Since its inception in 1995, Pratham has been implementing programs focused on providing quality education in Urdu speaking regions of the country. From 1995 to 2016, varied programs aimed at improving Urdu speaking and writing abilities and building foundational skills in other subjects have been implemented with children from 3 to 14 years. Currently, majority of the Pratham Urdu Programs are being implemented in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kashmir, Maharashtra, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
Urdu is a major language of South Asia, predominantly spoken in India and Pakistan. There are approximately 44 million Urdu speakers in India and this number has been on the rise. The socio-economic status of Muslims in India, as per the Sachar Committee Report of November 2006 states, is worse than that of certain Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The backwardness of Muslims can be attributed to poor education as well as an endless cycle of low income making future development a distant dream. Pratham uses available opportunities to introduce the Pratham approach to teaching by imparting subjects such as Math, Science and English in Madarsas and in schools where Urdu is the medium of instruction.
The Urdu program for primary grades focuses on building foundational skills of children in Urdu and Math and is implemented either in government schools, Madarsas or local community spaces. Like in other Indian languages, children in Grade 3 to 5 are taught basic Urdu and Mathematics in intensive short bursts of teaching-learning activities called Learning Camps. Depending on the baseline levels of children, a total camp cycle could be between 3 to 4 camps conducted in short bursts of 10 days for up to 30 to 40 days of activities. The camps are led by trained Pratham staff members who receive support from local volunteers. The intervention involves teaching children using Pratham's in-house pedagogical approach called CAMaL (Combined Activities for Maximized Learning). This approach amalgamates doing, speaking, reading and writing around each learning activity so that 'learning to read' and 'reading to learn' stimulates better learning, comprehension, and retention amongst children. Assessments are conducted to test and categorize students. The focus is to group children by ability rather than by age and grade and hold interventions with them. Students graduate up to higher ability level groups at other times over the course of the program. The aim is to move majority of students up to the highest ability group by the end of the intervention.
Reach and Scale
In 2015-16, Urdu programs were able to reach out to 428 villages and 10,000+ children across 4 states in India. In 2016-17, Urdu Program with Primary Grades is being implemented in 2 districts each in 3 states of country - Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra reaching approximately 15000+ children. There are upper primary programs in Urdu also in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh reaching approximately 5000+ students. The Urdu team has also supported "ChaloPadhoBadho" Program for learning improvement in Pakistan, implemented by the organization called Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi
Pune City Connect – In a partnership with Pune City Connect, Pratham has trained 174 government teachers from 34 schools in Urdu and Math for a 3 year program and reached 7000+ children. The program aims to develop foundational skills of children in primary grades. The program also has 2 Focus schools where a special program for children in grade

Grades 1 to 8 is being implemented covering about 511 children from both schools. The Department of School Education, Kashmir –Director of School Education, Kashmir has partnered with Pratham to implement Pratham's CAMaL methodology in all the schools of 10 districts of Kashmir. As a part of the program, more than 25,000 government school teachers have been trained in Pratham's CAMaL methodologies who are implementing the program in 9000+ schools of Kashmir reaching 98848 children.
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