A landscape analysis of education in Andhra Pradesh revealed some fundamental gaps in education and accompanying challenges that served as barriers to systemic reform. The government approached the Tata Trusts for help in preparing an operational plan to undertake a state-wide school transformation called Badi Parivartana.
The challenges in Andhra Pradesh can be broadly classified into teaching and systemic issues. For example:
- Foundational learning crisis: Only 25% of children in Class III could read a Class II textbook. In other words, a majority of the children were going through grades without acquiring basic literacy and numeracy. There was also a decline in mathematics performance over the past five years.
- One out of four students drop out before completing Class X. Vocational education was not very popular and hence students were entering the workforce with very little skills or preparation.
- Extra-curricular activities and sports were not a priority, which are a critical contributor to child development.
- The absence of a viable and sustainable maintenance strategy affected the quality of school infrastructure
- Professional development of teachers: Teacher training is not needs-based. Neither does training address the overall development and empowerment of teachers.
In 2017, the Commissionerate of School Education (CSE), Government of Andhra Pradesh, approached the Tata Trusts to partner in a school transformation project called Badi Parivartana. The aim of this initiative was to bring about:
- A major shift to a child-centric approach with a focus on a child’s development, protection and participation in society
- Outcome-focused activities
- A lifecycle approach to interventions, as opposed to project orientation
The Trusts worked on understanding the needs of the system in consultation with the Department of Education. The consolidated findings from the Trusts’ desk review, gap analysis, and consultations led to a roadmap that identified broad themes that would serve as building blocks of a successful improvement strategy.
These were conceptualised into 8 levers that are the core components of the Badi Parivartana programme in the state. They are:
- Strengthening the education department
- Personalised competency-based student learning assessments
- Capacitating and empowering teachers, pre-service and in-service
- Redesigning curriculum and pedagogy for 21st century skills
- Empowered and well-governed schools
- Actively engaged parents with child, school and ecosystem
- Strong partnership with ecosystem players
- Building and maintaining functional and aesthetic infrastructure