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Highlights

Over 74,000 youth trained till March 31, 2016

Development of 250 schools as Right to Education compliant

Our Vision

To be a leading institution for the promotion of inclusive growth in India by contributing to the key enablers required for widespread participation in economic opportunities in the country.

Our Mission

We will promote inclusive growth in India through focused initiatives in the identified areas including primary healthcare, elementary education, skill development & sustainable livelihood, financial inclusion and rural development.

Elementary Education

School and Teacher Education Reform Programme, Rajasthan & Chhattisgarh

 
Overview
After working in systemic curriculum and education reform through ICICI Bank for over a decade, we entered into a six-year collaborative partnership with the Government of Rajasthan in April 2011 and the Government of Chhattisgarh in July 2012 to implement the School and Teacher Education Reform Programme (STERP). This initiative aims at delivering child-centric learning environments in government schools. Our partnership with the government is designed to support and enable education functionaries to deliver quality education in alignment with the current government mandates and to strengthen the state’s teacher education apparatus by way of building a strong resource buffer of a Teacher Educator Group from within the State Academia.
Approach
The key components of the collaborative programme are – Strengthening academic nodal institutions like, SCERT/SIERT & DIETs as cutting edge, revision of school curriculum and textbooks, reform of teacher education (pre-service and in-service), capacity building of district and block level educational  functionaries and development of scalable models of Right to Education (RtE) compliant schools.
Creating a model for change
Towards this, at the state-level we have established a Unit of Teacher Education (UTE) within the State Institute for Educational Research and Training (SIERT) in Rajasthan, which is the state chapter of academic authority responsible for school and teacher education in the state.  External resource persons from reputed institutions from across the country, provided by ICICI Foundation, work collaboratively with the government faculty of SIERT to anchor the reform agenda. Similarly, a Unit of School and Teacher Education (USTE) located in the State Council of Educational Research & Training (SCERT) in Chhattisgarh has been set up. The entire STERP is navigated through core functioning of UTE and USTE.
Similarly, at the district level, a Teacher Support Unit (TSU), an innovative structure is based at the District Institute of Education & Training (DIET) in each of the 3 selected districts of Baran, Churu and Jaipur in Rajasthan. The DIET is envisaged as the academic authority at the district level. The activities through TSU are coordinated by members from the DIETS and ICICI Foundation. The composition of the TSU and its location in the DIETs was a strategically crucial decision, for it ensures government participation and visibility in the ongoing management of the intervention, ultimately to usher in a sense of ownership. The TSUs work towards enhancing the professional capacity of the DIET faculty, block level functionaries, nodal and other headmasters along with the practicing teachers. 
Similarly, in Chhattisgarh, four District Institutes of Training & Education (DIETs) are being developed as subject-specific centres of excellence for the state - DIET Ambikapur – Mathematics, DIET Bastar – Language, DIET Kabirdham – Social Science and DIET Mahasamund – Science. These centres of excellence are expected to emerge as sustainable resource support nodes in their subjects for supporting the pedagogical needs of the whole state.
Revision and renewal of curriculum, syllabus guidelines and textbook development 
ICICI Foundation has helped form a state-level teacher educator group (TEG) comprising SIERT faculty, select DIET faculty, select block-level functionaries, schoolteachers and external resource persons from private institutions, NGOs and universities. Comprising of 500 academic professionals, this group is divided into four sections to work on pre-service reform, in-service reform, curriculum and textbook development, and district and block-level support. The focus has been on developing textbooks for classes I to V for all subjects and textbooks for classes VI, VII and VIII for English and Social Sciences. Since July 2014, 24 new textbooks have been developed and adopted in Rajasthan, impacting 8.3 million students in the age group of 6-14 years. A review process has also been completed in the current session after a feedback from the field implementation.
In Chhattisgarh, a similar process for revision & review of school curriculum and textbooks in line with RtE, 2009 is underway, which will directly impact 1.7 lakh teachers and 4.7 million students in the age group of 6-14 years. 
Teacher Education & Training
ICICI Foundation understands that the teacher’s role is critical in ensuring a meaningful learning experience for the child and bringing about a qualitative change in the teaching-learning process. 
Towards this objective, the in-service teacher training has been redesigned to facilitate the use of new textbooks by teachers in the classrooms in a child-centric manner. Around 1000 Key resource persons (KRPs) have been trained, who further trained 5200 master trainers (MTs). Using a cascade model, 131,000 teachers have been trained in the new curriculum and textbooks in Rajasthan. 
The revision and development of new curriculum & syllabus for pre-service teacher training has been completed and is being used across 33 DIETs and 234 private teacher training institutes across Rajasthan, benefitting 15,000 Student-Teachers and 2,700 faculty members every year. 
Capacity-building of the DIETs and block-level functionaries has been undertaken to support the in-service teacher education curriculum and teachers inside schools. 
In Chhattisgarh, a similar cascade model is being adopted for training in-service teachers. There were 45,000 professionally untrained in-service teachers facing disqualification as per RtE Act and imminent removal from service rolls. In response to this, the appropriate course was designed, 2500 KRPs were trained and 42,000 teachers have been professionally trained thus far through open distance mode (ODL) and their certification has been cleared through State Education Board. 
Similarly, certification of 15,000 professionally untrained Science teachers is also under way adopting the same ODL mode, while work on revision of existing Teacher Education curriculum ( B.Ed.) is in progress. 
Governance and Institutional Accountability
The Right to Education Act 2009 specifies that every child in the age group of 6 to 14 years has a right to good quality and free education. To fulfil this objective, 150 schools in Rajasthan (in Baran, Churu and Jaipur districts) and 100 schools in Chhattisgarh (in Surguja, Bastar, Kabirdham and Mahasamund districts) are being developed as part of the endeavour for capacity building and for making the schools RtE compliant. The focus is on improving quality of education by way of building a conducive school environment, improving class room transaction, ensuring teacher’s professional growth and meaningful role of School Management Committees (SMCs). 
This includes supporting the establishment and functioning of SMCs as per RtE norms, comprising community-based groups of parents and stakeholders to maintain oversight on these schools as well as building capacity of key stakeholders of the school system, namely teachers, Head Masters (HMs), Nodal Head Masters (NHMs) and government officials to play their effective roles in ensuring RtE compliance in the selected schools. 
Impact Assessment
Monitoring and review are crucial to the success of the programme and the sustainability of reforms. Therefore, the programme seeks to assess impact of its interventions at various levels. Independent baseline studies identified lack of adequate knowledge on the part of teachers and students as the basic problem. Insights from the baseline studies have been taken into account while developing the various textbooks and training modules. ICICI Foundation is working with the Government of Rajasthan to deliver monthly and quarterly progress and financial reports and to institutionalise a quality benchmarking system for pre-service and in-service teacher education training programmes. ICICI Foundation will also undertake a thorough impact assessment of the reforms at the school level, including teaching-learning practices and improvements in learning levels. Documentation of the whole process of interventions carried out by the Government of Rajasthan and ICICI Foundation jointly is also underway.