Quality education is the foundation of an individual’s development and the development of society at large. Studies indicate that availability of education infrastructure, gender inequality in access to education and the gap in learning are some of the significant barriers to achieving universal education.
In 2005, P&G launched its signature CSR program P&G Shiksha with an aim to provide children from underprivileged backgrounds access to holistic education. We concentrated our efforts in three main areas - improving education infrastructure, empowering marginalised girls through education and improving learning outcomes. Over the years, in partnership with our NGO’s we have built and supported more than 1800 schools across India that will benefit more than 1.4 million children.
A. Improve education infrastructure
infrastructure is one of the essential elements necessary to improve access to
education. Along with our partner NGO Round Table India (RTI), we have been
building and enhancing the education infrastructure across the country since
2005. We have focused on building and refurbishing school buildings,
constructing classrooms, building playgrounds, improving health and hygiene
facilities like clean drinking water and building separate toilets for boys and
B. Empowering marginalised girls through education
At P&G, we are committed to breaking gender-biased barriers to education for girls in India. As a part of flagship program P&G Shiksha, we have partnered with Save the Children to support the government-run residential Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya’s (KGBV) in Jharkhand and Rajasthan to provide them with quality education to girls by enhancing the education infrastructure and the quality of education available to them. Through our intervention over the years, we have impacted more than 25,000 girls across Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
C. Improving learning outcomes
The knowledge acquired by students as per their grade and the practical application of it in an enabling environment is an essential outcome of the learning process. However, studies indicate that while there has been a remarkable increase in the enrolment of children, there is a large gap that is emerging in the learning outcomes. The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2017 highlights that 57% of the 14-18-year olds cannot perform simple division and 25% are unable to read the basic text in their language. Because of the gap in these foundational capabilities, children are not able to cope with what is expected of them to progress to higher grades.
We are working with partners in implementing unique and innovative methods to improve the learning outcome in children using on-ground remedial learning, interventions in early childhood education and digital remedial learning.
1. Remedial learning
We have partnered with the NGO Pratham to implement the Read India program which focuses on improving the learning outcomes in children. As a part of the program, Pratham organises 10-12-day remedial learning camps where the students are regrouped based on their learning level rather than their age or grade.
Trainers, then, engage students in a combination of activities that
have been proven to maximise learning to enhance their ability to read,
recognise numbers or perform basic mathematical operations. The camps are
conducted in short bursts over the year. A child’s progress is tracked
throughout the intervention using group work and instruction-based assessment.
Through these periodic interventions spread across the year, the aim is to
progress majority of students attending the learning camps to the highest
ability group such that they can read basic texts with understanding, have the
confidence to do basic arithmetic operations and can express themselves
effectively both through verbal and written communication.
The program is presently being implemented across 39 locations in India reaching out to more than 670 schools and over 24,000 children. The results have been encouraging. Before our intervention where only 20% of children in these schools were able to read at their curriculum level; increased to 70%. There was also a two-fold increase in the percentage of children who were able to do basic arithmetic operations.
The learning camps are followed by ‘Community Libraries’ where children are engaged in groups by trained volunteers from within the community to sustain the learning gains from the remedial sessions at school. As a part of P&G Shiksha, we support Pratham’s Read India program in Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat.
2. Early childhood education
The early years of a child’s life are the foundational years of their future growth and development. The exposure that a child receives during these years has a significant impact on their ability to learn when they enter school.
Our Early Childhood program with Pratham focuses on building the motor, cognitive, socio-emotional, language and creative skills in children aged 3-5 years thereby increasing their readiness for school and setting them up for success.
We have adopted two approaches for a positive and scalable impact in this area. The first approach is where we train women from within the community to conduct pre-schools at a local community centre or a convenient home. These women instructors teach children essential activities that are required when they join a school like matching shapes, holding a pencil and drawing and basic communication skills like telling their name or the names of their family members. In the second approach, we work in partnership with the government’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program to enhance the capabilities of the anganwadi instructors. We also work with the local Anganwadi teams to mobilise young volunteers to assist with the pre-school activities at the anganwadi.
Our Early Childhood Program has reached out to over 33,000 children, and the results have been overwhelming. About 85% of children in the intervention group were observed to have competent motor skills compared versus 42% in the control group. Similarly, there was a two-fold increase in the cognitive competence of the children in the intervention group compared to the control group.
3. Digital remedial learning
Remedial learning helps in improving the learning outcomes in students thereby improving the overall quality of education. Use of technology in remedial learning has proved to be effective as it can assess and deliver personalised learning instruction to each student basis their learning ability.
In 2017, P&G Shiksha partnered with Education Initiatives (EI) to implement Mindspark, a computer-based adaptive learning tool that integrates pedagogy, teacher instruction and a learning management system to improve the learning outcomes. The software assesses the learning level of a student by presenting the students with questions in increasing level of difficulty. It then sets a starting point to build a personalised learning path for every student. If a student answers the question correctly, the next problem is marginally difficult than the previous one. If a student answers the question incorrectly, they provided a step-by-step explanation giving them a thorough understanding of the concept.
The program has been implemented in 30 government schools across Rajasthan where over 6700 students spent more than 10,000 hours learning Mathematics and language using Mindspark. Post the intervention, the learning levels among students using Mindspark improved two-fold compared to the control group. The tool collects information on the progress and learning levels of students, which is used by the teachers for effective classroom teaching.
Programs by P&G Shiksha
Navy Wives Welfare Association
Support Sankalp School Mumbai - a special school for differently abled children
Air Force Wives Welfare Association
Support Umeed Schools for the underprivileged children
Army Wives Welfare Association
Grant to Asha Schools for Girl Child Education
Supporting communities around the plant
Supports Matruchaya a home for the orphanage, destitute and abandoned children since 2010.
supports local NGO Arushi to provide infrastructure, nutrition and hygiene support to the Satlapur Government School
Supports local school to promote the education of girl children in Gwalda village. We provide infrastructure and holistic learning via local NGO IBTADA