Pratham’s mission statement is: “Every child in school and learning well.” Driven by this mission, Pratham began designing and implementing programmes which focused on providing children with basic skills by tailoring teaching to children’s learning levels.11
In 2001 J-PAL and Pratham partnered to investigate the impact of Pratham’s “Balsakhi” programme. Balsakhis (“children’s friends” – female secondary school graduates) pulled Grade 2 to 4 children who were struggling with the curriculum out of class for two hours a day to focus on basic reading and mathematics skills. The programme improved children’s learning outcomes by 0.14 standard deviations in the first year and 0.28 standard deviations in the second year. This was the beginning of a long learning partnership between Pratham and J-PAL, and the start of what we now know as Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL). Since then , Pratham has partnered with J-PAL affiliated professors to rigorously evaluate, adapt, and improve TaRL models which can be efficiently scaled. This process began with early proof of concept randomised evaluations which showed the effectiveness of TaRL and continued with subsequent iterations of the approach to understand how best to implement at scale with government teachers during the school day.