“I felt it was my duty to give back in a tangible, meaningful way to children and families who may not have the same access or privilege as me”
Fostering an ongoing love for learning mathematics among children has been a global challenge. This, however, prompted Ritika Subhash, the Director of Schools at Mangahigh, a UK-based gamified math learning platform, to ruminate on how we have been subconsciously passing our fears and biases about the subject, and hence doing a disservice to young learners by not exposing them to personalised ways of learning.
She says, “I felt it was my duty to give back in a tangible, meaningful way to children and families who may not have the same access or privileges as I had in my educational journey. The partnership of schools and education technology providers is critical in building a cohesive ecosystem, with teachers taking the role of the emotional, intellectual and even spiritual guides, coupled with technology to help students absorb the content on a more personalised level at their own pace. Parenthood made me understand that we need to ensure that our children are independent, resilient and engaged decision makers of tomorrow and that can only happen when we alter our education system to be truly learner-centric.”
As to what led her to walk this path, she says, “In 2010, when I left my job as an IT consultant in the US and came to India, I knew my calling was in a different space. At that time, my interactions with children in my extended family made me realise that the education system hadn’t changed in almost a decade since I moved on from it. Many older students I encountered were unmotivated and were unaware of the utility of what they were learning. It was then that I decided to help students leverage personalised technology to gain better engagement and enjoyment in learning.”
After stepping into Education technology in 2011, she has worked with many private schools in implementing AI-driven math interventions across the country. “I also headed a project for adaptive math learning in various slums in Delhi. In 2018, I started heading the Indian operations of Mangahigh’s games-based math learning, which I saw as an opportunity for a paradigm shift in education.”
Ritika also enjoys writing children’s books. “One of my books for early readers titled Ramya’s Bat is on the theme of gender stereotyping in sports. I believe there are two ways in which we can help our children become kinder, inclusive and compassionate – one is by walking the talk and setting a good example. The other is by telling them stories and inculcating the habit of reading, so that they see and appreciate the various ways of being. Ultimately the choice will be theirs, but they need to see that they can choose to be a better version of themselves, every single day.”
Whether it was changing her career path or embracing storytelling and writing post motherhood, she says, “All that I would tell my younger self is to have more faith – both in myself and in the universe. From my experience, failure is truly what takes you to the next level. It shows you that you are capable of hitting rock bottom and then rising up, stronger and better prepared. I would love to give this message to everyone reading this that you need to keep working at whatever gives meaning to your life and happiness to you. The dots do end up connecting when you look back.”