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Enhancing Elementary Education: Developing Working Models through Direct Intervention and Resource Support

Supported by: 
Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust
Status Date: 
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Location: Nandurbar District, Maharashtra
Period: November 1st 2009 to November 30, 2013
Supported by: Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust, Mumbai
Total Project cost: Rs 1,39,01,812/-
QUEST had undertaken this Project on the request from NAVAJBAI RATAN TATA TRUST (NRTT). Quality Education Support Trust (QUEST) was providing Resource Support to the district initiative programme of SRTT in Nandurbar District of Maharashtra. The first phase of the work was over in July 2009. At the end of this 1 year project, it was realized that the project needs sustained efforts to bring in permanent visible change. The systemic problems are complex and deep rooted and a long term intervention is needed to overcome them. In the mean time, along with the work with the government teachers & schools a need was felt to work with children directly so that a demonstrable model of effective pedagogic processes can be established within the given limitations. For the same purpose QUEST has received a Grant from NRTT for a three year Project, Enhancing Elementary Education: Developing Working Models through Direct Intervention and Resource Support.
The main components of the Project were
A. Balbhavans: Direct Implementation and Resource Support
1. Balbhavans at Dhadgaon: At the start of the Project, QUEST started its Grameen Balbhavan Programme for Grade 1 and 2 in 9 villages in Dhadgaon block of Nandurbar District. 8 new Balbhavans were started and in all the Balbhavans conducted by older Balmitras, the programme was extended to Grade 3 and 4 students and also to grade 5 students in 2 of these schools. QUEST has reached to around 4300 students through the Balbhavans in the 4 years of intervention
2. Balbhavans run by JVT: QUEST had provided resource support to Jeevan Vidya Trust to set up 10 Balbhavans in Nandurbar Block and provide inputs in the attached Aaganwadies.
B. Resource Support to Ashram School Teachers
1. In Language: Language strengthening programme was started in 13 Ashram schools run by Nandurbar Taluka Vidhayak Samiti (NTVS) and 4 AS run by Paschim Khandesh Bhilla Samaj Mandal (PKBSM) in August 2012. 2 teachers from these 13 schools were given inputs through 2 trainings. Onsite support was provided to these teachers once a month by our Junior Resource person to help them implement the programme and solve their day to day difficulties. The schools were provided Maze Pustak according to the need of the students. 1393 students of grade 1 and 2 were covered under this programme.
2. In Mathematics (HSCSE Component): Under this component, articles on Math pedagogy were developed.
3. In sports: Objective of this programme was to identify talented students from AS and provide input in basic athletics. 2 day camps were conducted every month. 22 camps were conducted during 3 years. Material necessary for exercises like T shirts, shorts, sports shoes, hair-bands and so on was provided to each of the students. A kit of sports equipment was provided to each school. Nutrition supplements have been regularly supplies to all the students. During the camps, the resource persons not only provided systematic training in athletics but also provided inputs to these schools kho-kho and kabbaddi teams. Upon request from the sports teachers, they also oriented the school teams on the changed rules and regulations for these sports. This resulted in increased participation and selection of the players at district level.
C. Developing and Piloting Special Programmes
1. D. ED Programme: This pilot project was undertaken to give intensive input to D.Ed. students. 10 days input spread over an academic year had been planned, in which students were exposed to various topics like National curricular framework, constructive learning theories, pedagogy of teaching reading and writing, constructive approach to math education etc which are not yet a part of D.Ed. syllabus.
This being a pilot project only one D.Ed. College, namely that at Lonkheda, had been selected for the project. During the intervention, in case of Mathematics analysis showed that the Content Knowledge of the student teachers itself was very weak. Their content knowledge needed to be strengthened before developing their pedagogic understanding.
To address this issue, QUEST along with a team of subject experts, developed an Add on Module on Mathematics to be offered In dual mode. The strategy was to give the student-teachers a more comprehensive input in the form of Add On course during the pre-service training which would be more effective to strengthen their Mathematics content as well as pedagogic knowledge. 80 students successfully completed this online course.
2. Remedial course in Basic Arithmetic: A remedial course in Basic Arithmetic was developed for the students from Grade 5 to 7 to strengthen their basic concepts in Basic Arithmatic. Topics Covered during the course are Number sense, Place values, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. After an initial testing, students are divided into batches according to their levels and given instructions accordingly. At the end of the year a post test is conducted. Around 450 students underwent this remediation over 4 years.
3. Education Resource Centre: QUEST had taken up the responsibility of activating the Resource Centre at at the BRC,Dhadgaon, Various activities are conducted through the RC. Activities like Science toys programme, Math Remedial are conducted in the ZP schools in Dhadgaon. Besides these children from nearby schools come to the centre in the evening after school to read books from the library. Teachers who come to the BRC for their work also visit the RC and browse through books and other teaching learning material available at the RC.



Resource Center

Total Outreach

Science Toys Prog.


Math Rem Prog.


RC Visitors


(D) Library Member


Read Aloud and Library activities


Reading corner and Library activities


Inscript Typing


Number of teachers borrowing teaching learning aides for use in their respective schools


Film Club

32 members


E. Development of Language Material for Students and Teachers

1. Development of Reading Articles for Teachers

As far as pedagogy of First Language or Mathematics is concerned there is hardly any theoretical material available in regional languages QUEST, with help from Resource persons, developed 23 articles in Pedagogy of Mathematics as adaptation of original articles, a few of which are now part of the On-line Math course that QUEST conducts, as well as 10 on Language education during the grant period.

2. Development of Reading Material for students

The biggest challenge faced was the difference in the Language of Instruction which is Marathi and the Home Language of students which is Pavaree and Bhilori. In such cases, smooth transition from home language to school language is important. QUEST therefore developed different types of reading material as follows:

  • bilingual material in the form of letter cards to introduce Akshars

  • Small reading passages(Vachan paths) with content from their immediate surroundings in Marathi and Pavaree/Bhilori were also developed.

  • Trilingual books in Marathi, Pavaree/Bhilori and English were developed by Varsha Sahasrabuddhe in order to provide a variety of reading.

  • Stories and reading material with pictures on various topics from their immediate surroundings were also developed to introduce the students to different jonres.

F. External Reviews and Impact Assessment of the Project

External review by Varsha Sahasrabuddhe in May - September 2011

Impact Assessment of the project by Varsha Sahasrabudhhe in March – April 2013,

G. Hand over to the Local Implementing agencies

2 local implementing agencies, Janarth Adivasi Vikas Sanstha, Shahada and Janseva Mandal, Nandurbar were identified to hand over the Project. Initially these 2 agencies underwent the 24 day training Sonale followed continuous onsite hand holding for a year. The Project was handed over to these 2 agencies in December 2013