In Practice

Pratham’s blended approach to supporting school readiness in India

Pratham has been working on the capacity-building of district-level resource groups (trainers) in Maharashtra in the western peninsular region of India on a school readiness campaign to engage parents, particularly mothers, in preparing their children to enter grade one. 

A state-level resource group (SRG) was created which trained district-level resource groups to train schoolteachers on the school readiness campaign. More than 200,000 mothers’ groups were formed during this campaign and supported by schoolteachers through a blended approach which consisted of several components:  

  • “Idea videos” as well as paper-based activity cards, called “idea cards,” with demonstrations and explanations of play-based activities in local languages. 
  • These idea videos are further disseminated to the schoolteachers and shared via WhatsApp messages to mothers’ groups 
  • Mothers meet weekly in groups to watch short video clips with a demonstration of an activity. They receive instructions for the weekly play-based activity, discuss experiences, and give feedback.
  • Upon request, mothers’ groups also receive some practical messages (e.g., simple tutorials) to enhance digital literacy (e.g., how to use YouTube to find information such as a rhyme or songs in local language). 
  • Mothers individually spend at least one hour a week doing an early childhood education play-based activity with their child. 
  • Pratham staff, schoolteachers and volunteers maintain the regular running of the programme by visiting mother groups and providing support via WhatsApp and radio programme broadcasts.

In a second initiative, Pratham supported the Capacity Building of Master Trainers of Himachal Pradesh Pre-Primary Programme (Government and Pratham Partnership initiative) through technical support on content, systems, monitoring, and more. This work continued even through the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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