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What is Saksham?

Saksham is QUEST’s level based programme for children in post-primary grades (middle school and secondary school).
The need: Many reports have stated that in India, several children in higher grades are unable to read and write because the basics of literacy have not been mastered even after primary schooling. The situation in mathematics is not much better. The ASER Report 2013 tells us that 40% of 5th grade students can't read 2nd grade Marathi text and more than 82% students from 5th grade can't solve 3rd grade simple mathematical problem.
The Solution: Saksham is QUEST’s solution to this problem - a level-based math and literacy programme for children in higher grades (Grades 5-8). It involves providing need-based inputs to children in an accelerated manner so that their basic mathematical and literacy competencies are enhanced and they are able to cope better with their studies independently. The complete teaching-learning cycle under Saksham is of 18 months, but many children do not require the full extent of remediation and exit the programme much earlier. Teacher training is a strong component of this program, and QUEST's shikshak mitras provide regular on-site support.
Interventions under Saksham
1. A comprehensive literacy programme implemented in a need-based manner
2. A comprehensive mathematics programme implemented in a need-based manner
3. Diagnostic literacy and mathematics tests for children (for teachers’ use)
4. Workshops for teachers on literacy pedagogy and mathematics pedagogy
5. Sustained onsite support to teachers in their classrooms
6. Active library programme for all children
As of March 2018, QUEST has reached 9593 children and 245 teachers through Saksham in 111 schools. Saksham is operational in 5 districts of Maharashtra.
Impact of Saksham
This graph demonstrates the impact of a Saksham intervention in Palghar district which concluded in 2018. In this 2-year project, the QUEST team conducted baseline and endline tests and statistically analyzed the results. The baseline to endline comparison shows the jump taken by students in the course of implementation of Saksham. The number of students who scored above 50% in the Saksham test rose from 10% to 40% from baseline to endline respectively. In the endline test, a decrease in the number of students scoring below 50% and a corresponding increase in the numbers scoring above 50% signifies the positive change brought about by the program.