25 Anganwadis Receive State-of-Art Lesson Plans, Tech-Enabled Classrooms and Curated Syllabus under PPP by MWCD & Ampersand Group

Nashik: Demonstrating a successful public-private-partnership (PPP) aimed at reforming early childhood education across government-run pre-schools, the Women and Child Development Ministry (MWCD) has provided a comprehensive facelift to Anganwadis in Nashik, facilitated by its PPP partner, the Ampersand Group – the parent company of Vibgyor Schools and a global leader in providing solutions in school infrastructure, educational curricula, teacher training and certification and school operations. As part of a pilot project, which began in mid-2018, Ampersand was allotted 25 Anganwadis out of a total of 140 Anganwadis, which are operated by MWCD in the Nashik district.

Extending its vision to enhance the quality of education across Anganwadis, the Ampersand Group has introduced state-of-the-art lesson plans and modern curriculum, specially curated by a team of experts including academicians and pedagogical specialists and is appropriate for children between the ages of three to six years. Fully-equipped contemporary classrooms have been introduced by providing books, worksheets, charts and toys, which were selected while focusing on age-appropriate cognitive developmental milestones of children. Additionally, these Ampersand Anganwadi classrooms have also been equipped with e-learning enablers such as digital study material, laptops, speakers, projectors and app-based learning modules.

A comprehensive teacher training program has been institutionalized to upskill the Anganwadi teachers and equip them with the latest teaching methodologies and child care knowledge. The teachers are trained by professional educational trainers, through patented software and various class activities. They are provided with weekly lesson plans and detailed student assessment parameters and techniques. The teachers are also trained to counsel parents about the students’ progress through regular parent-teacher meetings. So far, the Ampersand Group has delivered nearly 300 hours of training to teachers since the initiation of the project.

Ampersand Group has been working round-the-clock to build better infrastructure (including hygiene and safety), and modern tracking and assessment processes at this government-run daycare centers. The Group plans to replicate the ‘model Anganwadi’ and extend its best practices across all Anganwadis in Maharashtra and other states across India.

Lauding the success of the PPP initiative, Shri. Sunil Dusane, Child Development Project Officer, Ministry of Women and Child Development, said, “We are pleased with the measures introduced by Ampersand Group in the Anganwadis. Their effects on the social and cognitive development of students are extremely encouraging. Newer and modern methodologies of learning, introduced in the students’ formative years are essential to give them an impetus for higher studies and employability in the modern world. Our endeavor is to widen the scope of such noble initiatives so that every child receives a quality education and superior early childhood care.”

Dr. Reeta Sonawat, Director, Early Childhood Education, Ampersand Group has designed and spearheaded the initiative since its inception. Speaking about the initiative, she highlighted, “Our focus was to prioritize quality education, create a holistic learning environment, ensure that teachers received periodic training, provide structured lessons plans for students; along with creating a reliable assessment tool.”

She further added, “Earlier, students attended classes at Anganwadis without emphasizing on education, instead of focusing on other initiatives such as state – provided meals; however, this approach has changed with our recent intervention. With direct experience of managing more than 40 K12 schools across India, the Ampersand Group has combined its expertise and best practices to manage these 25 Anganwadis. A team of government supervisors also regularly evaluates the implementation of the program to ensure further efficiency.”

“We have observed regular attendance across the Anganwadis and student dropout rates have reduced significantly. Moreover, there is a marked improvement in student engagement and class management has also become smoother for teachers”, she added.

This PPP project reinforces the government’s focus on early childhood education and skill development to improve India’s educational framework in the years to come.