chuku muku

A Fun Tangible Interactive Learning Setup for Rural Primary Education.

About the project

What is special about the Chuku Muku project?

Chuku Muku is a rural primary education project for India because a large proportion of the country's population lives in rural areas, and there is a significant disparity in education between urban and rural regions. Providing quality primary education in rural areas can help address this gap, improve literacy rates, and empower communities. It can also contribute to the overall development and socio-economic progress of the country.

What are the problem statements?

Lack of access to quality education: Many children in rural areas lack access to quality primary education due to the shortage of schools, teachers, and educational resources.

Low literacy rates: Despite significant improvements in recent years, the literacy rate in rural India remains low compared to urban areas, with girls and marginalized communities being particularly affected.

Teacher shortages and inadequate training: Rural schools often struggle to attract and retain qualified teachers, and many teachers lack the necessary training and resources to provide effective instruction.

Poor infrastructure and inadequate facilities: Many rural schools lack basic infrastructure such as proper classrooms, toilets, clean drinking water, and electricity, making it difficult to provide a conducive learning environment.

Cultural and social barriers: Cultural and social barriers such as early marriage, child labor, and gender discrimination can hinder access to education, particularly for girls and marginalized groups in rural areas.

How Chuku Muku project is addressing those issues?

This Project is a work-in-progress being done to overcome educational challenges faced by Rural India and utilizes the Stanford design thinking practices for the development of a solution that focuses on the sustainable approach for an interactive and fun learning medium. Insights reveal that children are inherently curious and imaginative, but the lack of infrastructure and financial aids such as innovative and interactive learning mediums for every school is the biggest challenge for them. So, to identify this problem into which equity in education should be provided to everyone, this project used the approach of sustainability in Rural Primary Education, to make it more feasible and equitable for everyone. 

Our Responsibility

Design Process

We used Design thinking as a problem-solving approach that puts the user at the center of the design process. It involves five stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. But we have added one more as Implement as the process begins by understanding the needs and challenges of the people we're designing for, followed by defining the problem or opportunity we want to address. Then, we generate a wide range of ideas and potential solutions, create prototypes to test and refine these ideas, and finally test and iterate until we have a solution that meets the user's needs by implementing it. The process is iterative and encourages creativity, collaboration, and empathy towards the end-users.

Project timeline

We embarked on this project with an ambitious timeline. As we worked tirelessly to meet deadlines, we encountered numerous obstacles and setbacks. However, we persevered and learned valuable lessons about the importance of clear communication, flexibility, and adapting to change. In the end, we successfully completed the project on time and celebrated our hard-earned success, while also reflecting on the lessons we had learned along the way.


Understanding and acknowledging the unique challenges and needs that children in rural areas face when it comes to accessing quality education. It involves recognizing that these children may have limited resources, such as access to technology and qualified teachers, and may also have to deal with issues such as poverty, transportation barriers, and cultural norms that may impact their ability to attend and excel in school.

Also, from the literature review that the addition of a new mode of learning in the form of a tangible Interactive medium in the curriculum of Rural primary education would help in its enhancement and increase student enrollment. Also, using the Circular economy system to refurbish the used or discarded phones for classroom activities and a fun learning approach would give a feeling of equity to the Rural students and would help them to have an experience of the technology just like students of private schools.

Target Audience

User Research

Ethnographic research was done in Dehradun city. The pictures of different Dehradun schools and a field study map are shared below in fig. The contextual inquiry was captured while the teachers were teaching in the class and also by observing the students after giving them classroom activities. Interviews were also taken with both the teachers and students in N=11 schools including the city, outskirts and remote schools of Dehradun.

The research study also covers the Education Block offices such as Vikasnagar, Sahaspur and Kalsi Block offices of Dehradun as the administration plays a vital role in running Rural schools in India. NGOs which are also working same initiatives using interactive mediums were also approached during the study to get their experience with the Rural student


Research on rural primary education has shown that access to quality education is critical for children living in rural areas to break the cycle of poverty and achieve long-term success.

However, there are various challenges that affect the quality of education in rural areas, such as inadequate funding, a shortage of trained teachers, and a lack of access to educational resources and infrastructure. Additionally, cultural norms and attitudes towards education can also affect the participation and success of students in rural areas.


Many students struggle to ask questions or seek help due to lack of confidence, which can hinder their academic success. This can be a significant barrier to their learning and academic success, as they may not receive the clarification they need to fully understand the material.

Educators should recognize their difficulties and adopt teaching methods that instill curiosity and make learning fun, helping students become more engaged and comfortable in asking for help when needed.


Rural primary teachers bear immense responsibility as they have to handle multiple classes at once, leading to a lack of attention on individual students.

 Moreover, inadequate facilities in schools further exacerbate the situation, leading to teachers quitting or requesting transfers, particularly in remote areas. 

This scenario has a profound impact on the quality of education and learning outcomes, which adversely affects the future prospects of students in these regions.


A concerning lack of staff support and resources for monitoring and supervising rural schools in Block offices, resulting in limited access to education for many children. Even well-intentioned NGOs working to promote fun learning are hindered by insufficient resources and inadequate government support, which prevent them from reaching all schools and villages in need. This underscores the urgent need for increased investment in education and stronger support for NGOs to ensure that all children in rural areas have access to quality education.


NGOs working in rural primary education in India face several challenges. Firstly, there is a lack of infrastructure and resources in many rural areas, making it difficult for NGOs to provide quality education. Additionally, poverty and social inequality often prevent children from attending school regularly or at all. Moreover, cultural norms and traditional gender roles can create obstacles for girls' education in some communities. Finally, government policies and regulations can also make it difficult for NGOs to operate efficiently and effectively.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT helped us to identify their internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. It involves examining Rural Primary Education's current position in the market, assessing its strengths and weaknesses, and identifying opportunities for growth and threats to its success.


Defining the project is critical in guiding the direction of the design process and creating a shared understanding among the team and stakeholders. However, some challenges in this stage include ensuring that the problem is well-defined and not too broad or narrow, as well as avoiding assumptions and biases that may hinder the problem-solving process. It's also important to keep the user's needs at the forefront while defining the problem, rather than relying solely on organizational/ Admin goals or assumptions.

Iceberg Model

The iceberg model for rural primary education in India is a metaphor used to describe the underlying problems that exist in the education system of rural India. The iceberg model suggests that the problems we see on the surface, such as low attendance, lack of infrastructure, and low quality of teaching, are just the tip of the iceberg. The real issues lie beneath the surface and are much more complex and deep-rooted.


Personas are fictional characters that represent different segments of a target audience, and they are based on research and data about the characteristics, behaviours, goals, and needs of real people. Personas can also help to identify gaps in the current offerings and opportunities for innovation and improvement.

User Stories

The user story is a fictional one-sentence story told from a persona's point of view to inspire and inform design decisions. It introduces the user, lays out an obstacle, and states their ultimate goal. For this project's phase, we focused on the student persona and deepens our understanding of the user group.


HMW: How Might We

This process involves identifying the needs and challenges of students in rural primary education and using the "How Might We" questions to inspire creative solutions and innovations that can help address these challenges. The ultimate goal is to stage interventions that can improve the delivery, accessibility, and effectiveness of primary education in rural areas.

How might we create engaging and interactive learning experiences for students in rural primary education that cater to their unique cultural and linguistic backgrounds?

How might we design a user-friendly platform that allows students in rural areas to easily connect with teachers and mentors for personalized learning?

How might we make educational resources more accessible for students in rural areas with limited internet connectivity?


Design Principle

For Ideation, we have incorporated the Stanford five-stage design thinking model, key sustainability indicators (including social, environmental, and economic), and digital fabrication components (including material and process) with the aim of evaluating sustainable prototyping processes and outcomes. The purpose of this framework is to assess the sustainability of the prototyping process and its resulting products. By using this framework, the study aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the sustainability of the prototyping process, including its impact on social, environmental, and economic factors.

This also focuses on the digital fabrication components of the process, including the materials and processes used in prototyping. Overall, this framework provides a structured approach for evaluating sustainable prototyping processes and can be used to guide future efforts in sustainable design and manufacturing.

Prototyping and testing

The problem which was focused on during the Ideation is especially the learning and understanding of the students.  So, ideations were made keeping in mind the age group and curriculum of the school which can be served with tangible interactive learning setups to make teaching-learning methods into a fun-learning process. This ideation uses the principle of association and induction of gamified approach with their syllabus.

Stage- I

Initial Ideation & Prototyping was based on the approach of merging gamification into the present learning process of the students.

Game Mechanism:
The game uses the probability of chance as its core mechanism. The game concept collaborated with the principle of their traditional game (Kancha). The team who first completes the set given to them will be the winner. If other teams answer instead of your turns, the other team will acquire your set too.

Turn ‘N’ Learn 

2,3 words letter formation and preposition. A game that challenges players to form words by shifting letters and placing them in the correct prepositional context.

Tile Tutor 

Association and learning technique for English which focuses on pronunciation to learn associating visuals with letters and words.

Math Mania 

The fastest answer first wins and focuses on mental calculation. To solve math problems mentally as fast as possible.

Testing & Feedback

Testing was conducted in one of the schools to test it in the classroom setup. Testing these early-made prototypes gives insights regarding the responses and areas to improve for the prototype. The test was conducted under a teacher’s supervision and students are divided into groups as earlier during the field study with one having all students of the same class and the other group of mixed classes. During the session children really enjoyed the game overall as they found games very new and curious while playing around them.


Turn 'N' Learn

Easy to make with disposable cups and markers. Students can explore and make new words out of it.

Tile Tutor

Students loved this game the most as they can just pick and place the answer accordingly. Multiple students engage as the group can play this game.

Math Mania

This game is liked by most of the class standards. this game creates collaboration between students as they all guide each other and win as a team


Turn 'N' Learn

Markers and letters erase over one and two uses. One’s student plays it at once.

Tile Tutor

Absence of any feedback on whether the response is correct or not. No Hindi meaning.

Math Mania

Need a moderator or feedback as sometimes a student gets aggressive in proving right or wrong during the gameplay