AWS Public Sector Blog

How EdIndia Foundation uses AWS to upskill teachers and increase student success

India has made great strides in supporting the availability of primary education across the country. However, providing high quality pedagogy and content delivery in the classroom remains a challenge. According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) released in 2019, 70 percent of students in grade three remain behind grade level, 57 percent of students in grade nine cannot solve a simple division problem, and almost 50 percent of students drop out of the school system before reaching tenth grade.

EdIndia Foundation is an Indian nonprofit organization whose mission is to create innovative solutions that impact the quality of education at scale. EdIndia’s research showed that between the ages of 8–11, there is a stark difference in learning outcomes of students taught by high-performing teachers compared with low-performing teachers. EdIndia found that by the age of 11, students taught by a high-performing teacher could outperform students with low-performing teachers by up to 53 percentile points. It was clear that teacher quality affected learning outcomes more than any other variable. EdIndia saw an opportunity to address this problem using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Building capacity at scale with AWS

EdIndia designed a program to build the capacity of in-service teachers on subject matter and pedagogy, and replicate the delivery of engaging content through teachers in the classroom. At the heart of this initiative is EdIndia’s app called Pragyan. EdIndia streamed video lessons, practice problems, and detailed lesson plans for teachers to build their subject matter expertise and teaching skills. Using AWS to host this application, EdIndia was able to reach a large number of teachers much more rapidly and with a much smaller team than they could have with traditional, in-person programs. Coupled with virtual classrooms equipped with smart TVs that EdIndia set up, the Pragyan app enabled teachers to simply share content in classrooms and also assist them with detailed lesson plans during their classes. Through the app, EdIndia supports teachers in delivering all key concepts and in appropriate sequence in the classroom. On the first day of its launch, EdIndia successfully onboarded 50,000 teachers onto its platform through the Pragyan app on AWS. The program included a weekly online forum and monthly interactive online sessions to simultaneously reach out to close to 200,000 teachers. EdIndia used AWS Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) to maintain optimal app performance and availability during these periods of high traffic.

EdIndia hosted their video content and class texts on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and used Amazon Route53 to reliably route end users to its application. EdIndia used Amazon CloudWatch to monitor their application and set up CloudWatch alarms to receive notifications about the state of their application.

Figure 1. A teacher using smart classroom and Pragyan app in their classroom.

Figure 1. A teacher using smart classroom and Pragyan app in their classroom.

From ideas to impact

Since its inception in 2019, Pragyan has been rolled out in five states across India in collaboration with state and municipal governments. “With our infrastructure on AWS, we are able to scale our resources as fast as our ideas,” said Sonakshi Agarwal, director of Sterlite EdIndia Foundation.

Through its focused interventions, made scalable with AWS, EdIndia has made significant improvement in the teacher’s performance across three major areas: general pedagogy, subject pedagogy and tech pedagogy. The program’s impact has reached more than 5 million students and enabled over 200,000 teachers across over 53,000 schools.

Figure 2. Improvement in student learning outcomes for two districts as compared to pre-program baseline from 2018.

Figure 2. Improvement in student learning outcomes for two districts as compared to pre-program baseline from 2018.

An end-of-program impact study is underway but initial results show significant impact. In the two districts of Jaipur and Sawai Madhopur, the program shows grade level improvement in learning outcomes for all focus areas and across learning capabilities. In all focus areas, the program helped move more than 90 percent of the students originally at a Level 1 learning level to Level 2 and beyond.

Evolving for the future

Building on its experience of building capacity of in-service teachers, EdIndia has recently rolled out its new program, ”Teachable,” centered on enabling the pre-service teacher community and environment. EdIndia has been actively involved in discussions with the nonprofit segment team at AWS to incorporate technology to boost this program. They plan to build a job portal exclusively for a teacher community using AWS. EdIndia is also exploring solutions like chatbot on AWS to answer student and teacher queries at scale.

EdIndia recognizes the importance of data for making informed policy decisions in the field of education. Over its operations, EdIndia has gathered over 200 million data points, which it now wants to use to help policymakers analyze patterns in student performance, attendance, graduation rates, and other factors to gain insights for policy making.

Visit the Edindia Foundation website to read more about how it is improving quality education through large-scale interventions using technology.

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