In India, research is aligned with our strategic focus on improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged children in government secondary schools Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.
Student attainment and teaching practice
Following a baseline assessment in 2014 of the Udbhav programme, we commissioned an annual assessment of student learning and teaching practice in 50 government schools in the Kusuma Schools Partnership Initiative (KSPI) and 50 comparison schools.
In 2015, the London School of Economics commenced a longitudinal evaluation of Kusuma Excellence Fellowship programmes in Hardoi and Sambalpur. Kusuma fellowships support high-achieving students from poor backgrounds to progress to higher education. The evaluation assesses the impact on student attainment, educational trajectories, aspirations for the future and employment.
This evaluation builds on impact evaluations of the Kusuma Ratna Fellowship programme in Sambalpur and the Kusuma Udayan Shalini Fellowship programme in Uttarakhand.
Transition to secondary education
In India, student participation in schooling tends to decline in the post-primary years. We funded Pratham Education Foundation/ASER to improve understanding about factors that influence children’s access to secondary education in Hardoi and Sambalpur. The study explores patterns of transition from upper primary to secondary school over a two-year period (2014-2016). Findings will inform our programme and advocacy work.
Supporting students who struggle to understand lessons in secondary school or who have dropped out of secondary education is a key problem for education policy and practice.
Kusuma funded Agranee Jana Kalyan Anusthan (AJKA) to deliver a remedial education programme to students in Classes 8-10. The programme, which was delivered in school premises but after school hours, had a positive impact on student learning levels.
Kusuma also funded the Sarvodaya Ashram to deliver an accelerated residential education programme for girls who had dropped out of, or had no access to, secondary education. A qualitative evaluation was conducted to assess the impact of the programme on student attainment, attitudes to education and aspirations for the future.
An independent evaluation of the Secondary School Readiness Programme that has been piloted in KSPI schools over the past twelve months will be conducted in 2016.
Science in Schools
Providing resources and support for improved teaching of Science is an important part of our work in government schools. A review of a pilot Mobile Science Laboratories programme in 20 government schools in Andhra Pradesh highlighted the benefits for students and teachers of practical resources for teaching Science.
A subsequent evaluation of the Science in Schools programme showed promising evidence of impact on student attainment and teaching methods.