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Private sector and civil society collaborate to transform education and support the Government of India’s NIPUN Bharat Mission

Mumbai, January 24, 2024: On International Day of Education, leaders across private sector and civil society have come together to launch LiftEd (Learning and Innovation in FLN to Transform Education) an initiative that will impact the lives of 4 million children in India across 5 years. With all partners working together to achieve these results, the diverse coalition that powers LiftEd is strengthening India’s education ecosystem, unlocking young India’s potential, and improving life chances for millions.

The Government of India has identified foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) as an ‘urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning’ and in 2021, launched the landmark NIPUN Bharat Mission to equip every child aged 4-10 with FLN skills by 2026-27. Recognising that collaborative action from the private sector and civil society can act as an ‘impact multiplier’ to bolster the government’s commitment to furthering India’s education goals, LiftEd brings a vibrant and diverse mix of education experts together to improve FLN in India, raising up to USD 20 million (INR 166 crore).

LiftEd is anchored by founding partners such as Atlassian Foundation, Bridges Outcomes Partnerships, British Asian Trust, the Maitri Trust, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Reliance Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, UBS Optimus Foundation, and USAID. The British Asian Trust is the programme leader and Central Square Foundation and Dalberg Advisors are design and technical partners.

Given that FLN is understood as the ability to read and understand basic text and solve basic mathematical problems by the end of grade three, it is the cornerstone on which a child’s learning journey is built. Over 5 years, LiftEd’s ambition is to strengthen these ‘building blocks’ of learning through a dual approach: on-ground and at-home interventions.

LiftEd’s on-ground education partners are working with state governments and school facilitators in five geographies (Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar) to train them and build their capacity to improve FLN levels for public school children across grades 1-3. To achieve results at scale, working with stakeholders who influence education is critical and helps the education partners – Kaivalya Education Foundation, Language and Learning Foundation, Peepul, and Pratham Education Foundation – take a ‘systems change’ approach. As such, training block and district officers, school principals, and teachers enables LiftEd to positively impact more lives across a sustained period of time, as each person trained can have a ripple effect reaching several batches of students.

In parallel, LiftEd has also launched an EdTech Accelerator to develop digital solutions to improve FLN for low-income students in India. Eight innovative partners – Amira Learning, Chimple, Ei Mindspark, Pratham Education Foundation, Rocket Learning, Sesame Workshop, ThinkZone, and Top Parent – have been chosen to be a part of the EdTech Accelerator following a rigorous selection process. They are working towards developing high-quality and contextually relevant solutions focused on the bottom of the pyramid, and are receiving dedicated support in the form of mentorship, capacity building workshops, and funding through the Accelerator.

Since LiftEd is designed to incorporate principles of outcomes-based financing – collaboration, scale, innovation, and a razor-sharp focus on measurable outcomes – it puts transformational impact for children at the heart of its focus.

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