Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Mumbai | Tuljapur | Guwahati | Hyderabad

State initiatives and innovations in technology enabled content for school education in South Asia: Examining aspects of access, equity, inclusion and quality

This study was commissioned by the Global Education Monitoring Report as background information for 2023 GEM report.

This research analyses textbook and digital content innovations for school education in South Asia. The study adopts a mixed methodology case study approach for analysing the trends of the EdTech reform ecosystem including policies, programmes, strategies and implementation along three educational parameters of access and equity, inclusion and quality in four countries - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. The study depicts the diverse and complex ecosystem for technology-enabled content innovations in South Asia through differentiated levels of innovations and practices prevalent in these four countries. It throws light on the internal, external and intersectional factors that constrain or enable digital content integration into school teaching and learning. While policies are found to be reasonably robust, there are large gaps and inequalities in access, inclusion, quality and school practices. The study shows the need for South Asian countries to progress beyond master plans and small pilots to conduct meaningful experiments with contextually relevant interactive digital content types and empower teachers to create and adapt content for their classrooms. It is imperative that states develop an inclusive ecosystem of supportive infrastructure, systems and processes for digital content and textbook innovations to impact all learners. The research also recommends on the need for bringing coherence in approaches, continuum in processes and rigour in research evidence so that innovations progress to diffusion stage and achieve scaling and adoption.

Sadaqat Mulla
Bindu Thirumalai
Anusha Ramanathan

Duration: April-October 2022

The paper will be published alongwith the release of 2023 GEM Report tentatively in July 2023


Innovative Financing in Education to Leave No One Behind (IFE-2-Leave No One Behind)

The IFE-2-Leave No One Behind project will assess the contribution of innovation in education financing to bringing in more and better financing to educate the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups. This research is in partnership with NORRAG, and Bertha Centre – University of Cape Town, and will focus on Innovative Financing initiatives implemented by UBS Optimus Foundation and Volta Capital in Ghana, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda – Lending for Education in Africa, Impact Bond Innovation Fund, Quality Education India Development Impact Bond, and two additional upcoming initiatives. The Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education at TISS will conduct mixed-method impact research on which and under what conditions do innovative mechanisms, arrangements, and programme elements are likely to produce educational benefits for vulnerable and marginalised student populations. The project is co-funded by the TRANSFORM research initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the five research and implementation partners.

Faculty Incharge: Prof. Archana Mehendale

Project Duration : Upto December 2026



Connected Learning and Research on Inclusive Education (CLeaR on IE)

The CleaR on IE report is an attempt towards contributing to strengthning teacher education for inclusion. This report documents the processes that were undertaken through The Connected Learning and Research on Inclusive Education (CLeaR) project. Prepared by the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE), TISS-Mumbai and the project partners, the following report
encompasses all the major interventions that have been completed under the project so far. Beginning with the backdrop on issues in the field of inclusive education the report elaborates on each of the components. The first section discusses about the desk review of literature in the national and international domains around inclusive education, on the basis of which a teacher
competency framework was developed.

Persons Involved:

Research Team

  • Prof. Mythili Ramchand (Principal Investigator)
  • Dr. Sonia Sawhney (Co-Investigator)
  • Ms. Meenu Talasila (Research Coordinator)
  • Ms. Manvi Suyal (Research Assistant)
  • Ms. Tanya Mittal (Research Assistant)
  • Ms. Uchita Bakshani (Research Assistant)

Advisory Team

  • Prof. Archana Mehendale (Adjunct Faculty, CETE, TISS, Mumbai)
  • Dr. Radhika Misquitta (Co- Principal,The Gateway School of Mumbai, Mumbai)
  • Ms. Ruma Banerjee (Vice Chairperson, Seva in Action, Bengaluru)

Report released on: August 5, 2022

Access the full report on this link.



UNESCO launches its ‘State of Education Report for India-2021 – Teachers, Teaching and Teacher Education’

Prepared by the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and commissioned by UNESCO New Delhi, the report provides comprehensive information on the teaching sector in our country, its achievements, areas of concern, and recommends steps to be taken by policymakers in improving the industry. The report also analyses the effect of Covid-19 on the teaching profession, and how teachers’ autonomy and professional conduct enabled them to find local solutions that work. 

Areas of concern include – shortage of teachers in the north-eastern states of India, low provision of school libraries, low usage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, the profound disparity in the education levels of students in rural and urban areas, lack of programmes to prepare teachers in vocational education, arts and music, etc., shrinking level of admissions in Master of Education (M. Ed.) programme, among others.

• Padma M. Sarangapani
• Bindu Thirumalai
• Anusha Ramanathan
• Ruchi Kumar
• Mythili Ramchand

Access the full report on this link

On April 6, 2022, we launched the Marathi version of the 2021 State of the Education Report (SOER) for India: “No Teacher, No Class” in Mumbai. The event was attended by dignitaries who shared their insights on the revelations of the report.

Watch the report launch program video below:



Professional Standards Setting Body for Teachers and Teaching: a White Paper

This paper has been prepared to initiate discussions and dialogues among educators in India in the backdrop of setting up a Professional Standards Setting Body (PSSB), as per the recommendation of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020). The paper has been prepared at the behest of the Ministry of Education, Government of India, and National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE). It is based on:

- a study of the structure and functioning of PSBBs in different regions of the world

- review of literature on the impact of standards on teachers and teaching and students’ learning from

countries that have been using them for over a decade

- an analysis of essential elements of a framework for setting standards

- interviews with educators/administrators who are involved setting up/heading PSSBs in four different regions.

Based on this small study, the white paper ends with a set of suggestions for setting up a PSSB and initiating the process of evolving a framework for professional standards for teachers and teaching, for further discussions.

Date: 1st July, 2021

Persons Involved: Prof. Mythili Ramchand, Revathi Ramanan, Ananya Chatterjee, Ankit Saraf

Click to access the full report


Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Education and Teaching in Asia-Pacific: Future of Work in Education

This study investigates the first-hand experiences of the workforce in the education sector in the Asia Pacific region who have been at the frontline during the pandemic. Primary data was collected between 15 July - 6 August 2021 from educators through member organisations of Education International (EI) through quantitative survey and qualitative interviews. The findings are based on 1862 responses to the online survey from 22 countries and qualitative interviews with 16 respondents from 9 countries across the region. The study was a collaboration between Education International Asia-Pacific and the International Labour Organization Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

Persons involved:

Meera Chandran, Poonam Sharma, Emaya Kannamma
Anusha Gajinkar, Aksa Mariam Paulose

Access the report on this link. 



Mainstreaming Child Labourers in Schools – Issues, Challenges and Alternatives Mainstreaming Child Labourers in Schools – Issues, Challenges and Alternatives

Funding Agency: National Human Rights Commission

This study on mainstreaming child labourers in schools and identifying the issues, challenges and alternatives funded by ‘National Human Rights Commission’ (NHRC), was conducted by a team of faculty/researchers from CETE. The main objective of the study was to investigate the issues and challenges of pathways of mainstreaming child labourers in education, and explore field level alternatives and solutions for improving the mainstreaming process. The study adopted a qualitative approach. Data from the District Project Offices of the selected districts on the enrolment and status of special training and mainstreaming was collected. Qualitative data was gathered directly from key respondents identified at the field sites. Content analysis of the special training curriculum used in select districts was also conducted in order to determine the quality of the material used. A nested sample design and a combination of tools were used to collect data from different respondents. Level 1 was a purposive selection of the districts; level 2 was purposive sampling of three special training centres within the district; and level 3 was the selection of the teachers and the coordinators of the special training centres. It was conducted in 3 child labour hotspot districts namely - Thane, Gaya, & Ranga Reddy. 3 special training centres in each of the 3 districts and corresponding 3 schools where children get mainstreamed from the selected special training centres, was the field of data collection

The study revealed mixed findings about the working of the special training centres and the mainstream schools. While one approaches these issues through the systemic, situational or the area-based perspectives, one can identify both opportunities and challenges in mainstreaming of child labourers in schools. Poverty, migration, societal, cultural and traditional worldviews, gender differences, rigid schooling system amongst many other challenges advance and promote the issue of child labour on one hand, whereas, on the other hand, there are a few success stories and good practices, that can be emulated and implemented to attain the objective of reducing child labour in our country. The study provides suggestions and recommendations for optimizing the process of mainstreaming child labour from the special training centres to the formal schools.

Access the full report on this link.

Persons involved:

Ajay Kumar Singh, Archana Mehendale, Gomathi Jatin Shah



Survey on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Education and Teaching in Asia-Pacific :A Future of Work in Education.

Funding Agency: Education International - Asia Pacific

Objectives of the research study are to investigate the following:

  • Impact of the pandemic and lockdown (school closure) on the employment and working conditions of education and teaching in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Shift of education methods to online teaching and adapting to new technologies in schools as a delivery tool of teaching and education, access to new technology; 
  • Extent of technological permeation into education, with a focus on access to digital tools, digital competencies, training and support, and wellbeing;  
  • Professional development opportunities of teachers and support to the educators, as well as impact on their working conditions and wellbeing;
  • Stock-taking of the work done by EI member organisations related to supporting their members in the light of digital technologies in education.   

Study duration: June - November 2021

Status: Draft report submitted to Education International - Asia Pacific

Persons involved:

Dr. Meera Chandran (Faculty, CETE-TISS), Poonam Sharma (Faculty, CETE-TISS), Emaya Kannamma (RA, CETE-TISS)



Impact Evaluation and Content Review of Library Educator's Course run by Parag 

A review of the Library Educators Course (LEC) run in Hindi by Parag under the education initiative of Tata Trusts collaboratively by the School of Education and the CETE faculty. 

Aims and Objectives:The aims of this research project at the programme level included

  • assessing the LEC (Hindi) in terms of its contribution to the field of developing people working with State, schools and Non state actors in domain of children literature, early reading, Library understanding and skills around setting up and running functional school libraries;
  • identifying successes and limitations to improve the course by identifying enablers and challenges that can inform future offering;
  • identifying perceptions of stakeholders regarding the course efficacy;
  • examining possibilities for upscaling, etc.

Study Duration: March to November 2021

Persons involved: 

Prof Disha Nawani (SoE, TISS), Dr Anusha Ramanathan (CETE, TISS), 

Ms Richa Pandey and Ms Paavana Burman (Research Scholars, TISS)



UNESCO GEM Report: The Role of Non-State Actors in the Teaching Profession and Teacher Education in South Asia

This report investigates the role of Non-State Actors (NSA) in teacher education and teacher professional development in South Asia. Through a cross-country study of Afghanistan, India and Nepal, the report discusses the nature of presence of NSAs in teacher professionalising activities, the programs they conduct, and their intervention in informing policy in the sector. Structured as a descriptive, interpretative study, we use mixed methods to understand the successes and challenges of NSAs in revitalising the space of pre- and in-service teacher education and ICT preparedness of teachers. Drawing on these findings as evidence, we recommend modifications in existing practices that can better synergise the faculty of NSAs with the government to achieve the aims of teacher professional development.

This study was undertaken by the team of researchers at CETE, commiosioned by UNESCO, Paris as part of its larger Global Education Monitoring (GEM) study in the South Asian region. The final report has been submitted for review and is expected to be published in July 2022.

Duration: December 2020 - October 2021

Persons involved:

Ajay Singh, Nishevita, Poonam Sharma, Manshvi Palan, Diksha Rehal, Shivani Sondhi, Utkarsha Chowdhry, Reema Goel



Making EdTech Work for Secondary School Students & their Teachers - Research Findings from CLIx Phase I

CLIx phase 1 (2015-2020) seeded by the Tata Trusts and led by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA was implemented in the states of Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana across 548 schools, reaching 76226 students and 3509 teachers and 244 teacher educators. 

This report presents findings from three major research studies conducted on CLIx on matters of Adoption and Impact of CLIx in phase 1: (i) Monitoring and Evaluation of CLIx Design and Intervention Study, (ii) Baseline-Endline Study and (iii) Innovation Diffusion and Process Documentation Study. These were conducted over a three year period involving mixed methods design.

Some key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • Conditions for successful implementation of CLIx i.e., lab functionality, availability of CLIx digital resources, continuous onsite support etc. were met to a highly satisfactory level.
  • Long term CLIx Teacher Professional Development produced change in teacher knowledge, attitudes and practice of meaningful integration of ICT in education in English, Maths and Science.
  • Student learning in CLIx specific subject topics in English, Maths and Science were significantly higher than their counterparts in non-CLIx schools when taught using CLIx digital resources with high degree of fidelity to design.
  • Students in CLIx schools when taught by teachers with high levels of TPD and with access to use of CLIx digital resources perform better across grade level subject areas, particularly in English and Science.
  • Girls and students performed significantly better in Science with high CLIx inputs viz., having a high TPD CLIx teacher and lab access compared to those that did not. Students from SC & ST categories perform better in scholastic and non-scholastic areas with the benefit of high CLIx input. 

Access the full report on this link



COVID-19 Ground Assessment Study 

Are you a teacher or student-teacher? We would like to hear about your concerns, needs and challenges in the current Covid times? Please click on the link relevant to your work or profile and convey your thoughts and opinions.

  • 1. Teachers Tool (for teachers, headteachers and teacher educators): 
  1. Hindi - https://bit.ly/Tchr-HM-TE-Hindi
  2. English- https://bit.ly/Tchr-HM-TE-Eng
  • 2. Student Teachers Tool (for students of education studies including B.Ed, M.Ed, MA(Ed)): 
  1. Hindi- https://bit.ly/StudentT-Hindi
  2. English- https://bit.ly/StudentT-Eng

This is part of our own ongoing research initiative to listen to principals, teachers, teacher educators and student teachers to get a sense of field realities. This can inform interventions that are working with these critical stakeholders of school education. Please keep visiting to get a perspective of the ground realities. Findings from these surveys will be posted on a regular basis. 

Findings from the Assessment of Ground Preparedness for EdTech

Round 3 Report is here

Round 2 Report is here

Round 1 Report is here 

For more details on our COOL initiative please click here



India Education Outcome Fund: A Case Study

This case study showcases the design and the process of establishing a catalytic platform, the India Education Outcome Fund (IEOF) of Social Finance India (SF-IND), aimed at providing sustainable and innovative funding at scale to deliver educational outcomes. The study was undertaken in order to contribute to the open access course materials on the subject being curated and pooled by NORRAG. This was part of a three-year SUDAC-COFER supported collaborative project on Innovative Financing in Education, in which Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai played an active role. (INSERT LINK FOR SUDAC-COFER supported collaborative project on Innovative Financing in Education: https://www.norrag.org/innovative-financing-for-education-and-development-project-update/). The project included preparation of Teaching Notes and multi-media material to accompany the case study.

Persons involved: Profs. Archana Mehendale and Ajay K. Singh

Funder: NORRAG

Duration: October 15, 2019 to February 15, 2020

Access the full report on this link.

Online link to podcast: https://soundcloud.com/norrag/india-education-outcomes-fund



N for Nose – State of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with Disabilities

Description: This report was first of its kind in India and aimed to fill the gap in understanding about what has been done to fulfill and protect the right to education of children with disabilities and what needs to be done for a full realisation of the right. Based on extensive research of national and international literature, this report provided comprehensive, accurate and granular information on the current status of education and provided evidence on achievements, challenges and gaps. It used case studies and field stories collected from diverse locations in India and thereby provided rich narratives on what works and what does not. The report was a constructive, balanced and a forward-looking document carrying detailed recommendations and plans of action that key stakeholders can consider and act upon

Persons involved: Archana Mehendale, Bhagyalaxmi Velugu, Mythili Ramchand, Sonia Sawhney

Funder: UNESCO New Delhi

Duration: 15 February 2019 to 30 June 2019

Access the full report on this link.

Additional collaterals prepared by funder: https://en.unesco.org/news/n-nose-state-education-report-india-2019-children-disabilities  



State of School Management Committees: The study of SMCs in 4 States of India

The objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of school management committees in schools where interventions of Save the Children organization are taking place. The study sought to engage in detail with the selected schools and capture the diversity in the provisions, roles and functioning of SMCs in different schools. It also identified the best practices of SMCs in the intervention schools and recommends ideas or strategies for the improvements of SMCs. The study also attempted to bring out the differences in the functioning of SMCs in control schools and intervention schools.

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In-service Teacher Professional development: Perspectives and Possibilities

The report has been compiled by Dr. Ruchi S. Kumar and Dhwani Bafna.We acknowledge the support and notes of the seminar provided by the Ambedkar University Delhi students and faculty (Dr Prabhat Rai, Dr Devika Sharma, Prof. Manish Jain and Prof. Sunita Singh). We are thankful for support of Dr Amina Charania and Prof. Padma Sarangapani in guidance in organising and bringing out this report.

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The State of Education in India 2019 – Children with Disabilities (Phase 1)

This report collated the developments in India pertaining to the right to education of children with disabilities. The report provided a summative analysis of the legislation, policies, programmes, schemes that have been adopted and implemented in India to strengthen the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). It was based on a synthesis of available literature and data on the subject, particularly a desk review of secondary data, five thematic studies and a synthesis report commissioned by UNESCO, New Delhi in 2017.

Persons involved: Archana Mehendale and Bhagyalaxmi Velugu

Funder: UNESCO New Delhi

Duration: 30 August 2018 to 31 December 2018


Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education (CSSTE)

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education (CSSTE) is a unique contribution of the 7th Plan (1985-92) of the Government of India, following the National Policy on Education 1986. The scheme aims to strengthen and upgrade teacher education through the development of Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) and to enhance the quality of teacher education at all levels for pre and inservice.
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