National Geographic Explorer, a dedicated programme for science and English that is used by leading schools globally, is now in India. The Explorer education programme aims to increase the interest about science and nature amongst students and also exposes them to high standards of the English language. Francis Downey, vice-president and publisher, National Geographic Explorer Magazines, said on the occasion that the target of this programme is to cover 1 lakh students over the next two years, out of which they are looking at enrolling 30,000 students from government schools. “This is a big upside for government schools in India, for both teachers and students, as it can bridge the content divide. In the long run, we also aim to cover 10 lakh students spread across public and private schools.”
Talking about the key differentiators of the Explorer programme, Downey said, “One, all the content that comes in the Explorer programme is original. Two, given the depth and vastness of the resources available, this programme is reasonably priced. Three, the primary focus of the programme is to increase engagement, liking and curiosity of children towards science. And four, the HD audio-video content is engaging.” On the pricing of the programme, he added, “The content would cost around R1,500 per child.”
Over the next few weeks, National Geographic Explorer aims to reach out to relevant stakeholders in the primary education space and is meeting regulatory authorities, principals, school directors, teachers and NGOs across cities. “We plan to engage with over 80 schools in the next two weeks,” Downey said.
Apart from this, National Geographic Explorer is also in talks with CBSE to understand its imperatives and how to increase alignment with its curriculum for subjects such as science, geography and English.
While Indian scientist Romulus Whitaker’s work has been featured in the Explorer magazine, as far as further developing content is concerned, National Geographic Explorer is in talks with several other Indian scientists. “We are willing to fund the research of Indian scientists as well as publish their work in the Explorer.”