Presentation by Dr. Urvashi Sahni, Co-Founder of Digital Study Hall (DSH) Lucknow, India


Dr. Urvashi Sahni visited STRC the Saraswati Teachers Training Research and Resource Center, in Lalitpur for three days and presented three sessions on relevant topics to educators. The sessions were attended by 40 educators and representatives of the government training centers like NCED, CDC and DEO Offices, and teachers and principals from the four sister schools of Shuvatara schools, two DSH schools and schools from Sindhupalchowk, Okhaldhunga, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.


On 7th Dec, she visited the four sister schools of Shuvatara School in Lamatar VDC, namely Kali Devi, Vasuki, Sringheri and Sisneri. The topic of her presentation on 7th Dec was “English Teaching Methods in Primary Schools”. The presentation was attended by 39 participants from Shuvatara and other schools, from government schools of Sindhupalchowk, Okhaldhunga and observers of the CDC, volunteer teachers and Resource Person from Lalitpur.


On 8th Dec. Dr Urvashi visited the DSH partner schools, in Lalitpur District, namely Sanchetana Primary School and Tika Vidyashram Higher Secondary School. These are the schools which are being used to film videos in for the DSH or Digital Study Hall project. Under this project, videos are shot of good private school teachers teaching in Government schools and these are given to underserved schools. She presented an important session on “Mediation Pedagogy and DSH project”.


On 9th December, Dr. Urvashi Sahni presented an important session on “Social Justice of Education”. Dr. Sahni elaborated on thought provoking issues faced by under-privilege girl students and demonstrated on how she deals with these issues in the schools that she runs in Lucknow, like Prerana Girls School. She showed through videos how the girls are sensitized about issues like early marriage, discriminations, domination and lack of basic rights of education, fair employment etc.


The videos made by teachers of DSH schools run by Dr. Sahni, are being successfully used in village schools in Lucknow to pull up the level of teaching and learning in these schools.
Dr. Sahni calls this “Mediation Pedagogy” through which teachers are NOT replaced by the videos but are assisted by the videos. In places where teachers are not available, the videos can however be used by responsible students or school community members to move the courses forward.


The videos are made in Nepali and English, and can be made in local languages, if funding is available. The curriculum of the Government is followed and extra activity classes like painting, singing, and moral classes etc can be given to enhance the level of education being imparted.


The videos are expected to encourage and reward good teachers by giving them a platform to present their skills. It can be a source of training for teachers, and re-training in areas where the children do not receive the videos well. Feedback from the teachers, students and school heads will be of great importance for the project to move ahead. Assessments for each lesson, lesson plans and notes are given, so that progress the children are making can be recorded. Eventually, children’s dropout rate is expected to be checked and classroom performance of the student and teacher is expected to improve.


The project is being run in collaboration with DSH Lucknow and STRC Kathmandu, with each of the Centers being supported by teachers of individual private. The DSH is supported by the Study Hall, a reputed private school founded by Dr. Sahni in Lucknow, and STRC is supported by Shuvatara School in Lalitpur founded by Mrs. Rani Gurung Kakshapati.  


The project in Lucknow is 5 years old with about 16,000 students benefitting. The DSH STRC project is in its pre-pilot stage and should be ready to distribute videos for the pilot project to Grade III of different schools in selected regions by the new session in April 2011. The schools will receive active lessons in five major subjects, that is English, Nepali, Science, Maths and Social Studies. The schools who will receive the videos will be required to submit regular feedback of the progress or problems. The supply of videos can be discontinued if there is no regular feedback and progress.


Saraswati Teachers Training, Resource and Research Center

Sanepa, Lalitpur

Contact Person: Kush Sunder Shrestha

Phone: 5526782, 5520742, 5527865


Dr. Urvashi Sahni – Speaker at the STRC DSH presentation
Urvashi Sahni has been an educator for the last twenty-two years. She completed her Ph.D. in 1994 in Language and Literacy at the University of California at Berkeley. As an educator, Dr. Sahni has founded a high school, and worked extensively in teacher training, curriculum development and school reform in India. For instance, she started an innovative in-service program for UNICEF in Lucknow, India, which has involved 30,000 kindergarten and first-grade teachers in twenty-eight districts of the country. In addition, Dr. Sahni initiated and managed a school reform project in a rural section of Uttar Pradesh in north India that involved sixty-two schools, 16,000 children, and 258 teachers. Dr. Sahni has collaborated with government agencies, several local agencies, and NGOs such as UNICEF, Azim Premji Foundation, and USAID in the area of school reform. Through such experiences, she pioneered the use of technology in education in rural schools in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In addition, she has directed the production and development of education software by teachers and programmers in the local language, and continues to experiment with and research the use of technology in education in very underserved areas of the country. In 2000, she received the Haas International Award from UC Berkeley in recognition of her "major contributions to the betterment of the world community".

In the last five years, Dr. Sahni has done considerable work in Drama in Education and the use of technology in Education. She is the Co-Founder of a project called Digital Study Hall, which involves the use of technology to reach underserved populations in
India. From 2003 - 2004,
Dr. Sahni was also a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Education at


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