Poster: Ins and Outs of Rolling Out ‘Teaching at the Right Level’ Pedagogy in Pakistan

In several low and middle income countries, an unacceptably large number of children are not learning. According to the recent data estimates by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, about 88% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa and 81% children in Central Asia are not learning the basic minimum. The context in Pakistan is no different where recent evidence from data like the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) shows that even after five years of schooling, more than half the children in grade 5 in schools in Pakistan cannot read a sentence in English fluently. The state legislations and policy reforms has provided impetus, however, the focus on quality remains compromised. Thus it is not surprising that the last couple of years have seen the government mobilizing partnerships and coalitions as a panacea for bridging governance and resource gaps in addressing educational needs of children and adults for 21st century and beyond.
This paper focuses on one such innovative programme (Learning for Access) supported by Dubai Cares and implemented by a local NGO in Pakistan that employs effective partnership approach between government, schools and communities, to enable out of school children gain basic literacy and numeracy skills in a short period of time. Following Pratham India’s “Teaching at the Right Level” (TaRL) approach which puts out of school children (OOSC) in a learning camp of 45-60 days, 20,800 OOSC were provided intensive bursts of remedial education across 530 schools in 3 provinces of Pakistan. This paper employs a quantitative research design that entails probit analysis and household fixed-effect estimates to explore the impact of Learning for Access Program on learning levels of children across targeted four rural districts in Pakistan. The study found out that recipients of the program (treatment school children) outperformed control group children across all three competencies (English, Urdu and Maths). Analysis of probit estimates suggested that belonging to a school that received the intervention from ITA is positively associated with pupil learning. The paper aims to provide useful data to understand the factors on how TaRl pedagogy works for promoting quality learning for the marginalized OOSC-as an intervention that is alliance-embedded linked to both demand and supply side realities helping us set ground for policy and action frameworks in this area.