May 10, 2018

MAQ Software for Education – Program Manager

MAQ Software for Education – Program Manager
Founded in 2000, MAQ Software delivers innovative software solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Using the latest agile engineering techniques in a focused and disciplined manner, the company accelerates software initiatives that enable our customers to transform their industries.
MAQ Software is launching an ambitious program (a moonshot effort) to partner with leading education NGOs (such as Pratham, Ekal, etc.) to utilize the technological advances to transform primary education in India. MAQ Software is in a unique position to facilitate and indigenize advances in AI to help deliver a personal AI tutor for students. MAQ Software will select and work with two leading NGOs to provide 3-year grants to research group(s) at IITs, IIITs, NITs, and IIMs to apply the latest advances.
Over 100 million Indian children below 14 years of age are unable to study at their grade level. With affordable smart cellphones having long battery life coupled with affordable internet services such as Reliance Jio, the children of India can get access to the power of a supercomputer. As with China, it is expected that an additional 200 million cell phones will trickle down to first time users in India as well, over the next five years.
The current incremental approach is not sufficient for the students of India, especially for families living on less than 250 per day. Though India has 90% school enrollment, still, the learning outcomes are very poor (refer to Pratham ASER Report). Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) by OECD ranked India as second last among 74 countries/ regions in 2009 (last time India participated).

The traditional approach of one teacher per classroom can be supplemented with the use of cutting-edge technology especially for the children who are ahead of their class (20%) or lagging in their class (20%). With appropriate technology enablers and training, instead of lecturing, the teacher can work with students to complete assignments (Flipped classroom model).

Below are some of the current technology enablers:
·       Global Learning X-Prize (US $15 million purse) winners will be announced in 2019 to provide literacy without a teacher in Africa. They need help to further customize and deliver Open Source software solutions to students worldwide including India.
·       Khan Academy will release Hindi videos for India in 2018 for motivated learners. Khan Academy is already localized for Latin America (funded by Carlos Slim) in Spanish. Four million people from Indian metro cities use Khan Academy to supplement their education.
·       Leading education NGOs in India, Pratham, Ekal, CRY, etc. have released tablet-based Android applications in their organizations to provide digital learning. The software advances faster than the ability of the NGOs to recruit great programmers.
·       DuoLingo app from CMU for teaching English on a cell phone is being used by millions worldwide. Free DuoLingo app was written by one CMU master’s student and one faculty member.
·       Google DeepMind Alpha Go Zero advanced software algorithms so that their new software beat humans in the game of Chess and Go without using human player models. We hope that new software can enhance teaching.
·       Private companies such as offer online classes with yearly paid subscriptions in English to parents with middle-class incomes. Byjus claims to have 12 million students on their platform with 700,000 paid subscriptions.
·       Early familiarity with cell phone empowers students to empower them in many areas including healthcare and legal.
·       Lot of new books, classes, blogs, and videos are available for motivated students to learn using cell phones.

We believe advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will improve teaching that can be individualized based on the learning pace and ability of the students.

MAQ Software plans to invest for the next 25 years to implement technological advances to improve education. To start, MAQ Software will provide 3-year grants to leading NGOs to sponsor research at 23 IITs, 31 NITs, 23 IIITs and 17 IIMs and adopt solutions from them.
MAQ Software is in a unique position to survey advances in technology Artificial Intelligence, gaming, virtual reality and cell phones to provide India specific education solutions.
·       A significant effort will be spent on research and market to seek qualified members using e-mail and phone calls and in-person presentations.
·       Since this is a new effort and position, many of the activities will evolve with the phases of the program. Initially, the position will require researching and developing guidelines to select and fund NGOs.
·       Once the organizations are selected, the work will include regular follow up on the program and weekly reporting on implementation.
·       Provide day to day support to executive management, and carry out coordination with all relevant organizations.
·       The position is in Hyderabad or Mumbai. Since the position will also require interacting with US and UK based organizations, therefore, the work hours will be from 2 pm to 11 pm.
·       The candidate should have at least 2 years of professional experience. Experience with NGOs or some other volunteer organization would be preferable.
·       Undergraduate Degree with good credentials. MBA (similar advanced degree) would be preferred.
·       Strong in relationship building and communication; with experience in leading diverse workforce.
·       Aptitude to develop an organization-wide strategy for program excellence, engaging with community partners, and partnering with the CEO.
·       Passion towards the cause; should be able to promote and communicate the philosophy, mission, and values of ‘MAQ Software for Education mission’ to the stakeholders.
·       Ability to travel 25 percent of the time to provide on-site leadership for multistate operating units and programs.
This is a unique opportunity to lead a highly-effective program and partner with the senior management team. MAQ Software for Education will offer a competitive compensation package (5-8 Lakhs per annum). Due to unstructured nature of the program, the position will be on a 12-month contract initially, with the possibility of annual renewals.
How to Apply:
Before applying for the position, please spend 2 hours in research:
·       Review ASER Report online for your home district
·       Review Global Learning X Prize website and the five finalists
·       Review Google DeepMind AlphaGo and AlphaZero coverage
·       Review Pratham and Ekal website and their videos on YouTube
Send 250 words (one page) cover letter with your resume that articulates the opportunity and how you qualify for this position to