A new project, based on the unique concept of Creative Learning and Teaching (CLT), may have successfully bridged the gender gap in government-run primary schools in Pali district in Rajasthan.
The project has helped improve the quality of education and ensured higher attendance and learning outcomes for all girls, while also emphasizing on community ownership of schools.
Working in 2,342 government schools across the district, Mumbai-based non-government organisation ‘Educate Girls' has leveraged the existing government and community resources to improve the school infrastructure. ‘Educate Girls' has developed a comprehensive model that reforms the schools and ensures 100 per cent enrolment, higher attendance and retention of girls without dropping out.
The non-profit model, working with a staff of 85, has an annual budget of Rs. 1.4 crore in Pali, just one per cent of the government budget. The project, started in 2005-07 on a pilot basis in 50 schools, has now helped the government schools reach nearly all children and has dramatically improved learning among young boys and girls at the primary level.
About 20 teachers, ‘Shiksha Preraks' (education motivators) and teams of education activists, who have worked diligently since 2008 to make the project a big success, were honoured at a grand ceremony organised at Ratanchand Lodha Senior Secondary School here over the weekend. The ‘Srijan Awards 2010-11' given to them recognised their distinctive work in a total of 910 schools in the district giving new promise to girls' education in India.
Pali Collector Niraj K. Pawan gave away the awards and citations to ‘Best Teacher', Sanjay Ojha, and ‘Best Education Motivators' Jayashree, Ranjeet Kumar and Arjun Chouhan. Three groups were awarded for ‘Best Team Effort'. A special award for all-round performance went to primary teacher R. S. Kumpawat of Kolpura.
Figures show that CLT has made an impact. While only 15 per cent of children could read a story in Hindi prior to the project's introduction, the 12-week CLT module augmented learning gains in mathematics and Hindi reading by 20 per cent and English reading by 18 per cent.