India has succeeded in closing the gap on universal school enrolment but ensuring desired learning outcomes remains a challenge.
Both the National Achievement Survey Report (2017) and Annual Status of Education Report (2018) highlight this challenge – only 50% of Grade 5 children are able to read Grade 2 level text, and only 28% of Grade 5 children are able to solve Grade 3 division problems.
Various policy initiatives have been implemented to improve teacher effectiveness from revising incentives, matching educational qualification with worldwide norms, to setting up teacher training schedules and extensive mentoring systems. All this has not resulted in improved learning outcomes.
Gyan Shala runs classes in hired rooms within the community, eliminating the cost of commute, and which providing quality education to girls from disadvantaged urban areas, who are faced with issues of access. Teachers are recruited from among the young women of the community, enabling them to access a socially acceptable formal-sector employment at competitive wages.
Gyan Shala’s curriculum design team has developed a robust pedagogy that taps into each child’s inherent learning capability. The team supports teachers with scripted daily learning plans for students to practice taught lessons through individual work and group activities, supervised by class-teacher.
Teachers – recruited from among the young women of the community – are supported with scripted daily learning plans that and other resources to help children learn and practice to their maximum capabilities.
Gyan Shala’s curriculum design team are constantly evolving their curriculum to help first generation learners from disadvantaged communities achieve high learning outcomes and perform on tests per national curriculum.
Pankaj Jain, Founder, Gyan Shala
“What the DIB did was to extend the sense of accountability not only among the top management and our design team but take it all the way down to the field staff as well as the teachers and I think that has been a very positive contribution of the DIB culture as well as the association with the formal sense of DIB.”
About Gyan Shala
Gyanshala is registered as a charitable public trust, set up around 25 years back by the then faculty members of two of India’s reputed business schools, and some NGO leaders. The objective was to work as an ‘action-research organization’ in the field of school education, so as to make a large scale impact on school education policy. The organization has established a collegial learning culture in line with its goal, and operates in low cost missionary cultural mode.
Gyanshala believes that organization has achieved much of its goals and missions, by educating more than 200 thousand poor slum children, and impacting government school system in two of India’s largest government school systems.