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Akshara - SSA Partnership

In its effort to reach out to every child in need of quality elementary education, Akshara has always believed in working with and within the government infrastructure to mass-base change. The ARP programme has served as a dynamic platform to evolve a unique working relationship between the various stakeholders – the State, teachers employed by the state, children in state run schools & Akshara (as agents of change).

Congruent to Akshara’s view on universalizing elementary education, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), constituted by Government of India also works to provide universal access to quality education for all children below the age of 14 years. Similar goals led Akshara Foundation & SSA, under the State Project Director, Karnataka to collaborate on the Accelerated Reading Programme.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the two partners (Akshara Foundation & Government of Karnataka, represented by the State Project Director, SSA) detailed Akshara to build capacities of teachers, CRP’s (Cluster Resource Personnel) & BRP’s (Block Resource Personnel) through a series of training programmes. SSA’s involvement ushered in required authenticity to ensure smooth implementation; the partners agreed to share programme costs equally.

ARP was to be functional in two Education Blocks – South 2 & North 2 for a period of 6 months. This was a new leaf in the education notebook: it evolved as the unique private (Akshara Foundation) & public (SSA) partnership working towards a united goal of providing access to quality elementary education for every child.

Having demonstrated the efficacy of the Accelerated Reading Programme through a successful in-school pilot, commenced a new chapter : 117 schools in S2 and N2 Education Blocks came forward to implement the ARP.
The programme took shape as a joint collaboration between Akshara Foundation and Sarva Shikshana Abhiyan under the State Project Director.

Though programatically conceived by Akshara, it was the first mass experiment to school base the reading programme. Unlike several other education initiatives, in this case, a development initiative complemented the existing state infrastructure to increase the learning value. The partnership ensured maximum outreach: it also concurred with Akshara’s road map to institutionalize change and restore ownership to the primary stakeholders, thus guaranteeing sustainability of the programme.

Successfully implemented in 117 government schools across Bangalore City, Phase 1 of the ARP has been completed.

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