Skoll Foundation



Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Madhav Chavan
Award Year: 2011
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Education and Economic Opportunity

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Madhav Chavan leads Pratham, whose goal is to ensure that every child is in school and learning well. Pratham works across urban and rural India, mobilizing volunteers to execute low-cost solutions to maximize government efforts. Starting by setting up pre-schools in community spaces or people’s homes in slums, Pratham introduces remedial literacy learning in Indian schools and focuses on measuring outcomes. It launched Read India. Pratham’s approach is to: design low-cost content and pedagogical models that can be easily integrated by teachers to engage kids; build a collaborative culture with a network of volunteers, teachers and community stakeholders; scale up programs via partnerships with state and district governments to reach a large segment of India’s 100 million illiterate children; and track gaps in children’s learning to monitor impact. They conduct the largest survey of children’s learning levels in India through their Annual State of Education Report, a review cited by education policymakers and replicated by education entities in other countries. IMPACT AS OF JAN. 2014:

  • Pratham is India’s largest non-governmental organization in education, working in 20 states across India, reaching over 1.5 million children annually.
  • In just the 2012-2013 school year, they had:
  • Over a million children in rural India reached through Pratham’s Read India program
  • An active presence in 17 states and 28,000 villages
  • Over 300,000 children in 32 cities reached through Pratham’s urban programs
  • 65,000 volunteers recruited
  • 61,000 teachers trained
  • 14,000 volunteers received computer training
  • More than 600,000 children surveyed for Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report
  • Over 100,000 children borrowed books from Pratham libraries
  • 120,000 gained computer skills from 431 centers in 28 cities in 8 states
  • More than 4,000 child laborers and street children rescued, educated and sheltered
  • 4,000 children taught in science programming
  • 22,000 pre-school age children attend Pratham Balwadis
  • More than 2,300 received vocational training
  • MIT’s Poverty Action Lab has evaluated the effectiveness of Pratham programs for over a decade. Read their findings.
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