Monsanto India partners with NGO Deshkal Society to improve primary education in Katihar

10/19/2014

The three years long education project benefits 61,000 school children across 193 government primary schools; results in  a substantial increase  in the attendance and decline in drop-out rates

Katihar, Bihar, 19 Oct 2014: The education project, a part of Monsanto Fund commitment in partnership with NGO Deshkal Society, a grassroots organisations working on the issues including social inclusion, elementary education among others, reached its concluding stage as various representatives from the Department of Education, the local school machinery, media, beneficiaries and other community members convened to share the interventions and outcomes with the stakeholders.

In line with Monsanto India Limited’s focus on childrens’ education, the project aimed at enhancing school effectiveness and quality of teaching practices in order to improve the learning levels of children and enhance the effectiveness of state-run primary schools. It focused on extensive teachers’ trainings to facilitate child-centric and inclusive classroom practices to improve learning levels of children from diverse backgrounds. The three years long project, initiated in 2011, covered more than 61,000 school children in 193 government primary schools, primarily from agrarian communities, in Korha & Mansi blocks of Katihar, Bihar.

Sh Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Deshkal Society said “In order to facilitate engagement with local communities and boost their active involvement in the learning skills imparted at primary schools in Katihar, we encouraged regular parents-teachers meetings through the project. As per the mid-term project assessment, the learning levels of children increased considerably. The percentage of children in primary classes that could read increased from 70.2% in 2011 to 88.5% in 2014; the respective numbers for the children able to do elementary arithmetic saw a leap from 88.5% in 2011 to 97%. We are proud to share that our interventions find mention as a replicable model in a World Bank project recommendations on enhancing & improving teachers education qualitatively.”

The project was successfully able to improve the effectiveness of schools organisation and management, fostering effective school–community engagement and increase parents’ involvement in their children’s education. The project saw an increase in the school attendance, going up from 59.60% in 2011 to 73.50% in 2014, and school drop-out rate decreased to 26.50% from 40.40% in 2011, when the project was initiated. Teachers were motivated and their professional skills were improved through visits to schools that were working well, which also gave them exposure into best practices and diverse sets of efficient organisational techniques. Focus was also given to ensuring school management committees are functional and meeting regularly.

“We noticed that there was a huge gap in the education programmes being offered to primary school students in the rural areas of the state. Even though there were schools, but either the attendance would be low or if attendance was there, then understanding levels and participation would be low among students. Our push for regular parents-teacher meetings and community participation in school activities as we see it now, has really helped bridge this gap. All of those involved in the process – school management, parents and students, are enthusiastic about their respective roles and are determined to take it forward. This gives us a lot of confidence and encouragement to see that our efforts are paying off. We strongly believe and strive towards better education for children of our farming communities, not only for their present, but also for their secure future,” said Ms Juhi Gupta, Manager CSR, Monsanto.

 

About Deshkal

Deshkal Society, since 1995, has initiated and innovated research, advocacy and grassroots interventions to further the inclusion and equity of marginalised communities in a democratised mainstream society. It aims to realize the vision of socially and economically inclusive development with dignity, equity, and justice for all through interventions in the thematic areas of elementary education, right to homestead land, and sustainable rural livelihoods and culture. Deshkal society partners with various national and international bodies including Ministries of Human Resource Development, Environment & Forest, Labour and Home Affairs; UNICEF India; UNESCO India; Action Aid; World Bank and many such organisations.

 

About Monsanto India

Monsanto India is focused on improving lives by enabling farmers to produce more and conserve more through its innovative high-yielding DeKalb corn, Seminis vegetables and Paras cotton seeds;  in-the-seed insect protection Bollgard Bt cotton biotechnologies;  on-ground farmer extension and mobile-based farmer AgVisory® services offering customized crop management recommendations from sowing to harvest to 800,000+ farmers; Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with six State Governments (Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Maharashtra) through better inputs, improved agronomic practices, and user industry market linkages. 

 

For further details, please contact:

 

Anuj Gupta

Edelman India

+91 9971108836

anuj.gupta@edelman.com  

 

Ruchi Sharma

Public Affairs

Monsanto India

+91 8451000165

ruchi.sharma@monsanto.com