A vast majority of radio listeners in India belong to economically weaker sections that cannot afford an English medium education for their children. Knowing basic spoken English is an economic enabler as it gives these kids access to better jobs, and possibly, a future outside the slums. Combine that with the fact that the number of Government schools is woefully inadequate when compared to the number of children.
Radio has excellent reach and popularity in India, but is primarily used for entertainment. How could we put the omnipresence of radio to greater use? Could we use its reach to teach underprivileged kids?
We also wanted to create a solution that was low-cost, scalable and sustainable. Not something that relies on huge investments in terms of government educational infrastructure.
Radio City combined the reach of radio and the appeal of candy to create Candy Class - an innovative radio learning platform where classes are aired and all one needs is a small radio to set up a school anywhere.
In the first phase, we partnered with candy sellers to draw children in the slums. Incentivizing them to park their cycles in these localities every week, Radio City equipped them with FM receivers and aired 'specially designed 10-minute lessons on spoken English. Kids who sat through a lesson received free candy.
Candy Class soon scaled up to 4 new stations and started organizing pop-up schools at designated spots for slum kids and children of construction labourers. India's biggest celebrities volunteered to conduct these on-air classes and gave kids a greater reason to learn. This innovative platform has won Radio City many industry accolades as well as stature.