Seema Bansal: How to fix a broken education system ... without any more money
Seema Bansal - Education innovator
BCG's Seema Bansal asks: Can governments actually make a meaningful difference in education? And rapidly? Yes, it turns out. Full bio
failing government systems.
set in their ways,
is just too bureaucratic
to challenge that theory.
of a very large government system
on the path of reform
fairly spectacular results
in a public school in India looks like.
who's lived in India all her life,
is fairly heartbreaking.
so far behind in their education
a grammatically correct sentence.
would expect an 8-year-old
not only offer free education --
free workbooks, free meals,
out of public schools
to put them in private schools.
in a far richer country, the US,
the Indian public education system is.
that I got a call in the summer of 2013
called Surina Rajan.
of the Department of School Education
heading this department
and nothing seems to work.
a little bit to you.
which has 30 million people.
children in those public schools.
or Canada transform itself.
I was very painfully aware of two things.
anything like this before.
perhaps without too much success.
looked across the country
and replicate in Haryana.
our own journey.
and as we jumped in,
the way we recruit teachers,
we had 50 ideas on the table,
going to be able to implement 50 things.
what is it we're trying to achieve."
which said: by 2020,
to be at grade-level knowledge.
don't matter here,
is how specific the goal is.
to take all those ideas
we were going to implement.
If yes, let's keep it.
then let's put it aside.
having a very specific goal right up front
very sharp and focused
the last two and a half years,
what are the issues, what is broken.
a lot of people told us
they don't come into schools,
they actually don't know how to teach.
we found something completely different.
were actually inside schools.
of teaching elementary classes.
the construction of a classroom
had gone to a nearby bank branch
into kids' accounts.
were spending all of their time
supervised and served to the students.
why are you not teaching?"
what's expected of us.
that he checks.
has the meal been served.
goes to a meeting at headquarters,
which are discussed."
over the last two decades,
of access, having enough schools,
into the schools.
launched a whole host of programs
the implicit executors of these programs.
was not to actually train teachers further
that what is most important
inside classrooms and teach.
and measured and awarded
the education system,
we found a few such core root causes
shaping how people behaved in the system.
those specific things,
technology into schools,
what the solutions were.
to recreate the wheel,
and see what we can find."
small pilot experiments
and all over the world.
being done by foundations.
was that none of them actually scaled.
to 50, 100 or 500 schools.
for a solution for 15,000 schools.
why don't they actually scale?
when a typical NGO comes in,
that they actually operate in,
actually create a difference.
of the School Education Department
for 15,000 schools."
going to find the money
to 15,000 schools?
of the project, what we said was,
has to be scalable,
within the existing budgets
the point in time
in office, in cafés,
how are we going to solve this problem?"
find solutions to many of the issues.
is hands-on learning.
things from books,
giving students things
the budgets to give that
went to a school
and stones from the garden outside
in the textbooks in Haryana
we have a little box
for the teachers which say,
here's an activity that you can do.
to actually do this activity,
from your immediate environment,
or the classroom inside,
as learning aids for kids."
to be able to teach students.
across 15,000 schools
from the headquarters
of these district offices,
would open it, read it
that at the block office,
eventually to the 15,000 principals.
that the principals
that most of these schools
on Facebook and on WhatsApp.
into hundreds of WhatsApp groups
to be communicated,
all WhatsApp groups.
who has received it,
who are answering these questions.
a completely different part of the state
as everybody's peer group,
to a school in Haryana,
comes to visit the classroom,
the construction of the toilet
all students across the state
doing well are rewarded.
to see results quickly.
of 7 years and 10 years.
three independent studies,
have stopped declining,
states in the country
the fastest rate of improvement.
for the future.
what's going on?"
what's going on,
is that my children are learning,
my search for a private school
About the speaker:Seema Bansal - Education innovator
BCG's Seema Bansal asks: Can governments actually make a meaningful difference in education? And rapidly? Yes, it turns out.
Why you should listen
BCG's Seema Bansal is an associate director in the New Delhi office. Since joining BCG in 2000, she has worked extensively in financial services and telecommunications. Today, Bansal leads BCG's social impact and development practice in India, and works on disparate projects in fields including education, food security and nutrition and governance within government agencies.
Bansal earned an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, and a degree in electronics and electrical communication from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh.
Seema Bansal | Speaker | TED.com