BENGALURU: We all have had friends for whom learning concepts was somehow easier and more effective. Seeking to cash in on this, three youngsters have introduced the idea of ‘peer teaching’ in schools, opening the doors to not just fun and casual learning, but also honing leadership and communication skills among students who teach their peers. Already introduced in two city schools — a pilot project in Florida English School in Gowripalya and Sujana Convent near Electronics City — the Involve Learning Solutions Foundation plans to spread the leadership sessions to eight more schools this academic year.Involve’s founders — Divanshu Kumar and Samyak Jain from IIT Madras and Awnish Raj from Pune University — drew inspiration from another programme, Avanti Fellows, a Chennai-based nonprofit started by two IIT alumni that inculcated peer learning to crack IIT-JEE exams. The startup partners with schools to train and mentor senior students (from class 8 onwards) to teach their juniors (class 4 to 8) in an after-school programme. A two-week intensive training of the senior students is followed by three-daya-week drive for a year. In the three days, the seniors teach juniors and on the third day, a leadership session tackles the problems they faced in the two days with lesson on time management and leadership. “We tackle two problems through peer teaching — every student will get proper attention even if there is a shortage of teachers in school and the senior students will develop skills that are required to excel in real world,” said 22-year-old Divanshu, who was first a mentor and went on to become a manager with Avanti Fellows and understood the potential of peer-driven learning during that time. ‘Teachers were initially sceptical’ Sujana Convent principal Divya Lokesh said the programme is contributing to the peer leaders’ personalities. “Improvement in grades is still to be seen, but the involvement and understanding of concepts is commendable,” she said, disclosing that teachers were hesitant at the start of the programme. “The programme is not a replacement for teachers, but complements their role. They have told us that they see a lot of improvement and it has made them happy,” Awnish said.