Collaborative Post-Graduate Programme in Education
To advance the professional development of functionaries working in the education sector, IFIG-CEE supported the Collaborative Postgraduate in Education. The course aims to enhance knowledge, capacities and orientations that are relevant to strengthening elementary education across India.
Muktangan Education Initiative
ICICI Securities, through ICICI Foundation, provided support to the pre-primary section of Muktangan, a Mumbai-based NGO since 2007. Muktangan’s goal is to use alternative, holistic techniques to design a model of quality education that is sustainable and affordable.
ICICI Securities’ support, which began in 2007, helped Muktangan to develop and introduce innovative and supportive practices for early childhood education to their group of pre-primary students, practices that include determining an ideal student to teacher ratio and maintaining continuity between standards. These practices aimed to provide an environment that sustains children’s interest and facilitates their development
The Quality Education Programme
The Quality Education Programme, Baran, is a collaborative initiative of ICICI Foundation and its partner resource organisations – Digantar, Jaipur and Vidya Bhawan Society, Udaipur — that supports government efforts to improve the quality of elementary education in Rajasthan’s Baran district. In addition to strengthening government education institutions, the programme has improved in-service teacher trainings, teacher and student attendance, classroom practices and learning.
Despite the substantial progress made through the Government of India’s flagship education programme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) – which aims to provide free and compulsory education for children ages 6 to14 – many gaps in India’s education system remain. In Rajasthan, SSA has improved access and enrolment in schools, but the programme has made few inroads in improving the quality of education. Improving the quality of education in districts like Baran, which has some of the poorest education indicators in the state, required efforts to strengthen the training and academic capacities of government education institutions at the district, block and cluster levels. These institutions are critical to the provision of support to schools and teachers and consequently to improving the quality of schooling processes and outcomes. Additionally, there was a need to work intensively in few schools in select clusters to demonstrate well functioning schools and their support system at the cluster level and to generate evidence on good practices on overall school improvement.
The Quality Education Program (QEP), Baran, focuses on strengthening the capacity of the District Institute for Education and Training to enable it to provide stronger academic and training support to teachers and schools. QEP also works with Block Resource Centres (BRCs) and Cluster Resource Centres (CRCs) to develop their potential as resource centres that support teachers in their day-to-day functioning. In addition, QEP works intensively across four clusters of two blocks (Ataru and Shahabad) to provide in-school and in-classroom support in 78 of Baran’s approximately 1,600 government schools. The programme also works to build linkages between these schools, the community and the government educational institutions in the district. These direct interventions have reached approximately 250 teachers and 6,000 students.
The programme is a collaborative initiative of the Government of Rajasthan through the Collector, Baran; the District Institute for Education and Training, Baran; Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Baran; Digantar, Vidya Bhawan Society and ICICI FOUNDATION.
- The programme has set up a localised resource centre within the DIET, consisting of programme staff and faculty from the DIET, BRCs and CRCs. Known as the Quality Improvement Unit (QIU), the centre provides ongoing academic support and helps with planning and organising trainings for teachers.
- The QIU has developed innovative in-service teacher training modules and teaching learning materials. These modules have been developed through the active and sustained participation of local master trainers selected from Baran’s teacher community.
- For three successive years, 4,200 teachers from primary and upper primary schools have attended the annual in-service teacher-training programme.
- The 78 intervention schools have seen improvements in teacher and student attendance, more engaging and participatory morning assemblies, better classroom organisation and more positive student-teacher relationships. Children’s reading levels have also improved and there is a greater use of teaching learning material in classrooms.
English Relay Programme
ICICI Foundation recognises the increasing value of English language proficiency for both personal and professional development. To help improve the English language skills of children in Assam, we launched the English Relay Programme, in partnership with Axom Sarba Siksha Abhijan Mission (Assam SSA), with Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited – Education & Technology Services (IL&FS-ETS) as our implementation partner.
Launched in July 2011, the English Relay Programme aimed to impact students of 100 government-run elementary schools in Kamrup district in Assam. This programme was specifically designed for students, who learn English as their second or third language and aims to strengthen the capacities of the teachers so that the students may develop basic English language proficiency.
Creating an Education Resource Centre in Chhattisgarh
In Chhattisgarh, ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth and its partner resource organisations – Digantar, Jaipur, Eklavya, Hoshangabad and Vidya Bhawan Education Resource Centre, Udaipur — have created the Chhattisgarh Education Resource Centre (CERC), a robust education resource centre that supports the government education institutions to strengthen the quality of elementary education in the state.
Over the course ofICICI Foundation’s engagement with the state of Chhattisgarh, it became apparent that the ongoing work of developing textbooks and building the capacities of Chhattisgarh’s state educational institutions required an ongoing and continuous local presence in the state. To meet this need, the Chhattisgarh Education Resource Centre (CERC) was set up in June 2007 with the support ofICICI Foundation, Eklavya, Digantar and Vidya Bhawan Education Resource Centre.
The Chhattisgarh Education Resource Centre (CERC) consists of a core team of full-time local staff, who were initially guided and supported by resource partners working within the state. The CERC engages with and builds capacities of educational institutions in the state and develops a common platform with NGOs. It also works to involve competent resource personnel from inside and outside the state to facilitate educational reform.
- Currently the CERC is actively working with the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT) to develop the teacher education curriculum (Diploma in Education, D.Ed). Together the organisations are reforming the D.Ed curriculum to enable student teachers to develop into reflective practitioners.
- CERC has also worked with the DIET and has started holding study forums for students pursuing the two-year D.Ed programme. The study forums provide space and encouragement for student teachers to develop as confident speakers, to reflect on educational, social and political issues, and to engage in open debates – important abilities for reflective teachers.
Chhattisgarh Curriculum and Textbook Development
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.