Higher Education Link Program (HELP) is a unique mobile application which links youth to higher education, skill development and career choices with a click on their mobile. The youth from the ‘marginalised socially excluded communities and hard to reach areas’ are the Target Groups of the app which has specific features of support & inclusion. The app was developed as response to expressed needs for better access to information and guidance for Target Groups education and career options. The early off-line effort of community orientations and handholding has been converted into technology based solution:
i) Connect ‘hard-to-reach’ youth: App is built on the android platform making it available to a large youth audience. It offers both on-line and off-line provisions, given the limited internet coverage in remote areas.
ii) Career guidance at their door-step: Being first generation learners, youth from the marginalised sections lack guidance and support from their families for higher education or career options. The app addresses this gap with information on higher education, skill development & competition preparations.
iii) Feature for self-preparation: its feature on question bank have questions asked in university entrance and competitive examinations. Available off-line too, youth can down-load the same and use it to for preparing themselves.
iv) Mentoring and Guidance: The app has a feature to link students to mentors. The mentors are educated members who have expressed willingness to guide and support. The mentors guide, encourage and motivate youth through difficult decisions and hard times and address some of the social capital limitations.
v) Inclusion through Technology Connect:
The app connects youth where professional support and information connect is limited. It is cost-effective means of providing and accessing information and support.
vi) Peer and civil society support: Often youth from urban poor areas and disadvantaged groups chose correspondence courses and distant learning to campus admissions. This limits their opportunities in self-development, talent enhancement, social capital and the sheer joy of campus education. The app is disseminated to the youth through Community Led Organisations (CLOs) the civil society organisations located and led by marginalised communities. The youth are thus able to access timely information and support. The youth also support one another with information and guidance.