SoW - Documentation of Current Classroom Practices on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

SoW - Documentation of Current Classroom Practices on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

Organization: Room to Read

Apply By: 31 May 2023


Room to Read is soliciting proposals from qualified agencies to conduct a small-size qualitative study for India Partnership for Early Learning (IPEL) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The study will focus on documenting the nuances of present status of (literacy & numeracy) classroom practices considering ongoing foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) initiatives by the state of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Municipality of Delhi. Classroom-based observation and data collection is anticipated for this activity, depending on the approval from the respective state government. Data collection is expected to be sequenced between June and July 2023 in the four states with qualitative tools. Sample will be determined in consultation with the successful applicant to maximize efficiencies.

The proposal will be open to organizations from all geographic locations, with a strong preference for India-based organizations.

Please note: We are not seeking applications from international firms without a presence in India who partner with an Indian firm to implement the work.

Additionally, only organizations with the following capacity and experience should apply for this opportunity:

  1. Relevant direct experience collecting data in India, ideally in-depth classroom observation at primary school level and in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Delhi.
  2. Experience and expertise in qualitative data collection methods survey interviews specifically key informant interviews.
  3. Comprehensive understanding of research quality standards, with a specific focus on data quality assurance.
  4. Ability to field data collection teams that are fluent in local languages, English and Hindi.
  5. Expertise and experience managing qualitative data, including data tracking, qualitative data transcription and translation into English.
  6. Strong processes for field monitoring, planning, budgeting, and responding to issues in data collection as they arise.
  7. Ideally, experience collecting data with school leadership, teachers, DIET and SCERT officials.

Room to Read will lead the overall research process, including the research design, sampling strategy, and development of data collection instruments and analysis and reporting. The Agency will be responsible for all activities related to data collection, analysis and report writing including field planning, recruitment and training of data collectors and supervising data collection activities in compliance with Room to Read’s protocols. The Agency will also ensure data quality assurance, transcribing and translating classroom observations and interviews into English and timely delivery/uploading of qualitative data and quantitative data, including raw and clean data sets and field reports. Additionally, the data collection partner will assist Room to Read in securing the necessary data collection approvals at the state level.

The RFP is organized as follows:

  • Organizational Background
  • IPEL Project Background
  • Overview of the EOP Review Design
  • Scope of Work and Deliverables
  • Summary of Room to Read Responsibilities
  • Proposal Requirements
  • Deliverables and Payment Timeline
  • Proposal Evaluation and Award Process

Organizational Background

Founded in 2000 on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, Room to Read is a global organization transforming the lives of millions of children by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Room to Read is achieving this goal by helping children in low-income communities develop literacy skills and a habit of reading, and by supporting girls to build skills to succeed in secondary school and negotiate key life decisions. Room to Read collaborates with local communities, partner organizations, and governments to test and implement innovative models that can be integrated into the education system to deliver positive outcomes for children at scale. To date, Room to Read has benefited more than 23 million children across 20 countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa and aims to reach 40 million children by 2025. Room to Read started its operation in Vietnam in 2001. Since then, it has worked intensively in designing and implementing child-friendly school libraries to promote a habit of reading and the development of reading skills, especially for children in primary grades.

IPEL Project Background

India Partnership for Early Learning (IPEL) is a USAID-funded project being implemented by a consortium of four organizations namely CARE-India, Room to Read, Central Square Foundation, and KPMG.  The project works towards a technical support approach to build NIPUN-based foundational learning (FL) vision, frameworks, delivery pathways, and capacity across the education system in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi (particularly with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi/MCD). By the year 2026-27, IPEL aims that 65% of children will acquire grade-appropriate literacy and numeracy skills by end of grade 2. Results will be sustained through strengthened government systems and institutions, contributing to India’s path to self-reliance for FL delivery.

As part of the IPEL project, a quantitative baseline study has already been conducted which reveals that around 30% of learners in grade two are able to read with fluency and with comprehension. Similarly, numeracy findings highlight that less than 20% of learners in grade two have acquired foundational domain skills. Not only this, but the study also found chalk and talk method to be the most common teaching practice in the classroom.

In an endeavour to go deeper in this direction to study nuances of FLN classroom practices, teacher’s perspective, and their pragmatic capacity buildings the IPEL project now is looking to engage an agency or consultant to conduct a small-scale qualitative study titled “Documentation of Current Classroom Practices on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy”. As an outcome through this study, we want to understand the present status of (literacy & numeracy) classroom practices, and availability of children literature in classroom in in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Delhi.

Rationale for the study

Comprehensive research in education has suggested that teachers are the most important school-related factor affecting students’ learning, and this is true for early grades too[1]. When children enter class 1, they are already far behind where the curriculum expects them to be- over 57% of students are not ready for school in grade 1 (Kaul et al (2017). In schools, they do not receive sufficient exposure to literacy and numeracy as 45% of instructional time is lost every year due to absenteeism, non-teaching duties and multigrade classrooms. And when they do receive instruction, teaching and learning methods used in classrooms are rote and repetitive, which leave most children disengaged and unable to master basic literacy and numeracy skills. The reality is exacerbated by a prevalence of inconsistent professional development programs for teachers, which rarely monitor or provide actionable guidance for teachers to improve their practice. Even when the quality of teaching practices in early grade settings are monitored, the tools used to capture them fall short at the structure level, as they: (i) measure either the occurrence or quality of a given practice; (ii) do not explicitly focus on teachers’ efforts for child-centric/gender transformative pedagogy; (iii) use tools that are neither evidence-based nor meet basic reliability criteria. The availability of research that holistically looks at all three aspects together and its impact on learning remains limited.

Objectives of the Study

Within this context, the overall aim of this study is to support the improvement of teacher professional development and classroom practices through a comprehensive analysis of teaching-learning material (TLM), teaching tools & skills, teacher training process, classroom practices, and policy recommendations. The key focus of the study will be to put forward empirical recommendations for education functionaries concerned with raising standards, for schools and for teacher development.

The specific objectives are as below:

  • To study classroom practice in Classes 1, 2, and 3 including child-friendly constructivist processes, pedagogical methods, assessment methods for girls and boys in reference to NEP 2020 guidelines and standards.
  • To document challenges, and learnings from the perspective of different education functionaries including teachers, block, district, and state officials.
  • To understand the availability and utilization of children’s literature and other TLM in at the school level taking the local context into account.

The study will illustrate the status of FLN practices in schools and classrooms and therefore generate an evidence base that can be used in advocacy to inform the implementation of classroom-transformative of New Education Policy 2020 vis-à-vis NIPUN Mission guidelines. It will also help in strengthening teacher education programs to improve children’s learning outcomes, and in designing interventions in in-service teacher preparation programs.

How to apply:

  • The consultant/vendor/agency/individual should include with the following in their proposals:

Subject:  Technical Proposal: Diagnostic Study, IPEL

        A technical proposal which will outline the way this assignment will be approached.

        The proposal should mention the timeline for completing the deliverables. The technical proposal should include an outline of content and your approach for all the above-mentioned deliverables. 

        Cite relevant work experience and give samples

  • Submit proposals at procurement.india@roomtoread.org [do not copy anyone from RtR]
  • Last Date for the submission is May 31, 2023
  • Read the ToR thoroughly before applying
  • Only Shortlisted consultant/vendor/agency/individual will be contacted to share financials.
  • Any incomplete application or process deviation, the proposals will automatically be rejected

Proposal received after the prescribed deadline will not be considered.

The TDS will be applicable on the consultancy fee. 

The awarded vendor/agency/individual will be expected to sign and abide the Child Protection policy of Room to Read.

For queries:

Please write to Neha Premchandani at neha.premchandani@roomtoread.org

To download the full ToR, click here



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