Education Programmes in Central India Initiative
Khunti district in Jharkhand is plagued by non-functioning schools, inadequate secondary education, unavailability of context-specific and age-appropriate reading material, rampant teacher absenteeism and high drop-out rate for girl students. In 2009-2010, the Tata Trusts initiated several interventions in this region. Corralled under the Trusts’ Central India Initiative (CInI) were the following educational interventions:
- Elementary schools: The Trusts addressed the quality issues in elementary schools in this region through the direct implementation of School and Community-based Quality Improvement Programme (SCQuIP) and its expansion.
- Secondary schools: Remedial coaching centres were implemented by CInI to support high school students and help them clear matriculation examinations with academic support for core subjects.
- Innovation and research: The Trusts implemented two programmes under this component –
- Continuing of Girl Child Education: The Trusts partnered with Vikas Bharati to implement ‘Punararambh’, which provided academic support to girls who either dropped out or failed their matriculation examinations.
- Quality University Education Programme: This intervention, in partnership with the Hazaribagh Jesuit Education Society, provided laboratory facilities, computers and equipment to students.
The Trusts’ interventions in this region focus on:
- Improving school functioning through training the teachers, setting up libraries and water and sanitation facilities
- Community mobilisation and strengthening of the school management committee (SMC)
- Remedial inputs for high school students
- Strengthening education administration and providing academic support to teachers through Block Resource Centres (BRCs)
The Trusts’ interventions in Jharkhand have succeeded in:
- Improving the schooling experience of 25,000 students in 232 schools in 27 clusters across three blocks
- Training 2,800 SMC members
- Community contribution towards repairs and fencing in 170 schools
- Setting up a vibrant block resource centre that provides access to teaching learning material and training to teachers in the block
- Setting up over 200 libraries/classroom library corners to provide regular access to reading material
- Significantly improving student learning in primary grades and intervention high schools; 10th grade results stood at 91% of students passing
Going forward, the Trusts’ aim is to intensify academic interventions with at-risk children in 343 schools in three blocks; launch tribal fellowships and provide academic/financial support to students to pursue professional and vocational education post Grade 12; partner with the district administration to provide technical support to upscale resource centres in other blocks; and expand and integrate education with livelihood activities in Hazaribagh and East Singhbhum districts in Jharkhand through SHG federations.