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Basic Learning Improvement Program Scale up in Bihar, India Pratham-Bihar Government Partnership 2012-2013 and 2013-14.

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Presentation on theme: "Basic Learning Improvement Program Scale up in Bihar, India Pratham-Bihar Government Partnership 2012-2013 and 2013-14."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic Learning Improvement Program Scale up in Bihar, India Pratham-Bihar Government Partnership and

2  Pratham and Bihar Government had worked together from 2007 to 2010 in a multi-year collaboration for bringing children to school. This program called Sankalp is credited with the impressive decline in the numbers of children out of school in Bihar in the last 8-9 years.  Apart from the Sankalp program, Pratham has worked with Bihar Government in a number of other initiatives including adult literacy missions, ICDS – anganwadi/pre-school education and in training of community volunteers of educationally backward hamlets.  Pratham materials have been used in mass education programs, in school programs and school libraries as well as in pre-school centres (anganwadis). For Bihar’s 100 th anniversary, Pratham worked with Bihar Government to produce a set of 100 stories written and illustrated by local people.  Over the years, ASER reports have been discussed seriously at different levels of Bihar Government. In 2013, 10 DIETs (district teacher training institutions) have participated in DIETS. PAST HISTORY OF PRATHAM & BIHAR GOVERNMENT COLLABORATIONS As enrolment in Bihar has risen to over 95%, concern with attendance and learning has been increasing in government and in the media. Since 2011 there were discussions between Pratham & Bihar Government about what could be done.

3 PHASES OF SCALE UP: LEARNING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM August 2012 to March 2013 Pratham works with the district administration of Jehanabad district (224 schools & ~ 16,000 children) January 2013 to May 2013 Pratham works with the district administration of Purbi Champaran district (681 schools & ~ 55,000 children) The two district pilot conducted in partnership with Pratham influenced Bihar government to:  Declare clear learning goals for Grade 3, 4 and 5 in basic reading and maths  Announce state wide “Mission Gunwatta” program (Quality Mission). This includes the Pratham model of “teaching-at-the-right” level for ensuring “learning to read” and learning basic arithmetic for children in Grade 3, 4 & 5. School year “Mission Gunwatta”* program to reach all 70,000 government elementary schools across Bihar. School year Pratham partners actively with government in 13 out of 38 districts. Here one Pratham team member works with govt staff in 2 blocks (~ 200 schools). Total Pratham reach = 24,000 schools SHIFT IN POLICY PILOTS IN SCALE UP IN In both districts reading levels improve by percentage points * Mission Gunwatta was also called “Samjhe Seekhe Second phase.” It had other components in it also in addition to the intervention for Std 3-5.

4 ACTIVE PRATHAM PARTNERSHIP IN 13 DISTRICTS in BIHAR Total districts in Bihar = 38 Total districts in which Pratham is partnering = 13  All government elementary schools in East Champaran, Darbhanga, Supaul, Katihar, Rohtas, Gaya, Nalanda, Kishanganj, Purnia, Jehanabad, Jamui.  In Patna district (all urban blocks + 2 rural blocks) and Munger (urban). In the districts where Pratham is actively partnering:  Total number of schools in these 13 districts =  Total number of CRCCs trained = 1676  Total number of teachers trained =  Total number of children reached = 1.64 million

5  A CRCC (Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator) is a government functionary who is responsible for schools. It was decided that this should be the cadre who will lead the learning improvement initiative.  Each CRCC (Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator) was trained for 4 days by Pratham teams. After their 4 day training, the CRCCs conducted daily “practice classes” for days before the implementation rolled out in their districts.  2-3 CRCCs worked together in one school for the practice class.  All children in Grade 3, 4 and 5 were assessed using simple reading and math tools.  Based on this assessment children were grouped by levels rather than by grade. In each school there were at least 3 groups.  For the purposes of conducting the day “practice class” for 2 hours a day. 2-3 CRCCs worked together in one school with each CRCC responsible for one group of children in that school. CREATING A CADRE WITHIN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM TO LEAD THE LEARNING IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE

6 HOW MUCH PROGRESS IS POSSIBLE IN 15 DAYS? RESULTS OF THE CRCC- 15 DAY “PRACTICE CLASSES” READING : % Children MATHS : % Children For details of tools/tests – see later slides Pratham trained 1575 CRCCs (Cluster Resource Centre Coordinators in 13 districts for conducting “practice classes” daily for days. The data reported here is for 1676 CRCCs from 7 districts. Reading data indicates 15 percentage points improvement for children who can read at least at “para”/Grade 1 level. Improvement in basic ability to do at least subtraction rose more than 15 percentage points

7 District & Block Level Orientation CRCC practice classes days Monitoring and support by Pratham CRCC Training by Pratham 4 days \ Head teachers’ orientation 1 day Children assessed in reading and arithmetic by teachers Groups formed by level instead of by grade. Instructional time - about 2 hours a day Teachers assigned to specific groups, Materials distributed to children in school Teaching-learning materials printed Learning improvement classes begin in school. CRCCs and Pratham team members visit schools, provide demonstration and support. CRCC expected to spend 20 days in the field. Periodic review of progress at different levels. PATHWAYS: ROLL OUT/SCALE UP OF INTERVENTION Teachers trained by CRCCs. 4 days Assisted by Pratham

8 OTHER EVENTS …… In support of “Mission Gunwatta”, some other elements within the education system were also activated:  All Block Education Officers of Bihar (about 550 officers - each in charge of schools) were oriented about the learning goals of Mission Gunwatta.  Pratham teams spent one day with the BEOs discussing the findings of ASER report for Bihar, tools for assessment and implementation issues.  This was done twice through the school year. In the past few years, Bihar Government has identified “mahadalit tolas” – hamlets where the population is economically, socially and educationally backward. Community volunteers - “Tola sewaks” have been identified by the government to help to improve education levels of children and literacy of adults. In backward Muslim hamlets, these community volunteers are called “Talimi Markaz” volunteers.  In , Pratham teams have directly trained 2000 Tola Sewak and Talimi Markaz volunteers from across the state. Another 500 Master Trainers have been oriented and trained to be able to take the Pratham methodology of teaching-learning to the rest of the community volunteers in the state. In April-May 2014, more time was allocated in schools for focussing on basic reading and maths in all grades.

9  CLEAR GOALS: Clear learning goals for Std 3, 4 and 5. By the end of the school year, children should be reading basic text fluently and be able to do the basic arithmetic operations. Periodic reviews of progress at district & block level.  DESIGNATED TIME: 1.5 to 2 hours after midday meal put aside daily for this work.  SIMPLE ASSESSMENT: Children assessed one-on-one using simple tools. Based on their level, children placed in groups. This grouping is not on the basis of grade but by level. Progress was reviewed using similar tools periodically.  GROUPING BY LEVEL FOR INSTRUCTION: Each school had at least 3 groups into with children from Std 3, 4 and 5 were assigned. One teacher assigned to each group. The number of groups depended on the number of teachers available.  APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES & MATERIALS: Activities and materials appropriate for each group/ level was used. A child could move to the next group if she or he was ready. KEY ELEMENTS OF LEARNING INTERVENTION

10 MATERIAL S For teachers and for the groups of children Phonetic chart (barahkhadi) & number chart Instruction manual for teachers For each child Small booklet of short simple stories in large font Child’s own phonetic chart & number chart

11 READING IS ASSESSED USING THE ASER READING TOOL Assessment of each child enrolled in Grade 3, 4 and 5 is done using these basic set of reading tasks. Each child is marked at the highest level the child can read. The “story level” is text at Grade 2 level of difficulty. “Para level” is text at Grade 1 level of difficulty. Teachers in the school assess the children. The Cluster Coordinator guides and monitors them. The assessment is used to group children for instruction. Children in Grade 3-5 were grouped by level rather than by grade for the “special class” during the school day.

12 % Children at: BaselineEnd line Story level (Grade 2) Para level (Grade 1) Word level Letter level Beginner level Total %100 Total tested1,444,9921,374,472 Number of children1.44 million1.37 million Evidence of progress: In the beginning of the Mission Gunwatta initiative, 42.4 % of children enrolled in Std 3 to 5 could read (either at para level or at story level). This number increased to 65.6% by the end of the school year. The proportion of children who could not even read words dropped from 34.3% (about one third of all children) to 14.1% (about one in every seven children) BASIC READING IMPROVEMENT – MISSION GUNWATTA BIHAR DATA FROM 7 DISTRICTS OF BIHAR Total number of schools included here = Districts: East Champaran, Darbhanga, Supaul, Katihar, Rohtas, Gaya and Nalanda. Data from all blocks from these districts except 6 blocks included here. Data collected at school level by teachers.

13 READING IMPROVEMENT – DISTRICT WISE: 7 DISTRICTS Std 3, 4 & 5 children DARBHANGAPURBI CHAMPARANGAYAKATIHARNALANDAROHTASSUPAUL BaselineEnd lineBaselineEnd line Baselin e End line Baselin e End line Baselin e End line Baselin e End line Baselin e End line Story level23%36%20%39%23%45%21%36%29%40%26%42%23%45% Para level21%26%17%22%21%26%19%28%21%22%18%23%19%27% Word level24%21%22% 23%17%27%22% 20%21%20%26%19% Letter level20%12%26%12%22%9%23%11%18%13%24%12%22%8% Beginner level12%4%15%6%12%3%9%3%10%5%11%4%10%2% Total %100% Total tested Total schools The actual programs in most districts began in January 2014 and lasted till May Hence baseline and end lines were done accordingly. The number of children tested in baseline is 1.44 million. End line has 1.37 million children. Data shown here is collected by school teachers for the children in their school under the guidance of the cluster officials.

14 BASIC ARITHMETIC IS ASSESSED USING A SIMPLE TOOL Assessment of each child enrolled in Std 3, 4 and 5 is done using these basic set of arithmetic tasks. Each child is marked at the highest level the child can reach. The “subtraction level” is the level expected of children in Std 2 (Includes knowledge of numbers till 100, place value and ability to do basic operations.) Teachers in the school assess the children. The Cluster Coordinator guides and monitors them.

15 Evidence of progress in basic math In the beginning of the Mission Gunwatta initiative, 40 % of children enrolled in Std 3 to 5 could not even do 2 digit subtraction. This number increased to 62% by the end of the school year. The proportion of children who could not even recognize numbers till 100 has dropped from 21% (one fifth of all children) to 7% (about one in every twelve children) BASIC MATH IMPROVEMENT – MISSION GUNWATTA BIHAR DATA FROM 7 DISTRICTS OF BIHAR Basic MathsBaselineEnd line Division level Subtraction level Addition level Number recog.11 to Number recog. 1 to Beginner level Total %100 Total number of schools included here = Districts: East Champaran, Darbhanga, Supaul, Katihar, Rohtas, Gaya and Nalanda. Data from all blocks from these districts except 6 blocks included here. Data collected at school level by teachers.

16 ARITHMETIC IMPROVEMENT – DISTRICT WISE: 7 DISTRICTS The actual programs in most districts began in January 2014 and lasted till May Hence baseline and end lines were done accordingly. The number of children tested in baseline is 1.44 million. End line has 1.37 million children. Data shown here is collected by school teachers for the children in their school under the guidance of the cluster officials. Std 3, 4 & 5 children DARBHANGA PURBI CHAMPARAN GAYAKATIHARNALANDAROHTASSUPAUL BaselineEnd lineBaselineEnd line Baselin e End line Baselin e End line Baselin e End line Baselin e End line Baselin e End line Division level21%34%14%33%21%42%18%33%28%38%21%43%21%43% Subtraction level20%24%18%26%21%24%21%27%23%24%19%27%21%27% Addition level20% 21% 22%18%23%21%18%17%20%19%23%19% Number recognition 11 to 99 level 18%13%19%13%18%10%17%12%16%12%17%8%18%8% Number recognition 1 to 9 level 13%7%22%6%13%4%15%6%10%6%17%3%12%3% Beginner level7%2%7%1%8%1%6%2%5%2%6%1%5%1% Total %100% 104%100% Total schools

17 OTHER EVIDENCE OF LEARNING PROGRESS In the last week of May 2014 (the week before summer vacations started), a team of evaluators from ASER Centre/Pratham and Bihar government did a school based assessment (oral and written) of children in a sample of schools from each district. This evaluation was supported by UNICEF and was targeted at children in Grade 2, 4 and 6. Data from May “external” evaluation has been compared here to the data collected by teachers (baseline & end line) for Grade 4 a set of 287 common schools from 12 districts. School level Baseline = Jan 2014 (8935 children) School level End line = May 2014 (8404 children) School level external data = May 2014 (6644 children) Similar % of “readers” in both data If “readers” are those who can read at story & para level (i.e. at least at Grade 1 level, then the data from May from both sets of data shows similar levels of “readers” – about 60% by the end of the school year.

18 LOOKING FORWARD There have been important learnings from the work of :  Evidence from shows that substantial improvement in children’s learning is possible even in a short period of time if there is focussed attention and action devoted to the problem.  CRCCs are able to lead the entire effort but they need to be supported to do this kind of academic work as opposed to many other administrative tasks.  In there were many delays in getting implementation work moving at the district level. There were delays in teaching training and in printing of teaching-learning materials. Such delays can be avoided in the future.  Several studies of student achievement have been carried out in in the state. These should help in planning way forward.  Strong leadership and clear priority for improving basic learning for children needs to continue and sustain at the state level. This greatly helps district level action. A multi-year vision for learning improvement is also needed.

19 For more information, please contact Pratham team in Bihar: Sanjay Kumar: Shailendra Singh: Md. Naiyer Alam: Also see:


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