Access to Achievement

Columbia Global Centers | South Asia

On August 3rd, 2011 the Model Districts Education Project, Access to Achievement, was launched in the Assam state capital of Guwahati by the Health and Education Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Sarma, along with Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute and CGC | South Asia Director, Dr. Nirupam Bajpai. 


Access to Achievement will work in the Morigaon district of Assam to develop a high quality, cost-effective, transferable model of primary education, using current scientific evidence and incorporating best practice recommendations for improving the quality of student learning and lowering grade repetition and dropout rates. 
The project seeks to demonstrate that a relatively modest, targeted program of innovations and resources geared toward community building, teaching and learning, and educational programming, coordination, monitoring, and evaluation will significantly improve the two outcomes of interest, will be cost-effective and will be readily scalable. The project is thus also expected to facilitate India’s progress towards MDGs 1, 2 and 3 which address issues of universal access to primary education and related outcomes by 2015. 
Access to Achievement is derived from a social ecological model of education that takes into account the essentially nested nature of and reciprocity among pupils and their families, the school and its function within national, state and local educational systems, and the community in which the pupil and school are embedded.
 The project has been undertaken by faculty from Columbia’s Teachers College, School of Social Work, College of Physicians & Surgeons, College of Dental Medicine, and the Earth Institute. The Columbia University Global Center in Mumbai is providing on-going support for project development and implementation.  In addition, the project team hopes to place graduate students from various schools of Columbia University for internships within the project and has opened a small gift account to support this educational activity.    
In March 2012, Access to Achievement secured funding to finance its programming. Please click here to read more about the program's exciting plans. 
For information on the project please visit the  Model Districts Education Project page on the Columbia Global Center | South Asia website.