Nov 18, 2015

Dr. Rukmini Banerji to Co-Host New Education Policy E-Symposium

Ideas for India

Over the next few days, Pratham CEO Dr. Rukmini Banerji and Ideas for India Editor-in-Chief Ashok Kotwal will co-host an e-symposium entitled “Ideas for Reforms in Education Policy in India.” The effort will bring together, for the first time, key findings from recent research in diverse fields that can affect how the country’s New Education Policy is shaped.

Promising a bright economic future, the new Indian government has high aspirations. Yet, with the vast majority of India’s citizens being unskilled and under-educated (“How can one be a good machinist if one cannot read or divide?”), a focus on education reform comes to the forefront. The government has been culling feedback via consultations and discussions from village level to the national level.

Since the 2009 Right to Education (RTE) Act made sure that nearly every Indian child was enrolled in school, the next steps should pertain to the quality of that education. Questions being debated include: What kind of schools do we want? What are effective ways of selecting, preparing and supporting teachers? What should children learn that prepares them for life? How should teaching-learning happen?

One potential solution referenced in the e-symposium is Pratham’s “Teaching at the Right Level” (TaRL) approach used in our literacy and learning programs. The process, which groups students according to their learning level rather than age, employs engaging, hands-on activities to ensure that each child grasps the fundamentals before moving on to the next level. After a decade of rigorous testing, our programs have proven that TaRL is an effective technique for better learning. The fact that it is also cost-effective and scalable makes it an ideal model for education reform across India.

Read the full article.