In Chhattisgarh, ICICI Foundation facilitated a collaborative partnership among its partner resource organisations – Digantar, Jaipur, Eklavya, Hoshangabad and Vidya Bhawan Education Resource Centre, Udaipur — and the state government to support the process of school curriculum renewal. Through the collaborative effort, critical support was extended to strengthen the capacities of the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT) to develop a new curriculum framework and textbooks. Today, four million students across Chhattisgarh have benefitted from the revised curriculum and learn with the help of these child-friendly textbooks.
When the state of Chhattisgarh was constituted in 2002, the state government elected to develop a new state curriculum and textbooks to reflect the state’s particular socio-cultural context. To undertake this task successfully, it needed expertise and perspective from partners with experience in developing school curricula.
To help carry out the process of curriculum and textbook development, ICICI Foundationfacilitated a partnership between the state government and three of its expert resource partners. Developing the new curriculum and textbooks was a consultative process, informed by deliberations among participants from the SCERT, District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), teacher training institutes and colleges in Chhattisgarh, resource persons from the three partner organisations and experts from universities.
To develop a pool of local resource persons, the project included a significant capacity building element for state and district-level institutions including the SCERT and DIETs. This enabled these institutions to develop as centres of academic activity and support for the education system. While many stakeholders participated in developing the textbooks, the process was anchored within the SCERT, which oversaw the process through a steering committee formed by its faculty.
- The new curriculum has been used state-wide since 2007.
- Textbooks in all subjects for classes 1-8 have been released for state-wide usage. These textbooks have been acclaimed by national-level experts.
- Four million children across the state use the contextually-grounded and child-friendly curriculum and textbooks.
- Through the process, the SCERT has built capacity for providing leadership to the elementary school system in Chhattisgarh.