In 2013, Kusuma began working with 25 schools in Uttar Pradesh and 25 Schools in Odisha, reaching 11,965 students. The success of Kusuma’s partnership with these schools led to the government of Uttar Pradesh requesting Kusuma’s support to replicate its programmes across the whole state, reaching more than 2,000 schools and 40,000 students1 in 2017.
Many children in India who start secondary school have not acquired the appropriate learning level for the curriculum. Kusuma’s Secondary School Readiness Programme accelerates learning so that they can catch up and reach that level. This has been scaled up by the government to 52 schools. The programme trains teachers in innovative methods for the classroom. More than 200 teachers from these schools are trained to deliver the programme with interactive teaching resources. The teachers are also supported by a group of experts who travel around the schools providing additional support and coaching. Kusuma’s learning resources have also been given to more than 2,000 secondary schools.
The peer learning methods that I learnt through the Kusuma programme have ensured that students solve problems collaboratively with a focus on understanding the concepts. The learning materials for teachers and students are particularly useful and they allow the students to practice what they learn”
Shri. Sudarshan Raul, Mathematics teacher from Ghosramal High School, Sambalpur, Odisha
Shri Vishnu Kant Pandey, Joint Director of UPMSA, launching the scale up of Kusuma’s teacher professional development programme. Photo: Kusuma Foundation
“The State Review Group recommended Kusuma’s model and resources for state-wide scale up. Insights from implementation in Kusuma partnership schools led to the development of scalable models that can improve teacher effectiveness and student learning.”
Shri. Vishnu Kant Pandey, Joint Director Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
Kusuma’s approach includes improving school facilities, training teachers and head teachers, developing teaching and learning materials, and supporting the improvement of school governance and management. Based on the success of this work, the Uttar Pradesh government has begun scaling up Kusuma’s programmes. It has focussed on teacher professional development, the use of Kusuma’s teaching and learning materials, and school governance and management training. Kusuma’s programmes now reach all 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh.
Another scaled up programme focuses on improving the functioning of 1,285 schools through strengthening the capacity of their management and development committees. This three-year programme uses Kusuma’s approach to train 220 trainers who in turn train 15,000 committee members. They also trained 18 Regional Joint Directors and 75 District Inspectors of Schools to enable them to support implementation of the programme. This work will have an immediate impact on schools, but also in years to come.
“The training of School Management and Development Committee members has been critical in orienting members on their roles and responsibilities. The training has helped non-teaching committee members to engage in school development. The members are liaising with local departments on mobilising resources for the school.”
Smt. Tarawati Verma, Head Teacher, G.H.S. Ghorwal, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh
In Odisha the Secondary School Readiness Programme is being implemented at 25 Kusuma partner schools. The District Education Office and Kusuma have monitored the progress and quality of this programme. The Kusuma Foundation and Odisha Madyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (Secondary School Education Department) are discussing a proposal for a state-wide scale up of the programme.
Dr Pramod Panda, the District Education Officer in Sambalpur (Odisha) feels the quality of the programme has a lot to offer government schools:
“The programme has a very clear objective, unique approach and well defined methodology. Its innovative methodology helps generate greater interest in teaching and learning. The resource materials not only include detailed activities for teachers, they also provide scope for self-learning and practice by students. It has great potential for scale up in all blocks and schools.”
Kusuma will continue to work with government to support and build on initiatives to improve the quality of teaching, learning and school governance and management. Programmes will be closely monitored and evaluated to identify what works and what doesn’t, to inform further scale up of interventions to improve education for children in India.