Smarter govt schools! (Teachkits to help create engaging classroom environment)

Smarter govt schools

Providing quality education to more than a million government schools has resulted in the government struggling to offer quality and holistic education to every child. Evidently, according to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) 2014 report, the world will require 25 million teachers by 2030, and India alone will require 6 million more teachers by 2030.

That said, a study of the conditions in government schools persuaded by an educational startup—Meghshala—focuses on raising basic standards of performance and engagement for every learner, rather than simply raising the level of excellence of a few students. The startup has created digital lessons for different subjects based on the national syllabus and trains teachers to use them as teaching tools.

Meanwhile, Meghshala has deployed ‘CloodOn’, a learning management system developed by tech-entrepreneur Sridhar Ranganathan. Its secret is the Teachkit, which comes packed with content that includes videos, class activities, fun examples and questions designed to make students think out of the box and understand concepts better. The Teachkits are uploaded to the cloud and downloaded from there into individual teachers’ tablets, and then used in the classroom through handheld projectors. Meghshala accesses these two pieces of hardware from retail suppliers.

Teachers, through Teachkit on their tablets, project a lesson on the blackboard or wall. Meghshala conducts training sessions for them to figure out how best to use these lessons in their classes. Here, the team tracks how each teacher uses the app when teacher (s) logs on, and are also constantly analysing the data to understand patterns that could help improve lesson effectiveness. For instance, the average hours of usage per teacher has risen from 3.2 in July 2016 to 5.4 in January 2017. 

Access to the ‘best practices’ of teaching – such as including graphic aids to help students organize their thinking – packed into the Teachkits has helped teachers create an engaging classroom environment and also upgrade their own skills, despite the initial challenges in adapting to them.

Today, this startup equipped with a 30-member team and 300 government school teachers in rural and urban Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Pune are using the system in their classrooms. The kits are provided to them free of cost.