Since its inception, education has been one of the key focus areas of Tata Trusts. Over the last two decades, there has been a steady increase in enrolment in schools, but quality in education and achievement of age-appropriate learning levels have remained an elusive goal. Ensuring quality education for children, especially those from marginalised backgrounds, is the central goal of the Trusts’ education portfolio. Further, age and grade appropriate learning in curricular areas such as language, mathematics and development of 21st century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, use of technology and collaborative learning are central to the Trusts’ vision. Tata Trusts has also seeded institutions of research and higher learning like Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Indian Institute of Science and the National Institute of Advanced Studies. Furthermore, the Trusts provides individual scholarships to assist students under its Individual Grant Programme for Education.
The key focus of the Trusts’ Education portfolio is on the education of children in the age group of 3-18, women’s literacy, working with government schools to improve learning levels and community involvement, building teachers’ capacity to enhance the quality of classroom instruction, tribal education, and improving access to education for minority communities, through their thematic and regional initiatives.
Currently, there are 14 locations, comprising 26 districts and 41 blocks, wherein Tata Trusts makes multi portfolio interventions in an integrated manner. The multi-pronged strategy entails:
Interventions seek to address specific sector gaps. They include publication of children’s books in regional languages, increased access to books through a library programme, leveraging technology to promote teaching and learning processes, and access to Open Source education material for underprivileged populations.