Avanti Learning Centers


Implementing institution: Avanti Fellows

Country: India

Source: Fundación Telefónica

Execution period: 2009 - in progress

Plataforma de Prácticas Efectivas:

Challenges

To help disadvantaged students enter the best national technical universities so that they can realize their dreams.

Solution

Reinforcement tutoring in STEM through small groups that favour peer learning

Results

The program has allowed 102 students to enter the top 100 of the most prestigious universities in the country.

Avanti Learning Centers prepare disadvantaged students in math and hard science so that they can enter the best national technical universities. The initiative has several sponsors including Tata Motors, Tata Trust, Infosys Foundation, Volkswagen Finance, MacArthur Foundation, Echidna Giving.

 

To reach the target groups, Avanti Fellows has formed partnerships with three public schools spread across the Chennai, Haryana and Maharashtra regions. Only students whose families earn less than 250,000 rupees per year may participate in classes. The main innovation of the program lies in a methodology that encourages peer learning. Compared to traditional teacher-centred methods, peer learning encourages students to be autonomous and work in groups. Under the supervision of a mentor, sessions are held in Avanti centres as well as in schools.

 

In the first instance, participants are asked to pre-read the contents to be discussed in sessions. Before starting the session itself, the student’s comprehension level is assessed using a 5-minute test. Then, a video is shown that deepens the key concepts that will be addressed during the discussions to follow in small groups. At the end of each session, the student’s knowledge is evaluated and, if required, he/she is invited to participate in individual sessions of 3 to 4 hours distributed throughout the week.

 

Those sessions are a space for the student to talk to their tutor about their aspirations and thus find their professional vocation. All Avanti Centre tutors and mentors work no more than 3 hours per week on a voluntary basis. They are generally tutors specialized in hard sciences and graduated from the best national universities. To date, 2,400 students and 300 tutors participate in the program.

In India, while overall living standards have improved over the past 30 years, the country still faces major challenges in terms of poverty and inequality. Literacy rate rose from 61% in 2000 to 72% in 2015, thanks to a steady increase in net participation at elementary and secondary levels (UNESCO). However, a large number of students younger than 10 do not attend the formal education system, and 82 per cent of secondary school students make it to the last year. Faced with this situation, the Ministry of Education has launched a series of programs whose objectives converge towards the promotion of participation in secondary education, with an explicit focus on gender equality.

To date, 102 Avanti program students have entered universities ranked among the national Top 100. Considering the low costs of the program that relies on volunteer tutors, the Avanti model is quite sustainable and effective in terms of its specific objectives. With respect to their potential adoption in other areas, the main obstacle lies in the availability of trained professionals who express an availability of 3 hours a week to teach on a voluntary basis.

Link: https://avantifellows.org/

Report: Ver informe

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