Youth4work helped Smile Foundation in bringing Transparency

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Smile Foundation is an NGO based in New-Delhi. It was established in 2002 and is now spread over 25 states in India. The organization works for the welfare of underprivileged children, families and for the upliftment of backward communities.

The foundation survives on funding that comes through donations and from companies like LG, Asian Paints, etc., that share their corporate social responsibility (CSR) for the betterment of the society. Smile foundation is a trusted NGO that has always come forward to help those in need.

This case study explains how Smile Foundation brought more efficiency and transparency in their daily activities involving professional courses for the underprivileged kids with the help from an online assessment platform, Youth4work.

Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) was made compulsory for all business organizations under “The Companies Act 2013”. CSR is a concept that suggests that it is the responsibility of the corporate organizations to contribute for economic, social and environmental changes to pave ways for development and to create a positive impact on society at large.

Every year, corporate organizations donate funds to well known NGOs with expectations that their money will get properly utilized and bring the right changes in society. But a question arises every time; Are funds really being used the way they are supposed to or the NGO’s are just cashing in?

The same question was faced by Smile Foundation; corporate firms donating funds every year realized that they were not getting proper expenditure reports on as to how the money was being spent.

Subroto Roy, director of Smile Foundation, understood that he was accountable and decided to come through in the crunch time by accepting that transparency in his foundation’s work was the need of the hour.

The Problem

A well-known NGO like Smile Foundation couldn’t bear a question on their loyalty. Subroto Roy initiated probing the daily process of working in all the branches of his foundation.

It turned out that the staffers were actually doing their part, teachers were teaching and courses were being followed, but this system had flaws; this teaching model was not only outdated but also lacked professionalism. The teachers taught without measuring students’ academic progress or in simpler words, no tests were conducted.

This major problem can be bifurcated into two key issues:

The first key issue was the attendance of students in these teaching centers:

  • Were students really attending classes?
  • How long did students stay in class?
  • Were classes being conducted properly?
  • Were students regular?

While the second key issue was to determine how much learning, really, took place in these classes:

  • Were students learning anything at all?
  • Were students being tested time to time?
  • Were academic reports being prepared for each individual student?

Smile Foundation had centers in 25 states of India and it was going to be a tall order for the director to monitor the activities in all the centers simultaneously.

First Solution

Mr. Subroto Roy decided to install biometric system in all the training centres. The idea behind starting the biometric scan was to measure the presence of students in the classes. Roy thought that it would help in knowing the exact number of students attending classes and the number of teachers teaching over there.

Why did the first solution fail?

Biometric scanning process was indeed a good idea but it still failed to raise transparency. Roy had second thoughts; many doubts were raised against biometric process:

  • What if students came, punched and left?
  • What if fake biometric codes were used to show full attendance?

This was a start to finding a solution but not a proper solution itself. Biometric process failed to show transparency. Only the presence of students was countable, they still didn’t have any idea about the actual training/learning that took place in these classes.

What was the need of the hour?

Smile foundation needed to monitor their training programmes more closely and monitoring every centre from headquarter was near to impossible.

Being an NGO, Smile Foundation had its limits and could only do so much; they needed a helping hand that could fill in the gaps where they couldn’t.

The need of the hour was having a proper mechanism that could provide solutions to all their issues.

They contacted Youth4work

Youth4work is a ‘People Platform’ which empowers youth to assess themselves, improve their skills and showcase their talents to attain professional goals.Youth4work was founded to provide educational opportunities to those who couldn’t afford it. Youth4work aims at reducing the preparation costs of all competitive exams for all aspiring candidates who get held back due to a shortage of money.

Youth4work prepares youth for various competitive private/government exams & assess their skills by reviewing their performances with their unique online assessment modules in the form of Adaptive Mock Tests.

Advantages of having a youth4work user profile:

Skill training with the help of online courses, prep tests and talent tests

• The Tested and Ranked profiles are showcased, can be searched by the demanding recruiters

• Online education: youth4work offers online certification courses as well

• Prep tests: competitive exam based mock tests for both academic learning and job selection preparation

• Talent acquisition: help employers find the right talent

• Provide Internships opportunities to youth: Short Term Internships, Home Internships, Summer Internships & Virtual Internships

Youth4work’s assessment:

Youth4work understood the problem and decided to take ownership. They proposed conducting test and that to in online manner so that director could access the reports from anywhere and anytime without visiting each training center.

Outcomes of Online test

Daily reports

After seeing positive results, Smile foundation suggested that student progress reports should be made on daily basis.

  • Teachers at training centres prepared practice material for daily tests and youth4work team converted it into Multiple Choice Based Online Mock Tests.
  • Youth4work conducted the tests on daily basis. They coordinated with the teaching staffs of all the centres and collected syllabus information on the topics that were being taught.
  • New chapters/topics were covered each day

Further simplifying daily test conducting process

There were small hurdles; each day online tests were distributed through different links that directed students to these links, which in turn created confusion, tracking and identifying became one of the problems among others.

Mr. Subroto asked for a solution that could facilitate the smooth functioning of the new day wise mission.

Youth4work adhered this problem by coming up with a single link facility. Students could now click on the same link in order to appear for the daily test.

How Online tests helped?

Features of custom-made yAssess online tests created by Youth4work:

Online Proctoring is an assessment tool that ensures the integrity of test scores attained by the candidates in a number of ways:

  • Keeps a close tabs on the candidate while he/she is taking the online exam through video monitoring. The Image Proctor feature activates the candidate’s webcam and takes random shots to check for unfair means of practise.
  • There is also a feature of sound recording embedded in this custom assessment tool, a candidate may not even realize while being taped.
  • The yAssess is familiar with all the IP Addresses that are linked to the computer test. Administrators will have the geographical locations of each and every test taker and no test can be initiated on a computer that is not linked with yAssess through IP Address.
  • No loose ends: The test window once opened on the computer will render all other talks on the that computer ineffective. In simpler words, a candidate can’t minimize the test to search answers on Google.
  • Dash Board Access:yAssess also enables the exam administrators to watch the live feed of the candidate, talk to the candidate, view the test screen of the candidate, that too, live and terminate the test if any unscrupulous activities come to light. 

What Next?

Smile foundation identified Youth4work as a one-stop destination which not only trained students but also provided jobs opportunities.

After the completion of the courses, many students faced problems in getting placed. Smile Foundation decided to collaborate with Youth4work in order to provide the deserving candidates with the right placement opportunities.

Youth4work helped students prepare for interviews;at the time of placements, Smile Foundation found their students lacking essential communication skills. Youth4work analyzed the situation and worked with the students to enhance their vocal skills to the extent as required in the professional field. Youth4work gave interview tips and even conducted mock interviews.

Youth4work has a network of over 4 Million Youth Profiles, association with more than 36 thousand employers/companies and collaborations with more than 32 thousand colleges pan India.

Youth4work was well aware of the budding talents (at the centers of Smile Foundation)being shaped for future. Youth4work connected companies that required talent with the Smile Foundation training centers. Companies physically visited these centers of Smile Foundationtorecruit the candidates of their choice. Many bright students were picked up in this placement drive.

Youth4Work

Akriti Singh

Content Writer

I’m a budding writer, with a knack for expressiveness, who thrives to generate content par excellence to maintain creativity along with originality.

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