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Knowledge transfer in rural India

Education systems, aspiration and learning in remote rural settings

Nicola Ansell, Peggy Froerer and Arshima Dost from the Department of Social and Political Sciences and the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies (Welfare, Health and Wellbeing Theme) have been undertaking knowledge transfer activities relating to their ESRC-DFID-funded research project on ‘Education systems, aspiration and learning in remote rural settings’.

In January they spent two weeks in Chhattisgarh, central India, reporting back to school children and adults in the rural communities where they conducted the research. They held a workshop for teachers from the local area, addressed trainee teachers at the teacher training college and engaged in discussions with local and district-level government officials. A subsequent workshop in the state capital, Raipur, was attended by government officials, NGO personnel, academics, and others. Attendees were enthusiastic to take forward ideas raised in the workshop that might make education better suited to the needs of rural young people, encouraging them to aspire to futures that are achievable and to develop curricula, resources and teaching methods that make such futures attainable. The team will maintain contact with the participants and follow up on any impact arising from the research. Finally, a workshop was held in Delhi with a smaller group of national level policy actors. Team members are now in Lesotho, undertaking a similar programme of activities with rural communities and the national education policy sector. They will proceed to the third study setting, Laos, in March.