The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development for 2021 has been awarded to Pratham, a civil society organisation devoted to improving the quality of education for poor children in India and throughout the world.
The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development was awarded to the organisation by an international panel led by Justice T.S. Thakur, the former Chief Justice of India.
The 2021 Prize is awarded to Pratham for its pioneering work over more than a quarter-century in ensuring that every child has access to quality education, for its innovative use of digital technology to deliver education, for its programmes to provide skills to young adults, for its regular evaluation of educational quality, and for its timely response in enabling children to learn during the COVID-19 related school closures,” said the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.
Pratham was founded in 1995 in Mumbai by Dr. Madhav Chavan and Ms. Farida Lambay to operate in Mumbai’s slums, establishing community-based “Balwadis” or pre-schools, and providing remedial education to students who were falling behind in their grade level curriculum. The trust said, “Its outreach in India has now increased to an average of one million children directly and five million via government collaborations each year.”
Its Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which was based on a survey of 6,00,000 rural Indian students, is currently being used as a model to analyse educational results and learning gaps in 14 nations across three continents. In response to ASER’s concerns, Pratham developed its flagship programme, Read India, in 2007. “Read India strives to enhance children’s learning by improving fundamental reading and arithmetic,” the organisation declared.
Pratham promotes low-cost, reproducible solutions in basic education, collaborating with the government and with the community to enhance learning results. It presently has programmes for children and young people in 21 different states.
“Pratham’s teaching-at-the-right-level method illustrates that if students are grouped according to their present level rather than their grade and given proper instructional assistance, they may swiftly acquire foundational skills. Pratham has also concentrated on the use of technology in education in community settings, “developing new methods of how youngsters utilise technology as a trigger for learning,” according to the Trust. Pratham also worked to keep children in school and sponsored particular programmes for girls and women.
Source: The Hindu