One-line solution summary
Learn Education helps teachers to equip students with knowledge and abilities to become self-learner and reduce education inequality.
Pitch your solution
Learn Education is a social enterprise with the mission to innovate learning platforms by leveraging technology to provide quality education. Over 2 million students in Thailand do not receive education, and more than 1.8 million students are underprivileged. Challenged by the low quality education, ranking at the bottom of equity in education resource allocation (PISA 2018) and the lack of 66,000 quality and quantity teachers, especially in Science and Math. We have developed the first learning platform in Thailand that integrates technology into the curriculum for Math and Science. The system creates one-on-one learning situations between the student and the coursework and helps to combat the extremely high student to teacher ratio (45-60:1). Til now, we have served over 300 schools, 100,000 students, decreased 50% dropout rate (for hill tribe schools), and 30% increase in academic performance. We have supported many underprivileged schools and students in low income neighborhoods.
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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?
Increase equitable access to quality learning opportunities through open sourced, offline, or virtual models, especially for underserved learners in low connectivity environments
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Bangkok, Thailand
Is your solution working in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and/or Malaysia?
What specific problem are you solving in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and/or Malaysia?
The education of Thailand has faced many challenges. Over 2 million children are not in the education system (28% of all children) and about 1.8 million students (aged 6-14 years old) in the education system are underprivileged (https://isee.eef.or.th/national3/index.html, ISEE, 2019). Moreover, showing from the PISA scores (PISA 2018), Thai student scores are ranking at the bottom for all Math, Science and Reading which reflects severe poor quality in Thailand’s education system, and that also leads to other societal problems. Despite massive attention by the government, education quality still has not improved, as indicated by the low average score on the national examinations in recent years. In addition, the inadequacy of quality teachers is also one of the major problems. This causes the tremendously high student-teacher ratio, and there are a large number of teachers teaching subjects which they are not qualified. In addition, Thailand was ranked among the lowest of the participated countries in the equity in educational resources (PISA 2018).
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Our online blended learning platform serves school teachers with the purpose to improve students’ (beneficiaries) academic outcomes and close the gap in accessibility of quality education. We work with both private and public schools. It has been our passionate mission to help underprivileged schools and students who live in rural and poor communities with lacking quality education and resources.
Before scaling our solution, we pilot tested our product with a school diligently for over 2 years. Our solution has proven to increase students’ motivation and engagement in learning in the first pilot school resulting in higher academic performance by 30% (measured by ONET national examination score). To consistently improve our quality, we use online surveys (at the end of each learning module), in-depth individual interviews and focus groups to understand our teachers and students in order to develop our implementation process. Every year, we have an annual seminar to get teachers together to share their experiences and feedbacks. We work closely with schools to customize our solutions to serve all school appropriately. We believe that building a community learning and a good relationship for teachers is a key to our successful implementation.
How does the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge?
Learn Education helps to elevate opportunities for all people, especially those who are traditionally left behind. Until now, we have served over 300 schools and 100,000 students. With our solution, we have helped to decrease up to 50% drop out rate (for hill tribe schools) and 30% increase in academic performance in our user schools. We have supported many underprivileged schools and students in low income neighborhood that the family earn less than $ 5 PPP per day so they can have a quality education and have better opportunities in the future.
What is your solution’s stage of development?Growth: An initiative, venture, or organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several contexts or communities, which is poised for further growth
Who is the Team Lead for your solution?
The Team Lead is Mr. Tanin Timtong. He is a Co-Founder of Learn Education, Chief Social Impact Officer, and an Ashoka fellow since 2018.
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new technology
What makes your solution innovative?
With Learn Education’s holistic approach to students learning and teachers’ development which has proven to yield success in enhancing students’ academic achievement coupled with being the first mover that truly understands and with in-depth experience education technology, we believe that our work is innovative and unique in the following areas:
1. First innovative 1-on-1 technology blended leaning platform with affordable cost for schools which will improve students to be critical thinkers, and able to apply Math & Science to their daily lives.
2. High efficient business in term of the economy of scale. The values of cost per student tends to decrease every year due to the increase of customers and the lower cost per head.
3. The expertise in IT System for content delivery which easily scale to many schools at a time. The teacher royalty program, recognition award and training process which proves to be our key success to build strong customer relationships as well as solving Thai educational problem at its root cause.
5. Our learning platform which will gradually shape students to become active learners, and self-learners. These skills are not easy to develop in the ordinary classroom in Thailand, showing the efficiency of our solution not only hard skills but also soft skills development.
6. The knowledge and know-how of implementation process which will allow our product to integrate into the existing school environment by using technology coupled with our teacher training to help teachers better execute their teachings.
Have you tested your solution’s approach? If so, how?
We have tested our approach. Before scaling our solution, we pilot tested our product with a school named Sahavith School diligently for over 2 years. The school was ranked at the bottom in its province before we started working with them. We worked closely with teachers and students, and tried to understand their pain points. After 2 years, our solution has proven to increase students’ motivation & engagement in learning in the first pilot school resulting in higher academic performance by 30% (measured by ONET national examination score). The percentage of students who pass schools mid-term and final exam increased from 95% to 99.5%. A critical impact point that we see when students are motivated to learn is the decrease in dropout rate from students, and the students have higher career opportunities.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
Our core technology consists of
1. Learning management system which is customized based on our users.
2. Developing digital content - Pedagogical content knowledge and design that lead to learning outcome as we expect.
3. Human and technology integration (School integration) - teacher training, teacher support, and school partners.
Online Blended Learning can be used with Windows, MacOS, Android, or iOS system. Users download the application for each operating system. The platform also can be used as a web-based application. Technology used for Frontend is HTML5 (React, Redux) by using Ionic Framework which helps to build desktop application and mobile application easier. For the back-end, NodeJS (Loopback) platform is used on Google Cloud which works for other services ex. Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Cloud SQL, and Cloud Functions. Our learning platform can support both synchronous and asynchronous system. Therefore, students can learn from the teacher in real-time or learn by themselves with their own pace.
What is your theory of change?
Our social value proposition consists of
1. The increases students motivation & engagement in learning.
2. The teacher improvement in quality of teaching.
3. The decrease in dropout rate.
Clear plan to monitor and measure social output and outcomes
We measure success by our product enhancing the understanding of the subject content, greater relate to real life and foster critical thinking, resulting in an increase in student motivation & engagement in learning. These are key drivers for academic success (measured by O-NET national examination score), which motivates students to continue their education and have more opportunities attending better high schools and career pursuits—resulting in higher income and job security. Long term, we will elevate the quality of rural schools decrease the education inequality gap and decrease the student dropout rate and prevent societal issues occurred once out of the education system. We closely monitor teachers and students through our technological data tracking system as well as our frequent engagement with our teachers. Our software tracks students’ performances and gives statistical analysis to help teachers understand students’ level of understanding and their performances. For teachers, we organize quarterly meetings with the team as well as conducting interviews to understand teachers’ needs and how to best improve our technology. We also have exchanges between teachers in the Learn Education network through our yearly teacher conference. We work closely with school principals to provide the support required responding to the diverse backgrounds and levels of student engagement as well as their academic performance and collect all the useful data such as O-NET score and dropout rate, annually.
Which target population(s) does your solution address?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
What are the key characteristics of your target population?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
Which categories best describe your main EdTech product or service?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?
Our key metrics for measuring the social outcomes consist of:
1. Total number of schools reached in private schools and government schools in low-income neighborhoods.
2. Academic performance (measured by O-NET national examination score) to reflect student engagement, motivation in learning and the quality of learning.
3. The number of students not applying to the school in grade 7 (number of dropouts).
4. The percentage of students who pass school’s mid-term and final exams.
5. The percentage of satisfied students studying with our system.
Identify key assumptions in analysis
Our key assumptions are:
1. Academic performance (measured by ONET national test examination score) will be increased due to the increase in student engagement, motivation in learning and the quality of learning.
2. The number of students not applying to the school in grade 7 and 10 (number of dropouts) will be decreased due to the increase in academic performance.
3. The percentage of students who pass school’s mid-term and final exams will be decreased due to the increase in the understanding of the academic modules.
4. The percentage of satisfied students studying with Learn Education system will be increased due to the new way of learning which could make them more active and engaged.
What are your impact goals for the next year, the next three years, and the next five years? How will you achieve them?
Our aims are to reach 150,000 students within a year and 1,000,000 students within 5 years. The goal is to leverage technology in to classrooms and see children in all areas have quality education. We believe that our innovative learning system with academic contents including moral and critical thinking would help children to have the better future.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your impact goals?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
Describe these barriers as they relate to your solution. How do you plan to overcome them?
Major barriers that may impact us to reach our goals are 1. lacking of appropriate internet infrastructure and hardware, 2. limited supports from government, and 3. challenges of our economy.
- Many parts of Thailand especially in rural areas still lack internet infrastructure as well as the network instability. In addition, many underserved schools do not have appropriated hardware such as computers or tablets for our learning platform.
- Education development has always been on Thailand’s top priorities in terms of policy making, as the Ministry of Education (MoE) is the most funded ministry. However, there are still many challenges in our education system. One of the reasons is frequently changing in policies due to unstable politics. Private sections do not have enough supports from the government.
- The overall economy is continued slowing down relating to COVID-19 and aging global population. Economic problem can lead to many other difficulties such as increasing in inequality gap and societal problems such as drug abuse. Schools have less budget to cover all expenses. All education, economy, and society problems impact each other, and they all will need to be solved together.
Please provide a brief history of your organization. What was the motivation behind starting your organization and/or the development of your solution?
While I was an executive in a company, and my career path was quite stable and growing, I came to realize that the successful career path was not fulfilled what I really need in my life. I wanted to make myself to be more valuable to others. One day I went to a temple in Chiang Mai which is in the north of Thailand. I saw about 300 young monks in a temple, and I was wondering why there were so many young monks here. I was told that they became monks so they could get education. Their families were very poor and had drug related problems. I learned that there were so many societal problems and to me lacking education is the major one.
Later, I met two of my friends who are tutors, and we decided to make a solution to fix these problems. We founded Learn Education with the mission to innovate learning platforms by leveraging technology to provide quality education and reduce inequality gap in education. We have continued researching and developing our platform by getting feedback from teachers and students. Now, we have about 300 school partners and over 100,000 student users.
In addition, we not only work to improve students' learning, but also develop a solution for teacher training called "TrainKru". We provide online courses and facilitate workshops within the schools. The contents were co-created by top professors from our partnered universities. Over 15,000 teachers have participated in our teacher training solution.
What type of organization is your solution team?
Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit
How many people work on your solution team?
Our team consists of 100 people. There are 80 full-time staff and 20 part-time staff.
How long have you been working on your solution?
How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
Our management team consists of entrepreneurs and educators socially-minded and with practical experience in business. Learn Education has three co-founders with expertise in education and all have worked in the business sector. One of the co-founders has over 10 years of experienced teaching middle and high school science and had great success in developing a computer based self-learning system that is well-recognized in Thailand. The team is also comprised of new generation talent from education, engineering, and business backgrounds. Our teachers have at least 5 years of teaching experience. One of our board of advisors, Dr. Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, Chancellor of St. John’s University Bangkok and Director of St. John Thabom school, graduated with doctoral degree in education management from London. He was in the education field for more than 30 years. Now he is a Director of many educational institutions with extensive expertise in innovative learning pedagogies.
To deliver the project, it is required to collaborate and communicate with many organizations or groups of people in various fields including school administrators, teachers, students, parents, government officers, educators, and technology developers. Education is a long term investment.
My team and I have been working in the field of education technology for over 10 years, and we have built partnerships with many organizations in various areas. We have experiences working with teachers and students all over Thailand and have learned what the pain points of our users are. We know how to support and fix their problems.
Provide an example of your Team Lead’s ability to conceptualize and implement a new idea.
When I founded Learn Education, I knew that I needed strong team members to work on this project. I started hiring young talents from various backgrounds related to education, sales and marketing, technology, and business. Till now, there are about 100 team members working on the project. These talents decided to work with me though they could work anywhere else because they believed in the project, and they believed that I could lead them to success. Not only the team members that trust me, but also there are many organizations that we partner with. I have built connections with many organizations; leading universities, Bank of Thailand, and National Innovation Agency.
Below is my leadership feedback from my previous team member, Ms. Viria Vichit-Vadakan, who was 1 out of 8 outstanding students from Stanford University in 2011 and was selected as a Leader at Asia pacific program from Obama Foundation in 2018. She worked with me for 4 years before she went to pursuit her MBA at Harvard Business School.
1) Unconditional support
2) Mission driven with strong ethical value and diligent
3) Open to possibility and high tolerance for failure
4) Power to influence with story and strong communication
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
We partner with various fields of organizations.
- We collaborate with top universities such as Chulalongkorn University, Thammasat University, Mahidol University or Silpakorn University to create a teacher training program. The program train teachers to have novel skills such as critical thinking or digital literacy.
- We work with major children foundations such as Yuvabadhana Foundation (www.yuvabadhanafoundation.org) to support underprivileged kids by providing them education opportunities.
- We also partner with several banks in Thailand such as Bank of Thailand and many organizations including National Innovation Agency and Thailand Collaboration for Education who believe in our learning solution.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
Since we plan to expand our business internationally, we would like to explore partnership opportunity in Asia. We believe that our solution platform will be useful for school globally.
Our strategic partnership goals are to get market access and international business growth, access international networks and distribution, and to establish regional or continental distribution. We would like to be connected with private sectors in education and education technology for partnership opportunity. We also hope to connect with investors or sponsors for funding support so we can help more underprivileged schools.
Tanin Timtong Co-Founder & Managing Director, Learn Education Co., Ltd.