Ensuring equitable quality education through inclusion and innovation

United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 underlines the necessity to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. According to UNESCO's UIS data for the school year ending in 2018, about 258 million children and youth are out of school. Out of these, 59 million children were of primary school age. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worse globally, as the schools remained closed for a long time, and families suffered loss of jobs and lives. In India, 6,545,825 children of the school going age were out of school in year 2020, as per World Bank data. Although, the Right to Education Act - 2009 mandates free and compulsory education for all the children between 6 to 14 years of age in India, the act is yet to be fully achieved.

Humana People to People India (HPPI) is a member of the international Humana People to People Federation. HPPI's educational initiatives are designed in alignment with the overarching spirit of the Agenda for SDG 2030, encapsulated in the phrase "˜Leaving no one behind.' HPPI has been pursuing the approach of inclusive education since the inception of the organization. HPPI not only caters to the need for making education accessible to all, but also addresses the issue of quality through developing and implementing innovative, student-centered models in education. In 2021-22, HPPI is implementing educational programs in eight states: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana and Rajasthan in India.

Making education purposeful

HPPI contributes to the overall progress towards a more inclusive education system with equitable access to opportunities, as well as supporting the effort to make education purposeful for the learner, so that it equips every student with the knowledge, understanding and capacities to be active participants in forming the future.

With the idea of bringing children back to school and helping them to continue their education, HPPI developed the Kadam model as a unique solution in year 2013/14. Kadam enables out of school children close their learning gaps and integrate into regular classes. In 2016, the model was further tested as a remedial education program Kadam+ for in-school children, and showed great promise. The capacity to design relevant and operationally sound programs, combined with years of experience including established relationships with government departments, has placed HPPI in a unique opportunity to impact projects at scale and impact quality of education in India. Since the inception of Kadam in year 2015 to August 2022 more than 162,682 out of school children enrolled in Kadam program for bridge education. Out of these children 106,825 have completed the program and have been integrated in regular classes. In Kadam+ schools, so far 116,415 primary school children have been enrolled. Out of them 81,423 have completed the program.

The Necessary Teacher Training (NeTT) program is another important educational program of HPPI, which supports the Pre-service teacher training in India and equips the graduating teachers with child-centric pedagogy and prepare them to deal with 21st century challenges. The program was first launched in year 2009. As of August 2022, approximately 15,567 student teachers have graduated in the NeTT program. Approximately 50% have obtained jobs as teachers, mainly in government schools.

Cooperation and support from Planet Aid and RIST

HPPI supports education as a common good, and therefore, implement program aligned with, as a part of and in cooperation with the public school system of the country. This cooperation is further sustained through the funding support from the partners across different countries. Planet Aid is also a member of the Humana People to People Federation. Planet Aid has been supporting HPPI in implementing educational programs for more than a decade. This support has played an important role in HPPI's ability and resources to develop its models in teacher training and child-centred learning.

Uttar Pradesh (UP) is among one of the states having the largest number of out of school children in the country. The teacher education institutions on the state also required support for preparing quality teachers. In July 2018, HPPI started receiving funding support from Rural India Supporting Trust (RIST) in implementing NeTT and Kadam+ in UP. Initially RIST started supporting from July 1, 2018 and continued through June 30, 2021. Meanwhile, the partnership was renewed on 1st of October 2020 and will continue through September 30, 2025. HPPI and RIST also agreed to support the UP governments' SHARDA program to include Kadam Methodologies as part of their curriculum. This program operates from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

Achieving beyond planned goals

The RIST-HPPI partnership has helped to achieve excellent results and have been able to surpass the targets.

* Around 75% of the children attending the Kadam+ program in UP, reached their age-appropriate level before being integrated in regular classes.
* 96% of these children have continued school two years after the end of the project.
* For the in-school children in the same project, the number of children with age-appropriate learning levels increased from 37% to 72% across the grades.

HPPI had a desired goal of significantly improving the learning outcomes of 24,000 children in 240 primary schools and working with 1,200 teachers. Against this goal, HPPI achieved significant improvements in learning outcomes for 31,494 children in 312 primary schools and worked with 1,247 teachers. Similarly, against a desired goal of providing bridge education to 9,600 Out of School Children and getting them enrolled in the schools HPPI has been able to provide bridge education to 9,795 children and supporting them getting enrolled in government primary schools.

HPPI aims to achieve the following objectives by the year 2025 in UP, with the funding support from RIST:

  1. While Collaborating with the government of Uttar Pradesh, improving learning levels in government primary schools in 20 districts of the state.
  2. Efficacy of 2,400 teachers in approximately 600 schools enhanced over the 5-year project term, with improved learning levels in 72,000 children.
  3. Teacher Training Systems in 6 district DIETs is enhanced and strengthened, graduating 4,200 student teachers in the NeTT program, directly impacting 4,500 in-service teachers through the NeTT alumni and in-service training.
  4. The State Government of Uttar Pradesh sustainably continues the adoption of Kadam resources and tools in the target schools in the post-cohort stage.

As of August 2022, HPPI has been working with 188 schools, 856 teachers and have reached 25,901 children through Kadam program. Similarly, under the Necessary Teacher Training (NeTT) program 1,702 student-teachers are enrolled, out of which 714 have graduated, 460 teachers received in-service training, 211 NeTT alumni engaged in various activities.