Akanksha Foundation

Akanksha Foundation

Early grade reading curriculum for a network of public private partnership schools

The Opportunity

Low performing government schools are suffering from low student enrolment due the absence of effective curricula or quality teachers. Public-private partnership (PPP) schools, in which non-profit operators provide education at the government cost per child, demonstrate that introducing innovative curriculum and high quality teachers can lead to better learning outcomes for students, regardless of their backgrounds.

The Model

The Akanksha Foundation operates 15 English medium schools in collaboration with the municipalities of Mumbai and Pune. The foundation takes on the management of low-performing government schools with typically low student enrolment and transforms them by introducing Akanksha staff and curriculum.

Central Square Foundation is working with Akanksha to improve two major challenge areas: school leadership and early grade reading. To build the capacity of Akanksha’s principals, we supported their participation in the U.S.-based KIPP Global Fellows Program. This year-long leadership development program for educators created a new sense of possibility around student achievement and equipped participants with the skills and competencies needed to lead high quality schools.

We are also helping Akanksha provide a strong foundation for their students through two early grade reading programmes based on global best practices. Buckle Up and Read for Pleasure (BURP) is aimed as student in classes 3 to 5 while Small Group Instruction (SGI) is designed for Kindergarten students.

The BURP programme is currently underway in seven classrooms across four schools. The goal of the programme is to introduce a wide variety of reading strategies for children to improve their reading comprehension and stamina. The SGI programme aims to increase the number of opportunities for Kindergarten students to engage in literacy learning. This programme bridges learning gaps for children entering class 1 by introducing learning stations that encourage students to learn independently, while catering to different their learning needs.

Systemic Impact

Akanksha is creating model schools that will serve as benchmarks to impact the mainstream education system. Its innovations that result in higher learning outcomes than comparable municipal schools at the same government cost per child offer proof points for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in urban India.