School education system in India is one of the largest in the world. Technology integration in schools is a key priority for the government as is evident from the National Education Policy 2020 and further initiatives such as NDEAR. Digital adoption in education was accelerated during COVID-19. However, many of them were fragmented efforts and resulted in issues of access and equity. There is a need for creating scalable and sustainable solutions to be implemented at the systemic level in public schools. Technology has the potential to create positive impact across the school education value chain from admissions to assessment. This report consolidates learnings and experimentations in India and globally and provides recommendations across four pillars:

Access to devices- This pillar focuses on recommendations towards providing access to devices to children in public schools, especially in the context of in-school digital interventions

  • Shift towards a 1:1 student device ratio in three phases to improve device penetration in schools
  • Procure devices that are connected, shareable, and part of a managed device ecosystem
  • Access to laptops for teachers
    Purpose driven and needed based funding for devices in schools, rather than enrolment-based funding
  • Bundled procurement model shifting from hardware only model to also include software, learning software, management software, capacity building, etc.

Digital capacity building of in-service teachers and educational administrators- This pillar provides three broad areas of recommendations - quality of digital training for public school teachers, systems to ensure its adequacy as per teachers’ needs, and systems through which teachers can sustain the continuum of professional development by networking and sharing best practices

  • Develop high quality digital training programmes for teachers and educational administrators aligned to NPST
  • Unified, interconnected ecosystem for teachers’ professional development with content, assessments and enhanced search and discoverability capabilities
  • An LMS facilitating networking and collaboration among teachers

Digital content ecosystem- This pillar focuses on how the digital content ecosystem can be enhanced to create a more meaningful and engaged learning experience for students

  • Interoperable and modular content ecosystem aligned to technical and learning standards
  • Enhance search and discovery capabilities of content platforms such as DIKSHA
  • Content availability in variety of formats
  • Personalized learning experience for students
  • Content for building digital competencies of students

Assessments and analytics- This pillar brings focus firstly on challenges in areas of assessments design and administration, and secondly on student learning data management and its use-case for decision making at all levels of centre, state, districts,
blocks, and schools

  • Standardizing test design and evaluation by adopting systems to fetch competency linked questions from test banks and linking back to content portals
  • Adopt low-cost technology such as online forms for administering assessments
  • Gather holistic data on a multitude of dimensions (such as academics, attendance, health, etc.) across various levels to inform decision making
  • Data analytics and visualization to enable evidence-based decision making

The paper also outlines a phased roadmap mapping key activities, timelines and stakeholders across each of these four pillars. The insights of this paper are based on extensive secondary research of existing practices in Indian public schools, evidence of impact of scalable solutions at the global level, as well as primary consultations with key actors in the sector such as government officials, academicians working in the space of public ed-tech and practitioners from leading donor organizations and private sector service providers. These recommendations shall be beneficial for policymakers both at the Centre and state levels to create a forward-looking digital policy in public school system.