Last Updated:  27/05/2020

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Project Pitch By: Million Sparks Foundation


Proposed Project Title

ChalkLit: Mobile platform enabling lifelong learning and continuous capacity building for educators


Thematic Area

Promotion of education, special education and vocational skills

Sub Thematic Area

Teacher's Training Program

Project Synopsis

Knowledge and skills required to succeed in the future workforce are changing at an ever-increasing pace. To ensure improved and relevant learning in classrooms it is imperative that teachers and school leaders are enabled through lifelong learning. Our key objective is to continuously train 10M teachers that impact the life and learning outcomes of 300M students across India so that classrooms impart the most relevant inputs to children to get them ready for the future workforce. We are doing this by our highly engaging, collaborative and social mobile application platform ChalkLit. We provide teachers access to both scholastic and co-scholastic content and training. CoScholastic topics include life skills, financial literacy, gender, and leadership skills. We have a specific focus to impact the SDGs by enabling the teacher to explain each SDGs to children in an age-appropriate, level-appropriate manner, specifically their roles, their families and their communities’ role in helping achieve the SDGs.

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 5.0 Cr and above
Proposed Location
Gujarat, Sikkim, Uttarakhand

Key Project Partners
Government,Academic Institute,NGOs

Project Status
Already Implemented-Replicable


Beneficiary Type (Primary): The targeted beneficiaries are 10M teachers and school leaders of India
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Children
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: above 10000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done

Proposed Project Description

The WHY: One of the key targets for India under SDG4 is to ensure that all girls and boys complete equitable and inclusive quality primary and secondary education leading to a good life and learning outcomes. However, as per the ASER report 2018, around 75% of children in Class 3, and over 25% in Class 8 are unable to read textbooks meant for Class 2 level. The draft National Education Policy 2019 acknowledges teachers as that most fundamental agents of change to transform the teaching and learning processes that improve learning outcomes. India has more than 10M teachers that are distributed widely and 90% of which are not trained regularly. Most trainings focus narrowly on literacy and numeracy while future workforce would demand many more skills from students - Critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, awareness of SDGs, and life skills. Traditional offline teacher trainings follow a ‘one size fits all’ approach and have several inherent disadvantages - availability of quality trainers, cost ineffectiveness, lack of infrastructure, and are scholastically focused - unable to provide the breadth of knowledge, scale, quality, convenience, or frequency required. The one ray of hope is the expected near 100% adoption of smartphones by teachers by 2022. We have combined a state of the art training delivery platform in partnership with state governments to launch official trainings combined with processes that make it convenient for teachers to access and complete trainings.

The HOW:MSF has developed “ChalkLit” a mobile platform to provide continuous capacity building to educators at scale. It offers three interventions:

  1. Enhanced curriculum-aligned lesson and annual plans to help teachers prepare for class

  2. Pedagogically focused topic based trainings on both scholastic and co-scholastic topics. State education departments provide official training through this. Trainees receive official certificates on successful completion after completing evaluations, online interactions, and feedback. 

  3. A peer-to-peer personalized social microlearning network where educators are provided an AI-driven personalized feed on best practices, new pedagogy and conceptual knowledge, interesting ideas for activities in classrooms, opinion polls, and content to reinforce learning from previously attended trainings.

The problems that ChalkLit solves -
  1. Reduces the cost of training and being online allows offering trainings to 100% of teachers.

  2. ChalkLit allows teachers to interact and learn from each other during and even after training is completed.

  3. Relevant bite-sized content from training is regularly posted on ChalkLit Wall to teachers that have undergone trainings to increase retention.

  4. ChalkLit provides trainings and content on a very wide array of topics with a focus to prepare children for the future workforce needs

  5. Exhaustive analytics to allow constant personalization and improvement

Current Reach and Progress:MSF has developed comprehensive communications, tools, and processes to ensure high completion rates of the trainings offered to teachers. We have trained 235K+ teachers on the platform impacting 16M+ children across 6 states in India. We aim to impact 10M teachers by Dec’25 to impact life and learning outcomes of 300M students in India.

Currently, one of the major programs that we are running in collaboration with 6 states is OCBP (Online Capacity Building Program). As mentioned, state education departments provide official training to their teachers on the ChalkLit platform. The content of trainings is curated in close partnership with the state mentor teachers and other leaders. Various large NGOs also contribute content and training material on our platform. Once the content is uploaded online, we send various notifications and messages to the teachers to do the training. Official certificates are issued online by the state SCERT to all the teachers’ post completion of the training. We have also collaborated with the state of Haryana to run their Saksham Program online. ChalkLit provides the right resources at the right time to the right set of teachers to help them prepare for their next class efficiently. These resources are provided in the form of annual planners and we also provide usage statistics to the state which helps them monitor the performance of the teachers closely. As mentioned, we have partnerships with several NGOs for their content to be hosted on our platform and enable their existing offline trainings and services to be scaled across these states. Some NGOs include Pratham, Pratham Books- StoryWeaver, STIR Education, Lend A Hand, Akshara Foundation. United Nations Environment Programme is also partnering with us for educating teachers and students on sustainability and environmental education through trainings and national level competitions.

Impact Evaluation:We have created an outcomes-based framework, impact measurement strategy and comprehensive tool to observe teachers in classrooms in collaboration with Google and Mission measurement. Being online we track all user and usage metrics exhaustively. We have built various KPI dashboards updated in real-time that help us monitor and measure the program. This tool and data are shared with all our state partners and the tool has been used by the Delhi SCERT to conduct independent research studies to evaluate the impact and results are extremely positive. Most recently MSF has partnered with Nobel Prize Winning organization J-PAL to conduct a rigorous randomized control trial.

Requested Support:We are seeking support to increase our penetration in the existing states in which we work so that we can offer our trainings progressively to all teachers of these states. Our objective is to ensure that 4 trainings are offered to each teacher every year. In addition to increasing penetration in existing states, we want to be able to take our platform to all states across India in order to achieve our objective of impacting the life and learning outcomes of 300M children of India by continuously training 10M teachers by 2025. We have already scaled our program to 6 states in India and have initiated conversations with the state education departments of Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttrakhand, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and, Gujarat to take their teacher training initiatives online. We would need financial support to scale our operations to all these states while continuously evolving our product to provide best-in-class services to the teachers.


Salient Features

  1. Plug-in into the Government System: Million Sparks Foundation has been working very closely with the state education departments to being their teacher training programs online on our platform ChalkLit. Being an official program launched by the SCERTs of the respective state brings more buy-in from the teachers and creates a win-win partnership.
  2. High Impact/Cost Ratio: Being an online platform the cost to onboard teachers on our platform is significantly lower than other physical cascaded teacher training models and prevents the loss of information that usually happens in cascaded models leading to a high impact/cost ratio.
  3. Collaborative Model: Million Sparks Foundation through its technology platform led approach has benefited the entire education ecosystem by helping other NGOs bring their content online for enhanced scale and monitoring.

About Million Sparks Foundation

Million Sparks Foundation (MSF) is a not-for-profit organization focused on impacting student life and learning outcomes through continuous teacher and school leadership capacity building at scale through providing content and training through a mobile application platform called ChalkLit to teachers teaching especially in schools for underprivileged communities. Million Sparks provides scholastic content and co-scholastic training and works with various state governments, NGOs, Content Owners, and Training organizations for Capacity Building of Teachers and other administrators in the state education such as Head of Schools, Block Education Officers, etc. 

The Foundation is on a mission to impact the learning outcomes of 300 Million school children through capacitating 10 Million teachers globally by 2025. Our team is led by a team of experienced and skilled professionals. The founders Dr. Abhinav Mathur and Dr. Mona Mathur have 27 years of experience each and are both PhDs from IIT Delhi with PhDs in Computer Science and Telecommunication, and Machine Learning and Neurosciences respectively. They had long corporate careers where they have lead large teams that delivered large scalable solutions in areas that include mobility, mobile apps, healthcare, education, entertainment, and finance. 


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