Whom do we serve?
The shortage of qualified teachers in rural and slum schools is one of the most challenging problems faced by over-burdened education systems such as the one in India. It is not unusual for a government village school housing 200-500 students to have fewer than half a dozen teachers, who are not well-qualified to teach many of the subjects that they are required to teach. And it is not unusual for quite a few of even these teachers to be absent due to various reasons on any given day. In the Digital StudyHall project, we are building a system that seeks to help kids and teachers from such schools.
To avoid retracing the missteps of earlier "wire-the-schools" projects, we follow two important principles: (1) cost realism, essential if we are to scale the system up to a significant number of schools and students; and (2) building systems that solve end-to-end education problems, so the twin pillars of technology and pedagogy must develop side by side, and content and people relationships must play leading roles.