Since its inception, education has been one of the key focus areas of Tata Trusts. Over the last two decades, there has been a steady increase in enrolment in schools, but quality in education and achievement of age-appropriate learning levels have remained an elusive goal.
Ensuring quality education for children, especially those from marginalised backgrounds, is the central goal of the Trusts’ education portfolio. Further, age- and grade-appropriate learning in curricular areas such as language, mathematics and development of 21st century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, use of technology and collaborative learning are central to Tata Trusts’ vision.
Tata Trusts has also seeded institutions of research and higher learning like Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Indian Institute of Science and the National Institute of Advanced Studies. Furthermore, the Trusts provides individual scholarships to assist students under its individual grant programme for education.
The key focus of the Trusts’ education portfolio is on the education of children in the age group of 3-18, women’s literacy, working with government schools to improve learning levels, building teachers’ capacity to enhance the quality of classroom instruction, tribal education, and improving access to education for minority communities.
Quality education fosters overall development of the child and equips them with academic and life skills to ensure effective participation in democratic societies. The Trusts achieves this by: (i) improving teaching and learning through teacher capacity building and curriculum development; (ii) promoting community participation in education; (iii) providing academic support to children; and (iv) strengthening the education system as a whole.
Interventions are implemented through thematic and regional initiatives. Thematic initiatives seek to address specific gaps in the sector. They include (i) promoting reading for pleasure through use of children’s literature in Indian languages; (ii) leveraging technology for teacher and students to enhance teaching learning processes; (iii) setting up Centres of Excellence for Teacher Education with focus on improving pre-service and in-service education.
Regional initiatives focus on improving access to quality education in specific blocks / clusters, wherein education interventions are designed alongside community-based interventions on livelihoods, nutrition, water and sanitation for significant enhancement in quality of life.