A major goal of the Foundation is to improve the quality of basic education by a programme of grants. Four objectives set the wider agenda: ensuring better early caring and learning environments for young children; increasing access to education; keeping children in school longer; and raising levels of academic achievement. In common with other donor agencies, the Foundation intends that girls, the very poor, and geographically remote populations should receive special attention. Of the many factors that influence the quality of basic education, four in particular are the focus of current grants:

• The location, timing and content of teacher training;
• Professional development for all categories of educators and caregivers;
• The role of governments, NGOs, communities and parents in financing and managing education;
• The cultural and economic relevance of the curriculum.
• Education Programme of Society is distinctive in one other respect. It interprets 'basic education' as the continuation of learning which stretches from birth to adolescence. In developing countries, like India the Young Children and the Family portfolio is experimenting in both rural and urban settings with various community-based approaches that enhance early childcare and education opportunities. A common concern across most of education programmes are the quality of experience received as a child moves from home to early childhood development settings to primary school. Research in western countries indicates that successful educational change is achieved by treating the individual school as a unit and ensuring that the school principal is a key player who mentors teachers repeatedly as they deploy new skills in their classrooms. Foundation projects are testing how far this formula holds true in contexts where many teachers have no more than primary-level education themselves and where the extreme shortage of funds dictates that materials and training have to be concentrated in Resource Centres to which individual schools and teachers have access.

Our Goal