Digital Tools Can Enable In-classroom Teaching In Rural India’s Government School: Reports

Conducted by Sampark Foundation, the survey highlighted ‘mobile calling’ as an effective medium for government school students in rural areas, to solve their doubts and queries.

A Teacher Survey conducted by Sampark Foundation reveals that teachers across six states prefer in-class teaching over online classes as an effective method to teach students in rural India’s government schools. The survey, conducted digitally as schools remain closed, was conducted to better understand the needs of government school teachers who are using remote learning tools to teach students during the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing the need for indispensable features in an effective mobile learning app for the improvement of learning outcomes, teachers’ responses were recorded as below:

· 68% requested videos on the curriculum that can be easily shared with children

· 60% responded with the need for reading material and notes to be designed specifically for each class

· 51% marked ‘social platform’ as a vital feature in learning apps to connect with other teachers and exchange ideas

· 46% responded with ‘question bank’ as a key feature to prepare tests/worksheets

· 39% are in favour of sending online assessments to students

· 31% emphasised the need for a performance tracking dashboard, built in the learning app to monitor each student in a careful manner

· 68% teachers voted for in-classroom teaching as an effective education method for children studying in primary government schools in rural areas

· 46% respondents were in favour of live online classes via WhatsApp, video call or any other app

· 21% were keen to record their own lectures and share with students via mobile phone

The survey also highlighted that majority of teachers have access to broadcasting medium such as television (50%) followed with other infrastructure such as smartphones (40%), feature phones (32%) and radio (24%).

44% teachers emphasised the need for textbooks and notes to be handed over directly to students for effective learning. The survey also reported that 33% teachers leverage videos shared on YouTube, Baithak, Diksha and other apps, to teach students. Teachers also agreed that broadcasting educational programs on television or radio might be an effective education method, provided the content is simple, interesting and impactful for students. Over 28% teachers also stressed upon the importance of weekly visits to children’s homes and teaching in a group of 3-5 students in one session.

The survey found that children in government schools in rural areas find directly calling teachers over phone, an effective medium to solve doubts and queries, which in turn improves learning outcomes. However, 59% respondents also considered students discussing their queries and doubts with elder siblings, relatives, other educated people in their neighborhood.

Close to 60% of the teachers surveyed, are in favour of live video classes conducted by them on WhatsApp and over 40% prefer to resolving student’s queries once a week in person. The survey also highlighted peer-to-peer doubt resolution on a digital discussion forum, as an effective medium to solve student queries.

Addressing impactful methods of learning assessment, 54% teachers voted for online quiz while 52% were in favour of questions asked during live online classes. 48% found printed assessments as effective means of learning assessment and 25% requested for an assessment app or an online platform for students.

The survey covered over 4,000 teachers from government schools in sub-urban and rural areas of Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

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