Pratham CEO awarded prestigious education prize for work in improving learning outcomes

Dr Banerji plans to strengthen and expand India’s NGO partner work with young children so that strong foundations can be built early in a child’s life

The CEO of Pratham Education Foundation, Dr Rukmini Banerji, has been awarded the prestigious Yidan Prize for Education Development for her work in improving learning outcomes. Pratham is The Human Safety Net’s partner in India. The Yidan Prize - the world’s highest education accolade - is an inclusive education award that recognizes individuals or teams who have contributed significantly to the theory and practice of education.

Dr Banerji, who heads the Pratham Education Foundation, pioneered the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) assessment approach which has provided data over the years on children’s learning outcomes and schooling status, revealing the “learning crisis”. To close these gaps, Pratham’s “Teaching at the Right Level” (TaRL) program works with school systems and local communities to provide basic reading and arithmetic skills, ensuring no children are left behind. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Banerji’s research has particularly highlighted the learning loss among children in India.

With the support of the Yidan Prize, Dr Banerji plans to strengthen and expand Pratham’s work with young children so that strong foundations can be built early in a child’s life. This will contribute significantly towards Pratham’s goal of seeing “every child in school and learning well.”

Pratham, which has been a partner of The Human Safety Net since 2020, received a digitalisation grant to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. It is now preparing for the ‘next normal’ hybrid programming model that will continue to use digital channels to consolidate what parents have learned in face-to-face sessions, as well as for continuity in the event of any further travel restrictions as the health situation evolves.

The 2021 laureates will be formally recognized at the Yidan Prize Awards Presentation Ceremony and the Yidan Prize Annual Summit held on 5 December 2021.