India Today | 10 Critical Changes That Could Solve India’s Government School Reading Crisis

India Today, RightToRead, ReadToMe, EdTech

Technology has deeply impacted our daily lives. This has sparked a change in business over time. Today, being digitally ‘able’ is a core value that influences commerce and capital. Technology offers the ability to solve problems that were previously thought to be unsolvable.

India has over 1 million public schools with over 260 million students enrolled. However, the public education system is broken. Most students in government schools struggle to read grade level textbooks. This has serious consequences as it affects the students learning outcomes across all subjects and, consequently, their employability when they reach a job ready age. We must address the poor reading ability of our children and youth.

Technology can play a vital role in enabling the transformation of the education system. Various digital projects are being undertaken to infuse IT capability into schools across the country. However, money and good intent do not necessarily drive change in behaviour. The author of the original article highlights a few critical elements for the successful deployment of technology in government schools.

  1. Empowering teachers is critical: Teachers play a key role in the success of any intervention
  2. Align with curriculum: Work with the given curriculum first; then think about supplementing or changing
  3. Integrate with class schedule: Students, teachers and parents will resist additional hours at school
  4. Flexibility: Schools have varied IT environments; applications must be able to adapt to operate across the spectrum
  5. Simplicity: Engineering complexity must be ‘hidden’ and user interfaces kept very simple
  6. Measurement: Deploy credible, transparent models of assessing impact
  7. Costs and investments: Existing IT capacity and available devices must be leveraged. Programs must be priced for affordability
  8. Technology vs content: The innovation must be technology that utilises existing, available content to enable effective learning
  9. Change management: Measure, monitor, manage; basic change principles apply
  10. Partnerships: The public administration must drive policy and governance, private enterprise will innovate and execute.

Education must benefit from the push to digital. There is evidence of successful technology enabled interventions that provide confidence. This effort will require the engagement of multiple stakeholders.

The original article has been written by Sanjay Gupta, CEO of EnglishHelper, and published by India Today.

(July 2019)

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