India and World Bank sign $ 250 million loan to improve quality of learning in Andhra Pradesh
The Government of India, the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the World Bank on November 18, 2021 signed legal agreements amounting to $ 250 million for a project that aims to improve the quality of learning in over 50 lakh students in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Pupils at all levels and stages of school education will benefit from the project. The beneficiaries are around 40 Lakh students (between the ages of six and fourteen) in more than 45,000 public schools, and more than 10 Lakh children (between the ages of three and six) enrolled in the Anganwadis (integrated centers Development Center), and approximately 1.90,000 teachers and over 50,000 Anganwadi workers.
The Supporting Andhra Learning Transformation Project will promote the professional development of teachers; offer remedial classes to children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and pay special attention to students from marginalized groups, including children with special needs, index tribes and girls.
The Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance said, “Providing universal access to quality education is at the heart of India’s economic and social development. The project will help the State of Andhra Pradesh achieve its vision of transforming public schools into vibrant institutions focused on foundational learning for young children, including tackling learning losses for children affected by the pandemic of COVID-19. “
The agreement was signed by Shri Rajat Kumar Mishra, Deputy Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India; Mr. Budithi Rajsekhar, Principal Secretary, Department of School Education on behalf of the Government of Andhra Pradesh; and Mr. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India, on behalf of the World Bank.
The state has adopted a new skills-based teaching-learning approach. The project will improve teaching practices through classroom mentoring, needs-based teacher training for teachers of all levels and subjects, methods of personalized adaptive learning (PAL) and other forms. remedial education linked to standardized school assessments.
Developing the institutional capacity of schools to provide these services will go a long way in building community confidence and improving the learning environment. The project will contribute to better maintenance of school facilities, support the involvement of parents in the management and monitoring of the school, make data available and improve school safety.
Emphasis would be placed on basic learning through short-term in-service training courses for Anganwadi workers and early years teachers (levels 1 and 2) and the provision of appropriate pedagogical learning materials. in these centers and schools. Such attention to basic learning will improve the readiness of schools to prepare children with the cognitive, socio-behavioral and language skills necessary for future labor markets. The project will introduce a one-year preschool-level course in 3,500 schools in the tribal blocks. This will help solve the problem of low learning levels within the tribal community.
With the COVID-19 pandemic underway, home learning opportunities for students are a top priority for the state. Given the low availability of digital devices among students, the focus will be on developing physical learning kits and content for TV and radio shows. This will help reduce the learning losses that children are likely to face due to school closures due to the ongoing pandemic, future natural disasters or other disruptions related to climate change.
(With inputs from GDP)