Sangai Sikaun Sangai Badhaun (Learning & Growing Together) Project: Remedial Extension Component


Banyan Tree Foundation



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The Sangai Sikaun Sangai Badhaun (“Learning & Growing Together”) project worked in severely disadvantaged communities in Nepal, where many families had recently been exploited in bonded labor systems and where education outcomes were among the worst in Nepal. Over the course of five years from 2012-2017, the project’s holistic approach transformed the educational ecosystem: school management and parental engagement improved, dropout rates fell dramatically while attendance increased, and learning outcomes at every level from ECD to Grade 10 increased. World Education pioneered early grade reading and math assessment and models for mother tongue instruction.

Building on this success, World Education led an extension project “Strengthening Remedial Education” (2017-2019) to address the neglected need for support among students in grades 4-8 who were falling behind due to gaps in foundational skills. In collaboration with Kathmandu University and Government of Nepal stakeholders, World Education developed, tested, and refined a Remedial Package for the students in grades 4-8 covering Science, Math and English—the subjects students struggled with most.
Through a consultative process and qualitative research to capture the views of students, parents, teachers, and education leaders, World Education and Kathmandu University gathered inputs on barriers and challenges, while initial assessments based on the curriculum provided key data to show decision makers that the majority of children were not learning at grade level.

Together, we developed diagnostic assessment tools to identify critical gaps in students’ foundational skills, since the root cause was most often a shaky foundation from poor instruction and missed opportunities in the early grades. We then created training materials, teacher guides, and student materials to help students build core skills and conceptual understanding. Throughout, we emphasized evidence-based pedagogical approaches including tailoring instruction to student needs and level; activity-based learning with a priority on engaging learners through enjoyable, exciting exploration; and encouraging conceptual understanding and critical thinking over rote memorization and procedure. The approach significantly improved children’s learning outcomes, with scores improving 27, 37, and 42 percentage points in English, Science, and Math, respectively. Similarly, the portion of students meeting minimum proficiency thresholds increased from just 5% to 70%.

To generate evidence and build a flexible model, the project conducted a series of pilots to test different approaches including after-school sessions, in-class remediation, and intensive stand-alone “catch-up camps” during school breaks. In the final pilot, the project provided only technical assistance as local government led planning, implementation, and monitoring, including selecting and training teachers, with an overall investment of roughly $15,000 by one municipal government—tangible evidence of the Remedial Package’s value and the project’s successful collaboration with government stakeholders to ensure sustainability. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Government of Nepal incorporated resources and approaches from World Education’s package into its national plan for recovery of learning.

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