Govt-NGO partnership sees improvement in quality of education in primary schools

Mysuru: As a result of the Government of Karnataka partnering with , an to improve the quality of in primary in the state, the reading ability of children in Class 4 and 5 saw an improvement from 29% to 65% and the ability to do math increased from 31% to 69%. In the case of Urdu medium schools, the ability to read a story in Urdu improved from 17% to 57%.
Elated with the success, the by the end of 2019 will extend this partnership with Pratham in 21 districts of the state.

Divulging details of the training method of Pratham which has brought about significant changes, founder of Pratham Mysore, Ashvini Ranjan told TOI, “The uniqueness in our training lies in segregating the children based on their learning levels. In a typical classroom, there are children who have stopped learning at different levels. While 10% of a classroom is made up of frontbenchers who have little or no difficulty, the remaining 90% have difficulties in learning at various levels.”

“By segregating them, the teachers who are trained by our master trainers will provide individual attention to every child to help them catch up by clearing their doubts and the children rapidly catch up,” said Ranjan.

“To promote a healthy and friendly classroom atmosphere, we ask the teachers to squat on the floor along with the children as it makes a world of a difference to the children as they feel less intimidated by the teacher,” said Ranjan asserting that a significant change was witnessed after this method was adopted. The children do not get frightened and a friendly atmosphere is created and learning becomes fun, he added.

“We also update the parents about their wards’ progress which is making them wake up and pay attention to their children,” Ranjan said.

Elated by the difference made to the children, Ranjan said, “We are participating with the government at every step in this short-term intervention. Many a times, there are teachers who are not so welcoming of our master trainers who are young men and women between the ages of 20-25, but the difference made in the learning process of these children is reassuring and encourages us to do better.”

Explaining the Teaching at Right Level (TARL) methodology of Pratham, Jagadish, a programme coordinator for Pratham, said, “Our methodology focuses on teaching students based on their levels by giving them individual attention. Some children will not be able to identify letters, some won’t be able to read words and some others won’t be able to read sentences. We identify such problems and help them overcome those problems. There are many dedicated teachers who put in a lot of effort to help these children overcome their learning difficulties.”

After grouping the children by classifying them as ‘letter level’, ‘word level’, and ‘sentence level’, a semicircle is formed and the teacher sits down on the floor to impart lessons which boosts one-to-one relationship, added Jagadish.

Pointing to the pivotal role played by Teaching Learning Materials (TLM) of Pratham, Rachaiah, a member of the State Resource Group (SRG) who teaches mathematics, said, “We adopt the touch and learn method which makes learning not only easy, but also fun. To teach mathematics, we use straws, coins, and currency notes when we have to teach them simple addition, subtraction, division or multiplication.”

Crediting the method adopted by Pratham for improving soft skills of the children, he said, “Along with learning, the speaking skills of the children also saw a huge improvement.”

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