Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ensuring Children Learn Programme

The ‘Ensuring Children Learn Programme’ is a joint initiative between Government of Andhra Pradesh and Naandi foundation to improve the quality of education in government primary and elementary schools in the state of Andhra Pradesh. For its initiatives in the government schools of Hyderabad (a few mandals mainly covering the old city area), Naandi has partnered with Educational Initiatives for understanding and assessing the quality of learning.

The main purpose of the current assessment is to provide a six-monthly snapshot of student learning. In the current phase of assessments, all the students in 30% of the schools covered by the programme will be tested and this may be expanded to all the schools in the future. The tests cover language and Maths (separate tests) competencies for students of classes 2 to 5. Eventually, these tests will be in Telugu and Urdu in Hyderabad.

Educational Initiatives has already conducted the pilot phase of the project. The objective of the pretest was to understand and calibrate the testing instruments for the main study and to fine-tune the instruments for the main test. Some interesting findings are:

The overall pattern in Maths seems to be that the performance is low and keeps declining consistently as students go from lower grades to higher grades. This decline is most pronounced in items and competencies that are there in the textbooks which kids are supposed to be learning in class.

It appears that ‘mechanical’ skills are being developed, rather than the real mathematical skills. For example, in the oral test in class 3, we see that children are good at counting and recognition but not in indicating the number that comes before a particular number.

There are instances where students are performing better in more ‘recent’ topics than topics learnt a year or two ago.

The students show an increase in their ability to recognize letters as their age increases. However, between classes 3 and 4 the growth in ability to recognize all letters is static.

An analysis of answer scripts reveal that although students comprehend the questions, they are unable to write the answers coherently in full sentences and show low ability in vocabulary, grammatical correctness and spellings. Students seem to find difficult to write words with correct spellings in all classes.

Source: http://www.ei-india.com/naandi/

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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