Scale is an inherent part of the IEC’s approach to transformation in public education. The strategy for scale embedded in the design rests on strengthening the existing government institutions.

Scaling the Learning Approach

Within the government education ecosystem, the formation of District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) through National Education Policy 1986 was the first attempt to decentralize academic planning and training for teachers at District Level. This was further given impetus through creation of Cluster and Block Resource Centres as part of District Primary Education Program (DPEP).

In the last three decades, a need has been strongly advocated in several policies such as Kothari Commission, Justice Verma Commission Report and National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education 2009 for linkages between Cluster and Block Resource Centres and the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) to be strengthened for more effective in-service teacher professional development programs.

IEC’s Approach to Teacher Empowerment is aligned to these policies and integrates the Cluster-Block-District structure in its plan for scale

The process of Peer Led Teacher Professional Learning Communities is initiated at the Cluster Level/School Complex as it is the smallest unit of administration of the education system ( a group of 10-15 schools). The process of organizing monthly meetings for teachers is initiated through the support of Cluster Resource Coordinator (CRC) to build their ownership of the process.

The process is then scaled to Block Level by organizing CRC Collectives where CRC’s come together every month to plan for facilitating the Teacher Collectives in their respective clusters. This enables Teacher Collectives to be scaled from cluster to block level in a seamless manner without much dependence on external support.

The evidence of this scaling approach has been witnessed across many states where IEC is working.

In November 2015, the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh approached IEC to extend its intervention from one cluster in one mandal to all the 37 clusters in 5 mandals of ITDA. This was made possible through training of CRC’s at Mandal Level who then implemented the approach in their own clusters.

IEC’s work in the State of Uttarakhand saw an expansion from one cluster each to one block each of Ramgarh & Garud in Nainital and Bageshwar districts respectively.

The organization saw a similar uptake by the Education Department in Meghalaya when an MoU was signed for work to be expanded to 4 blocks : Saipung, Mawkynrew, Resubelpara and Betasing.

In Uttar Pradesh, IEC is working with State Education Department to institutionalize the approach of monthly cluster academic meetings across 12 districts. In all these 12 districts, DIET’s are being supported in measuring the efficacy of the meetings through evaluation frameworks and providing the necessary support to Block and Cluster level officers to implement monthly teacher meetings in their respective clusters.

IEC’s scaling strategy is to institutionalize the approach of Peer Led Teacher Professional Learning Communities as part of DIET’s structured efforts towards in-service teacher professional development.

Scaling the Governance Approach

The framework for Decentralization for Education Governance has been designed considering the district to be the minimum unit to observe a systemic change process.

Since the approach of the work is to decentralise the education planning process through institutionalisation of stakeholder ownership across various levels of governance, the focus is to identify structures of stakeholder ownership across these levels- School, Gram Panchayat, Block and District.

At the school level the structure that could best represent the community is the School Management Committee. It is also recognised that at the various other levels- Gram Panchayat, Block and District, the institutions that could best represent the needs of the community are the Panchayat Raj Institutions( though there could be bodies, agencies, groups that could act as pressure groups to make these structures work).The PRI structures have Standing Committees for Education that take forth the agenda of education across the various levels.

The core-objective of this approach is to enable the activation of the governance structures- SMCs and Standing Committees across various levels and enable them to engage with each other through a feed- forward and feed-back process.

These processes over a period of time enable the institutionalisation of the participation of the primary stakeholders in the decision making processes related to the core aspects of education.

The goal of this engagement process is for the District Panchayat Education Standing Committee to consolidate a shared vision for education in their district and partner with District Education Department to improve learning outcomes.