Alokit enables K–12 leaders to drive high-quality schools and education systems in India. They hone the leadership competencies of school leaders to support improved outcomes for systems and schools. Alokit works primarily with school leaders serving government schools and affordable private schools through pre-and in-service training, coaching support, and building a network of school leaders who can come together to share their challenges and successes and learn from each other. Through a variety of programs, Alokit is currently working with 446 school leaders across the government and low-fee private school sectors, potentially impacting 114,242 students.
Ensuring girls are in school and that a safe learning environment awaits them
GSL partnered with Alokit in 2020, when, during COVID-19, we worked together to find ways to support schools through closures and reopening. After COVID-19, ensuring girls re-enrolled and felt safe at school was a high priority. To address this issue, we worked to envision and develop a way to train school leaders to utilize practical tools and techniques to survey students and identify issues they may be facing, action steps to solve these issues, and strategies to prevent other potential problems that might arise. We called this program Shakti and have partnered with Alokit to expand and revise the program over the years.
The initial phase of the program yielded numerous favorable outcomes for school leaders, teachers, families, and students. School leaders developed a deeper insight into their students' needs, feeling well-prepared to assist female students facing challenges, with an average score of 9.5 out of 10. They began leveraging their influence in their communities to intervene and support students effectively. Meanwhile, teachers, students, and community stakeholders acquired essential skills in establishing secure and nurturing environments for children. Parents reported that the sessions facilitated their ability to provide better support to their children, and girls experienced increased confidence and self-assuredness.
GSL’s role and future work of our partnership
In our partnership with Alokit, we work together in a variety of ways depending on the program of focus and Alokit’s needs. Some of our typical areas of support include developing or providing feedback on some of their program curriculum, providing training and professional development to the Alokit program team, designing and leading research projects with the schools that Alokit supports, and providing technical support to develop their measurement, evaluation, and learning plans.
Most recently, we have been partnering with Alokit to implement two programs:
This three-year randomized control trial (RCT) research project with government schools of the Telangana Tribal Welfare / Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society. The aim is to explore and understand how school leadership training and coaching can improve student learning outcomes. The RCT is being implemented in 400 government schools.
School leadership programs are designed to improve students' sense of belonging and safety, student attendance, and student participation in class. The study being implemented in 160 schools involves A/B testing of two programs that incorporate training and support mechanisms to empower school leaders to implement interventions that improve learning equity. Program A utilizes a general equity lens focusing on broader patterns of inequities while Program B utilizes a gender equity lens, focusing on gender issues.
In the future, we will continue to expand this work by exploring the impact of school leader gender on leading for foundational literacy and numeracy. This work will help us to answer two of our primary learning questions, what is the context for school leadership in the Global South and what are the challenges and opportunities? And what are some viable strategies for scaling coaching? Specifically, we hope to better understand whether and how our work should be adapted to meet these unique needs.