For four years, school enrolment in rural India has been on the rise, but reported learning levels are still very low. In urban India, we see a similar condition, children are advancing from one grade to another, yet many of them demonstrate reading and numeracy aptitude significantly below their grade level. In many cases, these children require additional teaching support from home, which parents are unable to provide as they themselves may not have received any formal education.

Pratham started in 1995 in the slums of Mumbai. Over the years, the Urban Programme has spread from Mumbai to various cities. Currently the programme has spanned to 29 cities across 10 states of India, reaching over 350,000 children.

 

 
There are four broad components to the Urban Programme:
 
Pratham’s approach to addressing the needs of urban children, both in and out of school, is to provide learning support through a variety of interventions in the community. Each city and locality may have all or a combination of the following programmes:
 
a. Balwadis - Pre-schools for children ages 3-5 years to ensure  they are prepared to start formal schooling
   
b. Support Classes - Remedial education for children in Grades 1-5 to improve their basic reading and numeracy skills
   
 c. Libraries – Pratham strengthens the habit of reading amongst children by creating libraries that provide books based on childrens learning levels
   
d. Learning Camps – This methodology builds on the concept of grouping and teaching by level, with a focus on reading, writing and arithmetic.
 

The activities are conducted within government schools or rented spaces. In some states, a special programme is conducted with children in Grades 6-8 to provide learning support in Arithmetic, Science and English.