Speaker Event - Basic Education

Jyoti Thyagarajan, Founder Trustee, Meghshala

Education is a pet cause for RCB, with glorious examples of schools that we have been nurturing for several years. And Monday’s speaker, Ms. Jyoti Thyagrajan, found a very receptive audience when she spoke about the need to commit to improving education, especially in government schools.

After teaching in elite schools in Bengaluru, Zambia and Kenya, Ms. Thyagarajan had a moment of epiphany in the middle of the night. She realized that for teaching to be effective as an instrument of development, she had to reach out to the underprivileged. With over 50 percent of children going to government schools, it is imperative that they offer far better quality of education than they do now.

The result of her soul-searching is Meghshala, an initiative supported by Tata Trusts and other donors. Her Edu-Tech innovation earned her a place as an innovator in the Augmented Reality embedded book ‘Innovate Bengaluru’, a special edition of which was released by Hon. able Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. The article is reproduced here with the permission of Raintree Media and Global Village Publishing.

Lessons on cloud

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. Ms. Thyagarajan, Founder Trustee, who is an experienced teacher with Masters’ degrees in physics and education, says that the objective is to help all teachers to upskill.

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.

It 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. This lesson is then posted on the app and it helps cue the teacher into conducting a great class. The end objective is that the teacher is helped to teach students to be analytical, reflective, collaborative and knowledgeable problem-solvers.

A bigger and more feature-rich version of the app will roll out soon and will work on any device. Teachers who cannot access the internet 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, when teachers are out of internet coverage areas. With a mission to empower 100,000 teachers across India by 2020, the organisation strives to impact a new generation to be empathetic and active citizens.

It is also fitting to note here that RCB’s Community Services Committee will soon begin training teachers to use the Meghshala app in the government schools that the club supports.

Rtn. Sandhya Mendonca

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