The first stage of the Pratham Open School of Education (POSE) program is training and mobilization. The faculty members and tutors who ultimately deliver content to the students are duly trained by the National Curriculum Team, and the process of mobilization begins. This involves identifying locations where there are many school dropouts, spreading awareness about Pratham’s POSE initiative in these areas, and speaking to potential students and their parents about the program and encouraging them to enroll into the POSE program.
When students join the POSE program, they are first enrolled into a four- to six-month foundation course (in math, language, English, and science), which is aimed at bridging the gap between basic concepts and secondary school curriculum. Thus, the foundation course helps to refresh the students’ knowledge and also helps to prepare the dropout students for the main course. At the end of the foundation course, the students are tested on an internal examination; based on their performance in the exam, their motivation, and regularity in attendance, students are selected for the main course — the post-foundation course — in which the 10th standard curriculum is taught.
In the current model, each POSE Second Chance center caters to about 100 candidates in an area spread across approximately 25-75 villages in rural areas and 2,000-3,000 households in urban areas. The model is typically structured as a central hub with 4 to 5 linked spokes. The spokes cater to smaller clusters. Each cluster has a tutor who guides the students in their daily studying, assists them with take-home worksheets, and addresses issues in all subjects. The tutor holds daily classes with the students while the hub center classes are with faculty members.
Click here to see full program profile
CEI approaches in action
The POSE program started in 2011 with a pilot phase in 10 centers in Maharashtra with 390 enrolled students. The program has expanded significantly in the last 3 years and is currently spread over 31 centers across 7 states. With operations running in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan, the POSE program reached out to more than 3000 students in 2013-14. The program has also seen a steady increase in the pass percentage of girls over the years. In 2012-13, about 51% of the students enrolled with POSE passed their final board exam whereas for 2013-14, the pass percentage is 72% and is likely to increase further once students from all states appear for the Supplementary Exam.
POSE is currently in its fourth year of operation and the faculty members, tutors, SRG (State Resource Group) members and the supporting staff have learned a lot from the experiences of previous years and are thus in a much better position now to guide students to success. This is also substantiated by a consistent improvement in the results of students enrolled with POSE. Pratham is therefore now looking to partner with other organizations and use its expertise to impact a larger target group.
Pratham Open School of Education is exploring the option of taking exams through NIOS, keeping in mind the flexibility and choice of subjects for the benefit of all participants. Pratham is looking forward to partnering with the government schemes to reach a larger network of participants. Pratham is also exploring the possibilities of use of technology and vocational skills in secondary education, to improve penetration in areas where adequate human resources are not available.
Monitoring & Evaluation
An SMS system is in place to monitor daily attendance of students in POSE. The faculty members and tutors at both the hub and cluster centers send daily SMS messages in a pre-designed format to a centralized phone number reporting that day's attendance. These messages are then collated, and data are displayed on an online portal for the center in-charges and coordinators to check and monitor on a daily basis.
A Management Information System (MIS) is used to track, record, and monitor different aspects of student information and analyze how they affect student performance in the final exam for POSE. The MIS is also used to track student performance in internal assessments and the final board exams.
Students going through the POSE program will be tracked even after they have appeared for the Board Examination through a post-POSE tracking database (which will also be on the POSE MIS) in order to monitor what they are doing after finishing their 10th standard so as to gauge the broader qualitative impact of the program.
72% of students who appeared for the secondary school examination in 2014 passed.
The program has grown from 400 students to close to 4,000 students in a span of four years.