Project Gyana Shakti is an endeavour to bring about a qualitative change
in private schools catering to the needs of the urban poor. The Project seeks to
develop a sustainable and scalable model for capacity building and
school improvement, with a strong focus on improving learning outcomes of students
of classes 1-5 in all subjects. Six schools have been carefully chosen to participate
in the project. Intervention will continue for three years.
A preliminary study of the ground situation in Bengaluru and Hyderabad revealed
that teaching and learning is characterized by rote memorization in most schools.
Eighty-eight percent of teachers used the chalk-and-talk method and 78 percent lacked
knowledge of appropriate pedagogical strategies. None of the schools used technology
aided learning. Infrastructure was inadequate with dimly lit rooms and 45 to 50
students sitting on benches. Eighty-nine percent schools lacked laboratories and
a library. Space for sports facilities was minimal.
Gyana Shakti Programs to bring about significant changes through the following:
- An in-depth whole school audit and a baseline survey of learning outcomes
of students was conducted in all schools before beginning the project to understand
the areas of need. Based on the results of the audit and survey, a school improvement
plan was developed for each of the schools customized to the need of the school.
Professional Development Programs for teachers:
- A customized in-service training program for teachers is being carried out on an
ongoing basis during the project period for capacity building of teachers.
- School Based Support through classroom observation, planning of curriculum,
developing teaching-learning material, and guiding teachers in the use of smart
class and smart assessment system.
- Analysis of Assessment data from different sources to plan remediation activities
and modify teaching accordingly.
Students are exposed to a variety of programs to arouse their curiosity and inculcate
an interest in learning, in a bid to create life-long learners.
- Enrichment activities range from innovative use of technology which helps
in making the classes come alive with the use of 3D images and animations in Smart
Class, to the use of math and science kits for building concepts, as well as concept
understanding in English, math and science through a series of activities.
- Enhancement of student performance: As the improvement in learning outcome
is the key focus of the project, student performance is enhanced through intervention
provided through activity based learning and attractive worksheets.
- The Reading and Speaking Program focuses on improving children’s reading
and speaking abilities. Class libraries are set up and additional books have been
provided to the library in English and the local language. The structured reading
program which is in place has many activities such as role plays, puppetry, presentations,
etc. to improve communication skills, verbal fluency and grammatical fluency in
- To improve the learning outcome of the weakest students, a remediation plan
is drawn up on the basis of need-gap analysis.
- Study Smart and Life Skills Program is done in SUPW periods to teach students
smart study skills using mind maps, memorization techniques, learning strategies,
etc. In addition to this, the focus is on developing life skills such as health
and hygiene, goal setting, ability to understand students’ aims and aspirations
in life, values, social skills, personality development, assertiveness training,
and negotiating skills.
- Cognitive development of students in classes 3, 4 and 5 is done through the Cognitive
Development Program, which involves playing chess and HOTA (Higher Order Thinking
Activities). This helps in the development of skills such as Observation Skills,
Critical and Creative Thinking Skills, Application Skills, Prediction Skills, Skills
of Analysis, and Problem Solving and Decision Making Skills. Mental aptitude exercises
are also given for developing logical thinking and verbal reasoning.
- Library Program, Field Trip, Co-curricular Activities, Music, Dance, and Dramatics
are also carried out for the students.
- Medical Camp for students is conducted twice a year. Doctors and nurses are
engaged for medical check-up of students; they provide guidance on general hygiene
- Physical Fitness Program : Physical fitness is critical to improving learning
outcomes. A team of fitness experts visit the school and teach students yoga, martial
arts and sports to improve their overall physical fitness.
- Capacity building for school managements is brought about by the leadership development
Development of Core Team:
- For the sustainability of the project after the period of intervention, a team of
highly capable teachers are selected from each school to form the core team. They
are provided training in pedagogical skills, subject knowledge and are guided to
become master trainers. The core team is enhanced with skills to provide guidance
to teachers with minimal help from our team when the project comes to an end.
Assessment of learning outcomes
Assessment of learning outcomes of students is conducted by an NGO called Education
Quality Foundation of India (EQFI), which specializes in assessing schools and develops
diagnostic tests that provide feedback on students’ performance. Learning outcomes
assessment is done on the basis of grade-based competency tests, testing students’
understanding of concepts. Competency tests in these schools will be conducted by
EQFI. The results of these tests will be used to analyse the impact of the Gyana
Educomp personnel will monitor every aspect of the program through its project period
of three-and-a-half years and provide detailed feedback, reports, assessments, and
recommendations. Ultimately, it is expected that the data, information and other
learnings from Project Gyana Shakti will expand the knowledge base of “what works”
to improve educational outcomes for the large population of poor urban children
attending private schools in India so that scalable, sustainable models for improved
learning outcomes in these schools can be developed and implemented throughout India.