Signs of Progress in Uttar Pradesh
Writing in Ideas for India, Shobhini Mukerji, executive director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab South Asia regional center, discusses the shift being brought about in Uttar Pradesh’s primary education system through the evidence-backed Graded Learning Program (GLP), an initiative between Pratham and UP’s Basic Education Department.
While Pratham has been active in UP for many years, the goals of this new effort are to improve the learning levels in basic reading and arithmetic for the 8.4 million children studying in the state’s 113,000 government primary schools; introduce and sustain innovative education practices; and build teaching capacity through monitoring, mentoring, and academic support.
The program utilizes Pratham’s much-lauded Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach, which groups children according to learning level rather than age or grade. TaRL is the culmination of over a decade of collaborative research by Pratham and J-PAL-affiliated researchers aimed at improving the learning levels of primary school children.
Using an Android app designed by Pratham, 230,000 teachers upload data for their classes. Dashboards with charts and bar graphs are generated in real time, which makes tracking progress easy, which is essential when working at this scale. So far, the results have been promising, with reading levels increasing by 22 percentage points!
Mukerji credits the success not only to the classroom methodology but also the collaborative approach. “Big change requires everyone to contribute,” she explains, “from the government system to civil society organizations, foundations, academics, donors, and communities,” before cautiously adding, “The challenge is now to see how much of what has started this year gathers momentum and moves into the next school year.”
Read the full article.