Secondary School Readiness Programme – Kusuma Foundation
Preparing children for the rigor of secondary school
As part of our focus to help improve the quality of education in India, we developed various projects in conjunction with the Government of India’s national scheme for improving secondary education,Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), which launched in 2009. Following research that showed many students were lagging behind on key skills they need for secondary education, we launched a Secondary School Readiness Programme (SSRP) to prepare more students for the demands of the curricula.
Closing the gap
‘There are many reasons children in parts of India are not well prepared for secondary school’, says our Head of Grants, Libby, ‘for one, there is automatic progression through primary school, which can make years 9 and 10 (their first in secondary school) very challenging. We decided to focus our efforts on these final two years to accelerate learning and make sure children have foundational skills and understanding’.
The programme is in two phases – a Foundation Camp which takes place in the school holidays from May until school starts at the end of June, and Supported Learning which takes place before and after school during term time. At the Foundation Camp teachers individually assess each child’s learning to spot any gaps in Mathematics, English, Science, Hindi, Odia and Social Sciences. They are set self-learning objectives to complete at home before term starts.
- Foundation Camp takes place in the school holidays from May until school starts at the end of June.
- Supported Learning takes place before and after school during term time.
- By 2017 the programme was rolled out across 52 schools in Uttar Pradesh.
Making an impression
We also support teachers to identify students’ needs and the appropriate teaching level, and train them on using materials effectively. By 2017 the programme was rolled out across 52 schools in Uttar Pradesh with glowing feedback. Mr. J.P.Mishra, District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) said, ‘Developing and rolling out of SSRP by the Kusuma team has been a brilliant effort. I have personally visited schools and interacted with teachers & students while observing sessions and have got the sense that it has gone a long way to help students particularly from the rural and economically weaker strata of the society. It’s amazing to see students coming to attend SSRP sessions during their summer vacation amidst harsh weather conditions. I would want the programme to cover all the schools in the district’.
‘The partnership with Kusuma has completely refocused my school on student learning. We persuaded 95% of our students to enrol for the Secondary School Readiness Programme. We are now tailoring our teaching to the appropriate levels of students and have found Kusuma’s approach and interactive teaching materials very useful’.Ms. Neelu Sharma, Head Teacher at Government Higher Secondary School, Raura, Hardoi