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Kadam - The Step Up Programme

place India + 1 more

Letting children be the drivers of their own learning

Kadam, The Step Up Programme is a comprehensive set of tools and techniques to enable children to close their learning gaps, and for teachers to guide and facilitate the learning process. Each child is assessed to determine their entry point with age as the determinator for achieving learning level goals. Continuous and formative assessments are integrated as a participatory part of learning.

Spotlight 2021


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Formative Assessment: Improving Learning for Every Child

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Target group
Students lower
April 2024
With distinct identity and commitment, Kadam brings a sense of importance for education in learners and a sense of responsibility towards education among all those involved in the process of learning.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

With the Right to Education Act 2009, schooling for ages 6-14 years became compulsory in India and required collective efforts from the state, communities and other organisations to bring out-of-school children under the umbrella of mainstream education. To address this, Kadam was developed by Humana People to People India (HPPI) as a learning enhancement program.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

The focus of primary education in India is multifold and Kadam helps in catering to a large number of children for age appropriate school integration and providing simpler tools to achieve learning progression taking into account limited internet accessibility in many areas. Kadam caters to multi-graded classrooms where children are at different learning levels, providing accelerated learning to bridge learning gaps wherein core competencies are addressed to build a strong foundation to further learning. Holistic development of children is key for their cognitive progression and socio-emotional well being, including experiential learning for real life and long lasting learning. Kadam provides adaptive assessments, which are individualised for every child.

How has it been spreading?

Since 2014, Kadam has been successfully implemented in 9 states of India, and catered to the learning needs of more than 200,000 children. Kadam's teaching-learning strategy has been adapted and adopted by primary school teachers to plug the learning gaps in children to achieve age appropriate learning. The flexibility in the Kadam model is instrumental in its varied implementation which has been found to be advantageous for children who have no access to education, have access to schools but are not enrolled, are enrolled in schools but do not attend regularly, have dropped out of schools, are in regular schools but do not have age appropriate learning level.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

1. Obtain the Kadam toolkit
2. Understand how the Kadam methodology works
3. Use the tools and techniques with children as suggested in the programme model - some tools are for children while others are for teachers
4. Get accurate results of the baseline and end-line assessments
5. Enter data on MIS on regular basis
6. Involve parents and community members during the entire learning process

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

This innovation determines diverse learning levels for students and the corresponding learning gaps according to formative assessment methodologies. When students that have been out-of-school are included in the programme, their entire learning process is monitored on a regular basis. Formative assessment is a strong component of this programme and children receive education adapted to their needs

HundrED Academy Reviews

The Bhutanese education system also strives for education for all and the toolkit considering the age level, multigrade, and focus on holistic development would be a great help for many Bhutanese schools with shortage of teachers or resources.

Well, no words to say - Education for all that can't access school due to poverty and other sociology-economic reasons. This Kadam program certainly carries the Act - Right to education.

- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Identify the target population.
This is the first step in the Kadam program implementation. The target population includes 2 different sets of children - one, who are out-of-school (those who have either never been to a school or those who have dropped out of school) and the other set is that of children who are studying in primary schools but do not have age-appropriate learning levels, and hence, have weak foundational literacy and numeracy with learning gaps.
Conduct a baseline assessment.
A baseline assessment is conducted to determine learning levels of the children enrolled in the program at the beginning of the intervention. The baseline assessment helps to assess the learning gaps in children, place them at an appropriate step in Kadam and determine their entry and exit level in the program. For out-of-school children, the baseline is conducted individually, while for children studying in schools, the baseline is conducted collectively for the whole class.
Provide Kadam learning books to children.
Based on their entry learning level, Kadam learning books are distributed to children. The Kadam class reflects a picture of a multi-graded classroom wherein each child is at his/her own learning level working towards his/her own goal at his/her own pace. These learning books comprise of exercises children based on selected foundational learning outcomes that help in building progressive learning in all subject areas, catering to continuous cognitive development & bridging their learning gaps.
Provide experiential learning.
To bring about holistic development in children, the curriculum blends formal learning with experiential learning through theme-based activities. It brings enjoyment into the classroom wherein children are involved in activities which enhance their physical and mental skills, bringing them close to real life situations with hands-on activities. The Theme Book helps to roll out themes. For each month, 1 theme headline is taken up and activities are planned according to the level of the children.
Create a peer learning atmosphere in the class
Peer learning is an important element of the Kadam methodology. Children in a Kadam class are grouped in trios (groups of 3). Trio is formed in such a way that at least one child is at a higher learning level. It is an effective 2-way learning process wherein learning flows from one child to another. It involves teamwork engaging children through cooperative learning. Direct interaction between children promotes an active learning environment in the class and develops a strong social bond.
Ensure responsible, personalized learning.
The children manage with their own learning at their own pace, and thereby, taking the responsibility of their learning. It provides children with an opportunity to self-evaluate by judging their own abilities and performance. It is not a skill that is taught but an inbuilt component of Kadam and a methodology to follow with the help of tools. Meri Checklist (checklist on learning outcomes) & Tracking my Progress card (based on checklist) are 2 tools that bring learning ownership in children.
Conduct continuous, adaptive assessments.
Adaptive assessments determine learning progress of each child in the program. Apart from the self-assessment that happens on continuous basis, each child is assessed at the end of completion of a grade level in the program. The continuous self-assessment is visible from the completion of MeriChecklist & updating TmP card on daily/weekly basis, while the grade-end test reflects formative assessment after each grade. End-line assessment is conducted at end of the program for learning progression.
Monitor, record and report.
All the activities in Kadam - whether related to progressive learning in subject areas or through experiential learning are monitored and recorded, both on MIS and in written record books. Reports are generated on the learning progression of children on monthly basis and are shared with all the stakeholders on quarterly basis. Regular monitoring helps to track each child in the program and creates a scope for any subsequent action, if need be.

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