Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Improving Education in India

There is much debate on the topic of education disparities around the world. In the U.S. it is relatively good. But, in areas of the world less developed than us a good education is few and far between.

Rural India is the site for an educational improvement project designed by a couple of primary education NGOs and the World Bank. The 3 step intervention program has been randomly assigned to approximately 300 villages with low educational outcomes in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Step 1: Discuss school systems with the villagers. Experts are brought into these villages and spark conversations over the quality of schools, education laws, student to teacher ratios, infrastructure, meals, and available school funding. After initial meetings with the villagers, people are asked to attend village-wide meetings with Village Education Committee leaders and are encouraged to ask questions about improving schools.

Step 2: Conduct testing of children and distribute village report cards. The children are tested for basic reading and math skills. The results are then presented at the village-wide meetings.

Step 3: Volunteers receive training in teaching accelerated reading. The goal of which is to get illiterate children reading within 3 months. The results of this were encouraging. Many more volunteered for training to teach the accelerated reading program.

Overall, a lot more than just this project is essential to good systems of education and literacy rates in rural parts of developing nations. However, the movement to teach people that things can be done to change their current situations has begun. Now, people are becoming aware of the resources that should be readily available to them and how they can go about achieving their entitled education.

-Nick Mohazzabfar