[TechSparks 2020] How LEAD School’s tech-led integrated system is transforming Indian education
India has over 260 million students who go to school every day. Out of these 250 million, mostly attend “low-fee schools” or government schools that follow traditional methods of learning. As a result, learning outcomes are really poor.
On an average, a child spends nearly six hours a day in school, which makes it 1.5 billion hours of schooling daily for these 250 million students.
Sumeet Mehta, Co-Founder and CEO at Lead School believes that if schools do not take its role of delivering great learning seriously, then these 1.5 billion hours are actually going to waste every day in the country.
Addressing a virtual audience at the 11th edition of YourStory’s flagship event, TechSparks 2020, Sumeet spoke about the challenges in the traditional education system and how LEAD School is trying to offer solutions with its tech-based integrated system.
Challenges in Indian education
According to Sumeet, the traditional method of education in India, especially in schools throws up three major challenges. Firstly, it follows a mass education of 1:50 or 1:40 teacher student ratio, where the teacher teaches the class using a board and a text book. The second is the linear learning model where subjects are taught from prescribed textbooks and the students’ performance is tested via an end-of-term examination. The third challenge is that a large number of teachers do not have the requisite skills to teach efficiently.
“While the learning efficiency or the pace of learning for every student is different, the traditional method cannot address it. There is no other way of measuring individual child performance, or where he/she needs improvement. Over the years, these gaps keep compounding,” he said.
While there is a 1:20 training model available for teachers, Sumeet believes it is not an efficient way to train over 10 million teachers.
Sumeet Mehta at YourStory's virtual flagship event, TechSparks 2020
“Most of the sessions are held in the beginning of the year and by the time classes start they have pretty much forgotten what they trained for and go back to the traditional way of lecture-based teaching, which leads to poor learning outcomes. Also, this method is not scalable,” he added.
Bringing tech into the picture
Sumeet also spoke about how the introduction of technology has helped build an integrated system for LEAD School, one that aims to empower all stakeholders involved in the child’s learning.
He explained: “Instead of the traditional lecture-based method, the integrated system comes with an app, which teachers can access via a tablet and this single device has all the teaching resources a teacher needs to teach. Depending on the student’s capability or efficiency the teacher can decide on the learning method to follow- visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.”
The tech-led system also enables the principal or academic coordinator to gauge the performance of the teachers and where he/she needs help.
“At the student level too, if the data is available with the principal or teacher on which student needs help with learning indicators, then interventions can be personalised. So the school on cloud, is not only an administrative but also an academic tool to improve learning for each child in the classroom. Parents too can track the performance on the child on a real-time basis via the parent app,” he added.
This integrated system can also help the student at home, connecting at home learning to school learning seamlessly.
Sumeet elaborated on the benefits of having a tech-integrated system in schools.
“Data analytics empowers teachers to take into account learning indicators like what the class understood and what she needs to repeat, or if a specific group need to be addressed. Once she completes the spiral, the gaps are closed and the student moves to the next level. Integrated systems also empower teachers at scale,” he said.
The third advantage of this system is that student learning can be personalised in a mass learning environment. “With a mix of students who are visual learners or kinaesthetic learners, or auditory learners with different levels of learning efficiency can be taught together. Thus, even in a 1:40 mass model technology, by empowering the teacher, and by remediation can actually bring a high level of personalisation,” he added.
At the same time, Sumeet reiterates if a child is struggling with some topic or if a child wants to learn more, the tech-led integrated system enables him/her to learn from home as well.
“If all 260 million students have access to quality learning, there is no stopping the country from moving forward. That's dream with which we have been working with schools to complement the LEAD School integrated system,” Sumeet said.
TechSparks - YourStory's annual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020.