology/Genetics/Molecular Biology. How can I contact you? Particularly, my father Jitendra Bhatt is also from from Ajab, Gujarat.


  7. Chiman Delwadia says:

    Glad to hear that you are interested to help.
    Please call me at 205-822-2503 or email me at [email protected].

  8. himesh says:

    Hi I am currently doing masters in computer science at RIT I would love to be a part of this program. Looking forward to hear from you.

  9. bhavesh says:

    May i have your contact details I want to share my views regarding teaching village children?

  10. Murray says:

    @bhavesh: Feel free to share them here!

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