Google has launched ‘Bolo’ application to help children in primary schools read content in English and Hindi.
Bolo comes packed with Diya, an animated character which encourages children to go through stories and help them correctly pronounce words. The app was being utilised as a pilot in 200 villages of Uttar Pradesh.
The app at present offers 50 Hindi and 40 English stories from Storyweaver, a platform offering children stories from Pratham Books, a Bengaluru based NGO.
Google confirms that it will continue to expand the portfolio of stories by collaborating with different partners.
“We have designed the app to work offline, so users need to just download the under 50MB app once and then they have access to close to 100 stories in Hindi and English that the children can read out loud and improve their reading skills,” said Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India.
Google in the coming six months will be working in tandem with its partners- Pratham Education Foundation, Saajha, Room to Read and Kaivalya Education Foundation to increase the penetration of the application among children.
India is the first country to receive the Android application which will also integrate Google’s speech recognition and text to speech technology.
The application can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store for smartphones running on Android 4.4 and later. As per sources, the app will soon have support for other Indian languages like Bengali.
‘’The app also ensures that the information of the child always stays on the device which is why it doesn’t seek for personal details like email ID and gender for logging into it,’’ said Google.