A study done in Delhi’s north-east district found that the Delhi government’s Mission Buniyaad learning intervention programme has increased the number of students between classes VI and VIII who can solve a basic division problem by 25 percentage points. The study also found improvements in the reading abilities of several students in Delhi government schools.
The findings were published in a report released by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights Saturday. While the study was conducted between April and June 2018, it covered only 30 of 1,030 Delhi government schools, assessing 455 students from classes III to IV and 1,670 students from classes VI to IX. All the schools in the study are located in the northeast district.
“It is the most challenging district in the city with a high population density and large numbers of people from minority communities, Dalit communities and economically weaker sections. The schools have high enrollment. I don’t know if the study is representative of all schools in Delhi but it is representative of schools in the district,” said principal of DIET, Dilshad Garden, Dr Anil Teotia, the principal author of the study.
Mission Buniyaad had been launched for children in Delhi government and municipal body schools with the stated aim of ensuring there is “no child in any class who cannot read his/her textbook or solve basic numericals in Maths.” The main component of the programme was the “summer camp” which were held during the vacation between May and July. Following this, students, who were still behind, continued to be mentored and monitored through monthly assessments.
The study includes a pre-test which was conducted before the summer camp in the first week April 2018. At that time, the number of sample students who could only read a paragraph was 15% while those who could read a story were 24%. A post-test which was conducted in the last week of June 2018 found that the number of children who were reading at paragraph level increased to 23% while the number of those who could read at story level increased to 36%.
For the sample students between classes VI and VIII, those who could read at the basic story level in the pre-test was 31% while those who could read the advanced story level was at 13%. In the post-test, the former increased to 35% while the latter jumped to 28%.
The increase was higher in mathematics. In the class III to V group, only 11% could do basic division in the pre-test, and this improved to 31% in the post-test. In classes VI to VIII, the number of those who could do division was 27% in the pre-test and 52% in the post-test.