Aug 25, 2014

Learning is Fun in Bihar, India

Live Mint

When the national census and Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) results revealed that Bihar’s literacy rate was 10% below the national average, the state government partnered with Pratham to help the children who have fallen behind.

The result? Mission Gunwatta, a literacy movement that implements innovative learning methods as outlined in the Combined Activities for Maximized Learning (CAMaL) manual issued by Pratham and the State Council of Educational Research and Training, Bihar.

Such techniques involve grouping children into four different learning levels (rather than age) and teaching through hands-on, interactive lessons. Students, who get to mimic their teacher in reading exercises, write their favorite words on the chalkboard and engage in “mind mapping,” find this new way of learning fun.

“I enjoy using sticks to count. I don’t have to memorize anything. It is like a game, but we are learning,” says Renu Kumari, a sixth-grade student in Mangarama Middle School.

Even though these methods take more time, the program has seen student attendance and engagement increase. Early assessment of a literacy program in the Jehanabad district already shows improvement in student reading levels: “In September 2012, 40.1% of the children evaluated could read at the story and paragraph levels, and by February 2013, the proportion rose to 60.6%.”

Read the full article.

Learn more about Pratham’s literacy and learning programs.

Watch the video.