Education

Education

Education - Real lives

 

Quality Education Package for primary schools

© UNICEF

Education quality has received a great deal of attention in recent years. There is agreement that quality needs to be improved. Yet, there appears to be very little consensus on what improved quality really means in India and what factors contribute to its development.

According to research, a child’s participation in school and the amount that he or she learns is dependant on several factors such as familial influences, education, occupation and income. Other household and school-related factors are also important.

Some tangible school-related factors which have a positive impact on quality:

  • Class size
  • Separate learning spaces for each class
  • Child-centred teaching-learning practices
  • Use of classroom relevant teaching-learning materials
  • Continuous assessment of students understanding
  • Teacher knowledge
  • Regular evaluation of teaching-learning practices
  • Continuous professional development for the teacher
  • Time devoted to teaching by teachers
  • School meals
  • Health programmes, such as de-worming
  • Availability of clean drinking water
  • Separate toilets for girls

Addressing these school-level factors can make a significant difference to the quality of school environment. They can positively impact attendance, retention and transition levels, as well as gender issues, learning achievements and community participation.

Going to school will be a motivating experience if strategies are implemented to stimulate innate curiosity through active, participatory learning; facilitate increase in knowledge levels; develop relevant life skills; and create a child-friendly, hygienic and aesthetically pleasing environment.

As part of its mandate, UNICEF India has conceptualized a holistic, gender-sensitive Quality Education Package for implementation in primary schools. The QEP Project involves a multi-pronged approach, involving strategies for the facilitation of across-the-board improvements in the entire curricular package, including teaching-learning materials, classroom transactions, teacher training, assessment and examinations. The package simultaneously assists in building community-school linkages and dealing with infrastructure and environment issues.

A holistic broad-based approach is of particular importance to ensure meaningful, sustainable achievements.

The Project supports the improvement of quality in primary schools through interventions in four key areas:

  1. In-service teacher training and support to improve active learning, continuous, supportive student assessment and rational class management.
  2. Development and supply of essential teaching-learning materials.
  3. Promotion of community participation.
  4. Improvement of school environment and facilities.

The hallmark of the quality education package is its focus on the widest possible school canvas and emphasis on delivery of solutions in an integrated fashion.

Key elements essential to successful scaling up have been built into the QEP Project:

  • Planned transfer of critical skills;
  • Measures to ensure the participation of critical population mass in the pilot phase; and
  • Planned advocacy and information dissemination to ensure systemic support for the scaling up process.

The Project acknowledges that realizing the desired quality standards in the project schools requires partnership between government civil society and other key stakeholders.

Indeed, the QEP Project has been designed specifically to catalyse and foster a positive, participative community outlook and deliver a sustainable impact over a relatively brief period of time.

 

 
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