Madhav Chavan’s Pratham, is the first organisation to achieve large scale educational success in India. In order to fill the gaps in the education system, Madhav uses a low cost model to mobilize communities and enable children to gain access to learning resources so that every child can “learn well”.
Madhav Chavan established Pratham with the singular mission, “Every Child in School and Learning Well.” In 1995, Madhav realized the education gap for children in the slums of Mumbai especially in regard to literacy. To address that issue head on, Madhav developed a high quality and low cost model that could be replicated throughout the country. Pratham’s Combine Activities for Maximized Learning (CAMaL) curriculum provides effective teaching strategies to balwadis and government schools to ensure age and class appropriate reading, writing and arithmetic levels. With the belief that infrastructure is most commonly generated from within the community or with government partnerships, Madhav evolved the Read India model based on a triangular partnership: connecting the corporate sector with government and the citizens. From this flagship project Pratham has expanded to explore many other grassroots interventions. Today, Pratham also offers separate adult literacy classes for mothers to bridge the teacher-parent gap, the Second Chance program for drop outs, Digital Classrooms and Early Childhood Programs.
Most notably, Pratham pioneered a nation wide survey on schooling and learning, ASER, that has evolved into a tool that provides accurate data on the state of education in the country. Since 2005. ASER has been used to construct national and international policies and it has helped Pratham become the principal mover and inspiration for universal primary education across India.
Pratham has grown immensely from its humble beginning from one slum in Mumbai to more than 100 districts, 21 states and six countries, supported by a workforce of 200,000 volunteers. 40% of dropouts who were part of Pratham’s programmes are now in school. Furthermore, children who are part of the Pratham Balwadis are more likely to continue to higher education. Madhav’s goal - an India where every child can read - is now taking shape pushing forward a radical revolution in education.