Project on Primary Education in Kolkata (2020)
This study on ‘public’ schools, under Kolkata Primary Schools Council (KPSC) and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) was actually derived from the larger framework of the on-going project – “Achieving Quality of Education through Enhanced Teacher Capabilities”– steered by Pratichi (India) Trust and funded by the Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF). The Pratichi research team has primarily drawn on the collaborative spirit of many school teachers in the city of Kolkata.
Project on the Status of the Adivasis of West Bengal (2020)
Pratichi Institute in collaboration with the Asiatic Society, Kolkata, had undertaken the work of preparing a detailed report on the socio-economic, political and cultural profile of the 40 notified Adivasi tribes of West Bengal that constitute 47 per cent of the overall Scheduled Tribe population. This research project aspired to present the perspectives of the Adivasi communities. One of the strategies was to use researchers and investigators from such backgrounds. The report has attempted to address the wide knowledge gaps – among both specialized academics and the general public – regarding who these Adivasis are, where they live, what they do, their socio-economic status, their distinctive cultural and linguistic practices. Wide socio-economic variations between the different Adivasi groups and within the specific Adivasi communities, despite having been shown in the Census data, have hardly attracted any attention either in public policy or in general discussion.
Assessment of the Sabooj Sathi Bicycle Distribution Scheme (2019)
Pratichi Institute had been invited by the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes Development and Finance Corporation to undertake a study of the effectiveness of the Sabooj Sathi scheme all over West Bengal in five phases. The first two phases of the study had already been undertaken in the previous year. The third phase of the study of this project was initiated in June 2019. The report was finalized and submitted in November 2019.
Pre-primary education: Social Choice, Parental Choice, and Schools’ Choice (2019)*
An empirical study on preprimary education was carried out and a report prepared based on primary data collected from the Bolpur-Santiniketan area. The project required the team to prepare a synopsis at the beginning of the project, undertake study of relevant literature, develop tools, carry out fieldwork and data analysis and prepare a report.
Research study on Gender Consciousness (2019)*
Our research study initiated in 2018 focused on how early in life gender ‘identification’ begins and how it affects the aspirations and expectations of the children in Himachal Pradesh. The main task of the research team was to investigate into the experiences and worldview of children related to gender identification as well as their professional aspirations and expectations in the context of how far the socio-political milieu shaped choices for them.
Nadia BAY project (2018)
This project involved an evaluation of the Banglar Awaas Yojana – Amar Bari Amar Ghar – a West Bengal government initiative akin to the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Rural. The assessment was undertaken on request from the Nadia district administration for evaluation of the implementation of this scheme in Nadia district. The objectives of the study were – (a) to assess the completion rate as against the target, (b) to assess the quality of construction, (c) review the implementation of convergence of the schemes aligned with the housing, finally (d) to assess the extent of exclusion of eligible beneficiaries. The report was submitted in June 2018.
The Second Tripura Human Development Report project (2018)
A human development report attempts to measure advancement or regression or even inertia in the condition of people in terms of whether they are able to exist in circumstances they aspire for and attain the desirables of life – like having enough to eat, decent housing, apt healthcare facilities, suitable employment opportunities, proper access to education, entitlement to a meaningful community life, the right to vote and the freedom of choice. The Pratichi Institute was involved in the preparation of the second Tripura Human Development Report for over two years – through 2015, 2016 and 2017. The final draft of the report was submitted in 2018.
Health study – Understanding Prevention: An Analysis of Community-Based Harm Prevention Strategies in India to Build Child Rights and Protection (2017-18)*
The study was done in collaboration with Harvard’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights to better understand how strategies that focus on system strengthening can successfully prevent children from being harmed. The study aimed at understanding how the models operate. After the first phase of the project was implemented by an agency named Angana in Varanasi, the second phase was taken up in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. Pratichi Institute had been entrusted with the responsibility of data collection in this project.
The London School of Economics (LSE) project – Choice, Constraint and Gender Dynamics of Labour Markets in West Bengal (2017-18)*
The survey for this project was carried out in two phases – the first phase between July and September 2017 was in Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and Murshidabad districts while the second phase in October-November 2017 took place in South 24 Parganas, Purulia and Bankura districts. The project was completed in the previous year and a discussion was held with the LSE representatives in June in order to clarify certain points in the questionnaire and data collection.
Kanyashree Prakalpa Evaluation Project (2017)*
Basically the Kanyashree Prakalpa of the West Bengal government is a scheme that seeks to improve the status and wellbeing of girls, specifically those from socio-economically disadvantaged families. This was a project in which Pratichi Institute was involved since December 2015. We worked in partnership with UNICEF, at the request of the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of West Bengal. The final draft report was prepared by Pratichi Institute in October 2017, after which our partner, UNICEF, gave its feedback. This final draft was sent to the West Bengal Department of Women and Child Welfare in November 2017.
Study on Library as a Resource for Promoting Enquiry among Children of HP (2017)
This investigation into the impact of the school library on student achievement was conducted in selected areas of Himachal Pradesh. In this qualitative study the research team attempted to explore the functioning of school libraries, from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders like parents, teachers and children. The aim was to identify the factors that promote and impede reading at home and school, and also to develop an understanding of the ‘reading culture’ in the local community.
Study on Transition of Boys and Girls to Secondary Schools in West Bengal (2017)
In this study, commissioned by UNICEF India, the Pratichi Institute researchers look into the why-s and wherefore-s involved in the ease or hardship of continuum that the boys and the girls of West Bengal encounter while moving from the primary to the upper primary level of schooling and thereafter to the secondary and higher secondary phases of education. They attempt to examine whether the policy vision and actions are adequate and effective enough to ensure that young boys and girls complete their school life without getting forced to drop out or being pushed out of the system prematurely.
Monitoring the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (2015-16)*
Pratichi was entrusted with monitoring the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in 100 schools in Kolkata. This project was undertaken in response to a request from the Government of West Bengal in September 2015.
Delivery of ICDS in West Bengal and Bihar for Pratichi Child Report II (2015)
This inquiry into child development under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) in West Bengal and Bihar was conducted jointly by Pratichi Institute, Kolkata and the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna. Revisiting the insights presented in the first Pratichi Child Report published in 2008 and extending the same further through inter-State and intra-State comparisons, this collaborative venture focused on the analysis of the extent to which the ICDS has made a difference to the lives of the children in Bihar and West Bengal and more importantly of the considerable ground that still needs to be covered.
Taking Part in the Essential Health Care Programme (2014-15)*
UNICEF through its WASH programme has been working for the rights of children to be provided with clean drinking water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities. As part of the initiative by UNICEF, Pratichi Institute in collaboration with Pashchim Banga Rajya Sarba Shiksha Mission (PBSSM) undertook a package of activities, which was named as the Essential Health Care Programme (EHCP), in a number of schools in selected districts namely Jalpaiguri, Malda and Purulia (50 schools from each district have been sampled by UNICEF) with a view to identifying and institutionalizing practices that would best address the key bottlenecks against good health indicators among the school-going children of the state.
Essential Health Services and Child Nutrition Programme (2014-15)*
The Pratichi research team undertook a study to re-examine the healthcare system in West Bengal from a broad and integrated perspective, focusing on primary health care, child and maternal nutrition, food availability, with an additional stress on clean water and sanitation. As part of this study, specific data collection was done at primary health centres, sub-centres, health facilities at the block level, the Anganwadi Centres and the fair price shops under the public distribution system (PDS) in order to understand the roles of these institutions in the context of the issues being studied. The team went for field visits to certain rural and urban areas of the state – Jalpaiguri (Rural), South Dinajpur (Rural and Urban), Murshidabad (Rural), Barddhaman (Rural and Urban) and South 24 Parganas (Rural and Urban) – for collecting the requisite data.
Documentation and Analysis of Utkarsha Abhiyan (2014)*
The Government of West Bengal launched Utkarsha Abhiyan, a large scale exercise involving documentation of the quality of learning outcomes of children in government schools and the general quality of such schools, in 2013. Thereafter, the state government wanted an assessment and analysis of the data that emerged from this documentation to gauge the overall value of education delivered through the primary school education system. Pratichi Institute participated mainly in the analysis of data and preparation of the final report.
Status of Child Protection at Juvenile Justice Homes in West Bengal (2014)
Pratichi Institute and Railway Children in collaboration with the State Level Inspection and Monitoring Committee of Homes constituted by the Government of West Bengal, conducted a study on the status and condition of the children vis-à-vis their entitlements under various programmes and statutes in Shelter Homes under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. The report uncovers the pitiable condition of the grossly neglected children who are provided shelters in state supported Juvenile Justice Homes and attempts to probe into the atrocious ignorance as well as the social insensitivity towards these children with some suggestions for remedial action.
Status of Elementary Education in the States of Assam, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha and Tripura (2013)
This collaborative project was undertaken by the Pratichi Institute and UNICEF in order to understand the various factors and their inter-relations as also the role of various agencies in the delivery of elementary education in the five states of eastern India. The research team’s work was to not only identify the lacunae but also laud the positive achievements for modification and adaptation in policies and implementation schemes.
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Inquiry into Secondary Education in West Bengal (2013)
This study, in association with UNICEF Kolkata, aspired to address the knowledge gaps in the general awareness that appear to prevail regarding the possibilities and problems of secondary schooling in West Bengal. The research team used a number of methods to inquire into the various aspects relevant to government school education at the secondary level: the demand for and supply of schools, the curricula, the human resources, the quality of teaching and learning, the educational facilities and infrastructural necessities, the socio-economic factors governing the length and breadth of the children’s careers in school, the gender and ethnological disparities, et al.
Monitoring the Cooked Mid-day Meal Programme in Kolkata, Murshidabad, Malda and Jalpaiguri (2013)
This project was undertaken to monitor and inquire into certain generally unremarkable features crucial to the apt implementation of the CMMP – like the type of kitchen sheds used for cooking, the kind of service providers given charge of the school meals and their modus operandi, the availability and quality of storage facilities and water, the quality and regularity in the supply of rice, the hold-up in the payment of conversion costs and so on – in selected districts of West Bengal.
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Evaluation of the Sarva Shiksha Mission in North Bengal (2012)
This project originated from an animated discussion on some apposite suggestions of certain members of the state’s Department of School Education and the Pashchim Banga Rajya Sarva Shiksha Mission (PBRSSM). Before the preparation of the report, the Pratichi Institute research team, with active support of the PBRSSM, undertook nine months of rigorous analytical and field-based work. Their activities included a thorough analysis of the DISE data, a field level inquiry in 88 primary schools in North Bengal, an in-depth research on out-of-school children, organising six public meetings (attended by over 700 parents and teachers) and ten participatory observations of the in-service training processes. ]
Study on Non-Communicable Diseases in West Bengal (2012)
This study was carried out with support from the Department of Health & Family Welfare, NRHM, Government of West Bengal. The prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) being rather high in this state, the researchers worked on symptomatic assessments of such diseases that afflicted people the most, the profiles of these diseases, the general lack of awareness about chronic NCDs and reasonable actions to avoid them, the connection of these diseases with people’s socio-economic conditions, gender, ethnicity, etc., and the factors behind different kind of health-seeking behaviours of different people.
The Pratichi-CRY Project: Improving the schooling process (2010 – 2016)
Pratichi partnered Child Rights and You (CRY), a leading NGO with international links, for over half a decade – beginning 2010 – to bring about a major educational intervention in primary schools across West Bengal in the form of organising workshops, programmes and events to augment learning-teaching skills for school students and teachers, often in a fun way, like Reading-Writing Festivals, teachers’ resource teams, wall magazines, community libraries and symposia on Teaching Learning Materials (TLM). Pratichi worked consistently with 128 schools in Birbhum. It has also built up a committed and enthusiastic band of teacher-volunteers across the state who single-mindedly pursue the cause of quality education. The project has played a significant role in improving the functioning of the schools, developing teacher capabilities and building meaningful bonds with the community and local government agencies at large.
Inquiry into the Status of Elementary Education in Bihar (2010)
This inquiry involved working in six villages selected in each of the five districts of Bhojpur, Bhagalpur, Gopalganj, Madhubani and Katihar in Bihar – totaling 30 villages – for collecting relevant data on village characteristics, the 31 schools in these 30 villages, and household information on educational practices from 900 households of the studied villages. The Pratichi (India) Trust and the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna had jointly undertaken this study between July and October 2010 not only to ascertain the prevailing status of elementary education in Bihar but also to identify some of its crucial deficiencies and suggest ways for remedying the adversities.
Study of Primary Education in West Bengal for Pratichi Education Report II (2009)
Seven years after the first set of surveys conducted by the Pratichi research team in 2001-02 involving a number of somewhat arbitrarily chosen schools in six districts of West Bengal culminated in Pratichi’s first Education Report, the organisation resurveyed the same schools in the same districts in 2008-09 to compare and examine the nature of the progress or stagnation in primary education vis-à-vis the earlier picture. The conclusions constituted this second report.
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Study on the Delivery of ICDS in West Bengal for Pratichi Child Report I (2008)
The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is the largest child development programme in the world involving a number of services aimed at improving the nutritional status of children and pregnant and lactating mothers. The Pratichi research team carried out an inquiry in the delivery of ICDS in West Bengal. Work on this project started in 2006 and the final report was published in 2008. The publication of this report activated public debate and discussions in the state regarding the neglect of children in general and those from underprivileged backgrounds in particular.
Study of Public Primary Education in Kolkata (2006)
This project had its genesis in an invitation from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to Pratichi to conduct a study of the overall quality of schooling provided in the schools run by it. The research team of Pratichi, studied with very great care, a certain number of non-private primary institutions in Kolkata run either by the KMC itself – like the Corporation primary schools and Shishu Shiksha Kendras (SSKs) – or by the Kolkata District Primary School Council (KDPSC). Members of the team went beyond readily provided data and concentrated on directly observed ground realities as well as findings based on extensive interviews and conversations with the stake-holders.
Inquiry into the Public Private Interface in Primary Schooling in West Bengal (2006)
This inquiry into the phenomenon of the emergence of private schools as an alternative to government sector schools in different parts of West Bengal, particularly in the urban areas, was based on research carried out in the rural and urban settlements of Bolpur-Sriniketan, Dubrajpur and Nalhati I blocks of Birbhum district.
Study of Primary Health Services in West Bengal and Jharkhand (2005)
This constitutes Pratichi’s first investigation into the basic health services in the two districts of Birbhum in West Bengal and Dumka in Jharkhand. The research team concentrated on the corresponding state of affairs in the two contiguous districts of eastern India, a comparison of the circumstances prevailing in both these places and the vitally relevant policy issues that the conclusions threw up.
A Study of the People’s Health Initiative by the Adivasis of Jharkhand (2005)
The Pratichi (India) Trust, in collaboration with the Ayo-Aidari Trust and supported by the Asia Development Research Institute (ADRI) in Patna, sponsored and took part in a research-based public-action initiative in the area of public health, based in seven remote villages of the Gopikandar block in Dumka district of Jharkhand. The project involved setting up a free public health centre in a previously unserved area, establishing a supportive network with the closest public health facilities, building the capacity of local people to independently determine their needs, identifying public resources to satisfy such needs as well as facilitating the assertion of people’s rights to avail such resources and helping people free themselves of the expensive private health options provided by local quacks.
Status of Cooked Mid-day Meal Programme in Birbhum, West Bengal (2005)
This evaluation study was taken up by the Pratichi research team in order to draw a broader picture of the impacts, constraints and possibilities of the Cooked Mid-day Meal Programme in Birbhum district of West Bengal, where the implementation of the programme had been on course in 300 primary schools.
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Study of Primary Education in Jharkhand (2004)
This rigorous inquiry focused essentially on Dumka district of Jharkhand. However, the intensive quality of the investigations, the methodology adopted by the research team for relating the delivery of primary education to class, caste, gender and other social factors, and corroboration with wider public discourse (media reports, government and other reports, interviews with people other than selected respondents, etc.), forms the basis for certain overall inferences about the state of primary education in the state as a whole.
The Pratichi Education Report Project (2002)*
The Pratichi (India) Trust Research Team – under the expert guidance of Professor Amartya Sen – undertook the first research project of the organisation, a study on the delivery of primary education in West Bengal. The first phase of the study was conducted in 18 villages in the Birbhum, Medinipur and Purulia districts of West Bengal. Eighteen primary schools and 17 Shishu Shiksha Kendras (SSKs) were examined in these three districts. The second phase of work in a further 20 schools and the same number of SSKs in 20 villages located in the three districts of Barddhaman, Murshidabad and Darjeeling largely corroborated the findings of the first phase of the study.