Glimpses of Pratham's 20-year partnership with Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo -Rukmini Banerji

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published Published on Dec 10, 2019   modified Modified on Dec 10, 2019
-The Indian Express

Over two decades, we have together learned how hard work on the ground and rigorous research can help to evolve solid solutions to one of the big problems facing primary education in India today.

Little did we know when we embarked together on a journey 20 years ago, that the path from Mumbai’s municipal schools would eventually lead to Stockholm and a Nobel prize. A tall, thin economics professor from MIT and his youthful looking colleague showed up one day in our cramped office near Grant Road in Mumbai. This is the first time we met Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. They were interested in the education programme that we were doing at the time in with municipal schools in Mumbai, especially in how we were helping children learn to read and do simple arithmetic.

Even as early as 1999, the problem was quite visible. School enrollment levels were high and large cohorts moved each year from one grade to the next. However, despite being in school for several years, many children were well below what was expected of them at their grade. Many could not read a simple text fluently or do basic math operations. Without these foundational skills, it was difficult for a child to engage with her class-level curriculum or make meaningful progress in the school system.


The Indian Express, 10 December, 2019, please click here to read more


The Indian Express, 10 December, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/pratham-abhijit-banerjee-esther-duflo-poverty-6158791/


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