Lifeline for Education

A system for critical academic support and training for rural elementary school teachers in Monteswar, Bardhaman district, West Bengal.


What It Is

Most teachers in rural government schools in India face an acute shortage of teaching resources and academic support. 

The Lifeline for Education pilot project was implemented by One World South Asia (OWSA) in partnership with Quest Alliance and Vikramshila Educational Resource Society (education and field implementation partner), with technical support from British Telecom and CISCO Systems, and funding from International Youth Foundation and USAID. 

The telephone-based support system, laid over an IT and internet-based one, enables teachers to easily access subject-matter and pedagogy experts who can accurately respond to their queries on daily academic transactions.

Teachers register their queries, which are answered within 48 hours by a qualified panel of experts. Local language interaction in voice mode facilitates the easy and proactive use of the service.

What We Did

Quest conducted a preliminary needs assessment with Quicksand Design Studio to clarify program objectives, and provided continuous strategic support of resources and management oversight.

We helped improve subject knowledge, teaching and classroom management skills, built confidence levels and teachers’ abilities to raise questions and think critically, and gave them exposure to innovative ways of teaching.

The state government has facilitated the expansion of the program to other parts of West Bengal. The same project has also been replicated and implemented in Rajasthan with support from UNICEF and the Rajasthan State Government.

Who We Reached

  • 1816 teachers in 571 schools, SSKs and ICDS centers
  • 40, 000 students (23,327 male and 16,673 female) across 13 panchayats in 164 villages
  • 12,139 questions and answers generated on the system during the project lifecycle
  • 13 field infomediaries and 4 knowledge workers trained in pedagogy, knowledge management and technical training on handling IVRS
  • 150 experts and resource persons responded to queries raised


  • 1,816Teachers
  • 571Schools
  • 40, 000Students
  • 13Panchayats
  • 164 Villages
  • 12,139Questions and Answers
  • 13Field Infomediaries
  • 4Knowledge Workers Trained
  • 150Experts