How Education Startups are Helping India’s Literacy Rate Get Better

Posted by Daniel Martins on February 9th, 2021

The literacy rate in India has risen from 64.83% in 2001 to roughly around 77.7% in 2020. The socio-economic growth of literacy in India is inevitable, helped especially by the EdTech revolution. EdTech refers to the use of technology to improve the quality of education provided, making learning easier, and also reaching areas where traditional teaching can’t.

The internet boom, especially mobile internet, has given rise to new opportunities for students and teachers to connect easily. Similarly, the availability of mobile apps that have made learning easier and fun, too, have contributed to this EdTech revolution. Before we dwell deep into EdTech, education startups, and their impact, let’s have a look at some statistics related to literacy in India.

Literacy in India

India is projected to achieve universal primary education in 2050, universal lower secondary education in 2060 and universal upper secondary education in 2085, according to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report.

With 96.2% Kerala is the most literate state in India, Rajasthan has the second-worst literacy rate of 69.7%. A study says that the literacy rate in rural areas is 71% and that in urban areas is 86%.

Steps towards improvement

For several reasons, not everyone excels or develops in a classroom. But a new wave of EdTech entrepreneurs in India is making learning far less tedious. They have introduced gamification or integration of gaming like experiences into learning lessons. When learning is a challenging process, it hampers motivation and the students’ standard of education. Learning is continuous, interactive and highly successful with gamification, personalization and constructive messaging. EdTech startups are personalizing the classroom experience for thousands of students, allowing them to compete with classroom peers and ultimately excel in board-level exams.

One of the biggest problems in India is the skewed pupils-to-teacher ratio. A survey conducted in Karnataka found that the pupil-to-teacher ratio roughly between 15 to 20 showed the best levels of learning. At the same time, the performance dropped as sharply as the pupil to teacher ratio increased. EdTech helps keep the ratio in check, thereby improving the quality of learning.

EdTech startups that are helping India’s literacy rate get better

To improve the student’s performance, EdTech startups are using gamification, interaction, personalization, and data-driven insights. The objectives of the EdTech startups have been to use technology to identify the educational requirements of the students and communities and bridge the current gap present in the education sector.

  • Startups like BYJU’s conduct concept trials on students in real classrooms before building a game around it. Then, learning facilitators map out information graphs based on the real-time input and discuss particular sections of the chapter that are deemed especially difficult for students. By personalizing modules in this way, the software adjusts to the adaptability of a student and directs the student to perform better intuitively.


  • Classle, an online education startup based in Chennai, uses the cloud and social networking sites to enable students to access free of charge materials related to their academics. It has collaborated with engineering colleges, mainly in rural areas to provide rural students with this forum.


  • Hippocampus Learning Centres, funded by Unitus Seed Fund, is already making a big impact. The startup is providing education to children across eighty villages in the southern part of the country. The firm actively seeks individuals who have ideas for scalable and affordable educational services and products.


  • Another EdTech startup, Sudiksha Knowledge Solutions, has identified women in the community and has trained them to run pre-schools. This has also helped to encourage entrepreneurship amongst the women in the community.


  • Startups, like WhitehatJr, have developed ways to teach coding to students in a fun and interactive manner.

Going beyond education

The education startups have not only restricted themselves to teaching and learning methodologies but are also helping in the development of a student’s personality. They have helped to make the teaching-learning process more efficient and process-oriented. The advancement in internet connectivity has also helped these startups to disseminate education to the remotest parts of India. This has ensured that the Right to Education brought by the 86th constitutional amendment act is fulfilled.

The mechanisms of feedback using technology provided by these startups have led to an improvement in the quality of teachers training in the institutions. It has also led to solving many educational administrative problems with the help of using technology-driven innovative analytical tools. The technologies used by these EdTech startups have helped to increase scientific foundations and discoveries in education.


 Technology has become a part of our lives now. These educational startups, with the help of science and technology, have expanded the horizons and opportunities of education. All these efforts by education startups cumulatively led to an increase in the literacy rate of India with education now reaching students in the faraway corners of the country. EdTech and education startups’ effect on education, culture in the world and general society is truly remarkable!

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Daniel Martins

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Daniel Martins
Joined: August 31st, 2020
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