The Economist has published an informative piece highlighting the important role that Pratham plays in augmenting the education that many Indian schoolchildren receive.
On the ground floor of a primary school in Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan, five dozen pupils wait for the lunch break. The school has three teachers, but two of them are absent. One is “off sick” and the other, the head teacher, left at noon, explaining that she has “work to do”. No child is learning much. Thick poetry textbooks sit open before pupils who struggle to read simple sentences.
Upstairs is different. Rekha Gurjar, an instructor from Pratham, a charity, asks children to come to the blackboard and read a line of text. She asks questions, and hands shoot up. By adjusting the curriculum to a level pupils understand, Pratham’s high-intensity “learning camps” help teach basic Hindi and maths in 40 days. “You have to start where children are,” says Rishi Rajvanshi, head of the charity’s office in Rajasthan, “not where you wish they were.”
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