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Karthika Masam Sadhana
 
Education is a long-term commitment. The basis for the advancement of human civilization and technology is firmly rooted in education, and the welfare and prosperity of society is also highly dependent on the provision of a quality education. Progress can only be achieved through improving education and creating new technologies. We respect the value of education and firmly believe that it is the cornerstone of a creative, caring, and technically inclined society.

In addition to Government funding, the involvement and support of individuals and corporations is also vital to the development of education. The road from poverty is paved by universal education. Decades of work by governments and outside donors have helped many developing countries greatly increase school enrollment among the poorest children, especially girls and other educationally disadvantaged groups. For the first time in history, significant numbers of these children are attending school for the first time. Since 1999, nearly 30 million new students in India have entered the educational system.

But increasing student attendance is only the first step. Attending school and learning is not the same thing, and massive growth in attendance has created its own problems. Shortages of teachers and facilities are acute. In India, for example, the average student-teacher ratio in primary school is 47 to 1, compared with 17 to 1 in developed countries. And that masks even worse conditions in the early grades, where this ratio can be as high as 100 to 1. As a result, too few of these new students are mastering the basic skills necessary to begin lifting themselves out of poverty.

In light of all of this, The Bolosai Foundation's Global Development Program is committing itself to the goal of improving the quality of education for these students. Working in a unique partnership with other Foundation, the Program's Quality Education in Developing Countries initiative is making grants to help increase competence in reading, math, and critical thinking among primary education students in India. More specifically, it has identified two strategies to meet this end:
 
Improving the Quality of Education within Schools
Grants are being made for projects that develop and demonstrate effective teaching and learning techniques in the classroom. In the near term, the grant makers are focusing on approaches that foster mastery of basic reading and math skills in the first years of schooling. Evidence shows that students who master these skills establish the foundation upon which their future learning builds, making them more successful learners in later years. We are selecting projects that have a high potential for expansion to other schools within the country and elsewhere in the world. Key characteristics of such projects are that they are cost-effective and respond to existing conditions in government schools. The support of government at the start of projects also is critical.

We are developing projects that address various aspects of teaching and learning, with a preference for projects that have been developed locally. Among the types of projects that are being funded are those that address curriculum and teaching methods, use of materials, tools for assessing student progress, and teacher training. In recognition that not enough emphasis has been placed on providing evidence of what works in teaching children in the developing world, an external evaluation to determine the efficacy of each project will accompany every grant made.
 
Improving the Funding and Management of School Systems
The factors that influence whether students learn reach far beyond the classroom. In the developing world particularly, decisions affecting student learning extend from the corridors of New Delhi., to the smallest villages. It is crucial that donors not only give more money for education to developing countries, but also focus their investments on ensuring that children are learning. BoloSai Foundation is making grants to encourage both sufficient and effective funding for education from these donors in India. Within India, this work will include support for budget monitoring and similar activities to encourage the transparency and accountability of money earmarked for education.

At a country level, the grant making also will encourage governments to make children's learning the measure of their success. community involvement in monitoring school outcomes; and other advocacy within countries to emphasize the importance of learning.
 
 
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