First National Conference on Factors of Poor Learning: Challenges, Opportunities and Practices for Learning Improvement in Socially Diverse Elementary Schools of India
PACS India office in Bihar implemented a project from 2013-2015 to promote inclusive education in Bihar. The aim of the project was to enhance learning levels of children from the socially excluded communities. The project sought to do so by:
A key follow- up action recommended at the end of the project was to generate a debate and dialogue on the factors influencing poor learning levels of school going children in India.
To take forward the agenda of poor learning levels of children , especially those from socially excluded groups, Deshkal, Society in partnership with: PACS, Language and Learning Foundation, Delhi; Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs; Sulabh International Social Services Organisation, and Save the Children, India organised the First National Conference on Factors of Poor Learning. The conference was held at Delhi’s India International Centre, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi from Sept 2-4, 2016.
Honourable Vice President Mr. Hamid Ansai inaugurated the Conference. Dr. Subash Chandra Khuntia, Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GoI) shared brief remarks on this occasion. Hon’ble Minister of State, MHRD, GoI, Shri. Upendra Kushwaha delivered the valedictory address.
The Conference was well attended by researchers, practitioners and policy makers from within India and globally who participated in a dialogue on how to ensure inclusive and quality learning for all, especially children from the socially excluded groups. Thirty research papers and presentations were made on themes of poor learning among socially marginalised children such as: socio- cultural factors and challenges; multilingual classrooms: challenges, opportunities and innovative practices, and social diversity and teacher education: challenges, opportunities and innovative practices.
Significantly, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and a number of State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs), namely, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh not only participated and made presentations, but also proposed future initiatives in addressing the issues of equitable, inclusive and quality learning for children from socially excluded groups.
During the three-day deliberations the Conference discussed, examined and analysed the factors of poor learning that are influenced by social and cultural dynamics; critically assessed the ability of teachers to perform meaningfully in socially diverse classrooms, and reflected on and learnt from innovative inclusive classroom practices.
At the end of the Conference, a policy brief containing the recommendations emanating from the Conference were formulated. This been widely shared among all stakeholders, including Mr. Upendra Kushwaha, MoS MHRD and shared the policy recommendations for further action.
To take forward the recommendations outlined in the policy brief, and continually reinforce the advocacy agenda for inclusive, quality learning and teaching a roadmap for long term programme engagement is under preparation.
To watch the inaugural session of the Conference click here
To read the policy brief based on recommendations click here
To know about PACS work in Bihar, click here
To know about PACS’ work on inclusive education click here