Reimagining Access to Education: The Impacts of Learning Centres for Marginalised Students in Haryana, India During the Pandemic

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Reimagining Access to Education: The Impacts of Learning Centres for Marginalised Students in Haryana, India During the Pandemic
Stream: International Education
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Tarang Tripathi, University of California-San Diego, United States
Chandraditya Raj, Aawaaz Education, India
Sakshi Sharma, Aawaaz Education, India
Shibal Bhartiya, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, India


The Covid-19 Pandemic has drastically impacted education structures around the world. Many students worldwide, especially from developing nations, have been left without access to any tangible form of education. One of the emerging solutions has been the introduction of temporary learning centers providing academic support. This research utilizes a mixed-methods case study design to evaluate the impact of a Research-Practice Partnership between two local NGOs working with marginalized students in rural Haryana, India. The intervention worked with students from socio-economically marginalized communities who were pushed out of “mainstream” schooling by providing them with holistic academic support through community-led learning centers. Students were provided with three hours of academic instruction daily and time for extra and co-curricular activities at the learning center. The two data sources analyzed were students' academic scores from Hindi, English, and Math and semi-structured interviews with five students. Our results show statistically significant growth in Math, English, and Hindi academic performances on a month-by-month basis. Furthermore, a structural narrative analysis of interviews indicated that the learning center created a sense of academic and social community for students. Students outlined the benefits of coming to the learning center, ranging from increased academic support to opportunities to socialize with teachers and friends. Our findings posit that community-led interventions that aim to support students during forced out-of-school periods can positively impact students’ academic performance. Additionally, we claim that the learning center acts as a nucleus of resilience for the community of students by going beyond just providing traditional academic support.

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