Systemic drivers of foundational learning outcomes

Organisation(s): Central Square Foundation

Date: 2021

Pages: 168 p. + 38 p.

India’s schooling system is the largest in the world - 25 crore children are enrolled in 15 lakh schools. Half of India’s school going children are in primary grades. But, our primary schools have not equipped children with Foundational literacy and numeracy skills (FLN). Only 27% of grade 3 students in government and private schools in rural India, can read a grade 2 text and only 28% can do subtraction (ASER 2018). This is critically important because children who fall behind early, rarely catch-up. The National Education Policy 2020 recognises the importance of this problem, asking for FLN to be the “highest priority of the education system”, and that “the rest of this Policy will become relevant for our students only if this most basic learning requirement is first achieved”. However, addressing this issue effectively requires us to understand it first. Central Square Foundation has developed a report “Systemic Drivers of Foundational Learning Outcomes” by condensing primary research from interviews with stakeholders from 5 major Indian states as well as findings from a comprehensive literature review. This report, focused on the public school system, is a synthesis of current evidence on key challenges driving low foundational learning outcomes in India and learnings from attempts to improve them. Our hope is that, as NIPUN Bharat takes off, we can help build a shared understanding of the shortfalls in delivering FLN outcomes, along with alignment on a set of actionable recommendations.

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