In schools across Karnataka, teachers are using smartphones in classrooms and connecting to a product that’s helping them teach effectively while making learning fun for students.
Providing a toolbox on cloud for teachers, Meghshala, a non-profit organisation, is working towards the urgent social cause of equitable education. Jyoti Thyagarajan, who is one of the trustees, is an experienced teacher with Masters’ degrees in physics and education. She says that Meghshala’s objective is to help all teachers to upskill.
A study of the conditions in Indian government schools persuaded Meghshala to focus on raising basic standards of performance and engagement for every learner, rather than simply raising the level of excellence of a few students. There are over a million government schools in India and it’s certainly not an easy task to provide quality education to every child. Meghshala’s mission is to create a way to turn teachers into master teachers and shrink the teacher skill deficit, to reach all students who want to learn and design lessons to target learners wherever they are in their learning curve, to infuse lessons with relevant content and make learners into thinkers, not memorisers.
“We want to revamp our education system by focusing on teachers to make them better practitioners of their craft”, says Thyagarajan. It provides teachers with support in the classroom to change how they teach and to make classroom learning successful. Its ready-made, state-of-the-art, multimedia lessons works on the five actions recommended in a classroom – engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate – in order to make learning possible.
Meghshala takes the curriculum and carves it up into subjects; each subject is split into chapters and then divided into lessons. A lesson is taught through a set of slides, that will include all the tools that a good class requires. The end objective is that the teacher is helped to teach students to be analytical, reflective, collaborative and knowledgeable problem-solvers. This lesson is then posted on the app and it helps cue the teacher into conducting a great class.
The Meghshala app is being re-designed to work on any device. If teachers cannot access connectivity, they can visit a block resource centre near their school and download the app and the lessons for free. The content can also be used offline, because more often than not, teachers are out of internet coverage. A bigger and more feature-rich version 2 of the Meghshala app will roll out soon.
With a mission to empower 1 million teachers by 2020, the organisation strives to impact a new generation to be empathetic and active citizens.
Primarily funded by grants from the Tata Trust, Meghshala Trust was also supported by TTK Pvt Ltd, Tally and a few private funders, and received awards such as the Gratitude Network Award, NGO Leadership Award in 2018, Top 20 Social Innovations Award from the Ministry of External Affairs, India and Niti Aayog in 2017.