The Nalli Kalli Programme in Karnataka : In 1994, teachers from Karnataka were invited to observe the Satellite Schools. They were encouraged to evaluate both positive and negative aspects as they saw them, and then to adapt what was suitable to their own context. Eventually, with resource support from RIVER, a Core Group from HD Kote taluk developed its own self-learning material in Kannada, and trained their teachers in its use. Currently they are using the multigrade methodology in several thousand schools over six taluks of Mysore District.
Tribal Schools in Andhra Pradesh : In 1996, three nodal agencies, the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), UNICEF and RIVER collaborated in planning, coordinating and implementing an ambitious programme in the Tribal Districts of Paderu and Rampachudavaram. RIVER undertook three major areas of responsibility for implementing the programme: creating multi-grade educational materials that would incorporate local culture; imparting multigrade technology to Mandal Resource Persons (MRP) who would in turn teach local teachers and maabadi volunteers; and helping to network a monitoring system for schools. Paderu and Rampachudavaram are inaccessible tribal areas of A.P. Before the intervention, female literacy rates were 15% and male literacy rates were 17%; and 70% of students were dropping out before reaching Class 5.
Kerala: When DPEP Kerala decided that the RIVER methodology was well suited to remote tribal and coastal pockets of Kerala, a similar exercise in transcreating the Educational Materials for use in Malayalam dialects was undertaken. This World Bank sponsored collaborative venture between a team of teachers and resource persons from DPEP Kerala and RIVER resulted in an attractively designed regional medium Malayalam package. RIVER trained resource persons to use the multilevel materials. The thirty multigrade centres in remote and educationally backward areas of Kasargode, Mallapuram and Wayanad Districts are functioning in Kerala, and have grown to almost seven hundred, as expansion plans continue.
Pondicherry: The Isaiambalam school of Sri Aurobindo International Institute at Pondicherry has been interacting with RIVER since 1997 in developing teaching-learning materials in Tamil.
Uttar Pradesh: In 1997 District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) Uttar Pradesh (World Bank project) worked with RIVER to produce materials in Hindi and to build multi-level teaching capacities. Teacher training and field support was also developed for implementation of the multi-grade methodology in sixty alternative schools in the two districts of Lakhimpur Khiri and Sone Bhadra. Currently the methodology has been scaled up to another three districts covering 2000 schools.
Government of India - UNICEF in cooperation with RIVER : In a very welcome move the Government of India and UNICEF, with RIVER as a Technical Partner, launched a Quality Package Project in the year 2004, with the aim to provide an integrated package of quality education to children in approximately one thousand schools in each of twelve states. This project was part of the Sarva Shisksha Abhiyaan (SSA), a programme for universalisation of Quality Elementary education, involved the use of Rishi Valley Milti-Level Multi-grade (GML) methodology in around 12,000 schools.
Formal Schools Partnership in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh: Under the auspices of SSA and Janashala UNICEF, RIVER has collaborated with teachers working in two districts of Deogarh and Girideh of Jharkhand and two districts of Krishna and Godavari of Andhra Pradesh in designing multi-grade teaching/learning materials focusing on quality reading programme.
Tamil Nadu: In 1998, the Multi-grade Task Force of DPEP Tamil Nadu began working with the RIVER methodology in one thousand pilot schools across the state. As part of this initiative, hundreds of Metric Melas were organized in the pilot project area. In addition, the North Arcot Ambedkar District administration, where large numbers of children work in beedi mundies, chose the RIVER approach in their forty-seven Non-Formal Education (NFE) Centers. In collaboration with the RIVER faculty, volunteers of the Arivoli Iyyakkam created Tamil multi-grade materials during the Designers’ Workshops conducted at Rishi Valley. Currently the programme is implemented in all the Corporation Schools in Tamil Nadu.
Chhattisgarh :The programme has now spread to several districts withn the state. With enthusiastic support from the Management of SCERT, which plays a crucial role in successful upscaling of the methodology in any State, Chhattisgarh, in a relatively short period of time, had made significant progress in the implementating the methodology.
West Bengal : In May and June 2010 RIVER personnel conducted a training programme for Government School Teachers of Howrah District of Bemgal. The programme, which was titled Sakkriota Bhittick Shikhon, was aimed at communicating the multi-grade methodology to a core group of teachers. RIVER guided the Bengal team in creating levels 1 to 3 learning materials.
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM): In 2011 RIVER collaborated with MCGM in a landmark ‘School Excellence Program.’ In a pilot programme, RIVER trained a Core Team of 50 high calibre Teachers and assisted them in developing curricular materials contextualized for use in Mumbai Corporation Schools. UNICEF sponsored the programme.
Other Initiatives in Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Prades and Rajasthan. In 1997 teachers and trainers from the districts of Chandrapur, Yavathmal and Amaravathi in Maharashtra attended school-strengthening programmes conducted at Rishi Valley and sponsored by UNICEF. Since late 1998, DPEP Educational Consultants and DIET faculty members from a few Districts in Assam have been working with RIVER consistently for strengthening their multigrade school projects. RIVER has also undertaken a project for Catholic Relief Services and their partners in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra and Rajasthan to design multigrade programmes in Hindi and Telugu and conduct training courses for teachers and resource persons.
International Initiatives: Programmes for educational groups in Ethiopia, Peru, Germany, the Sierra Leone and Pakistan, are currently being worked out. RIVER has been approached by agencies in Thailand, Nepal, Spain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Columbia and Maldives, to study its materials and methodology for its potential applications in their countries. Collaborative Education Projects modeled on the RIVER approach have already been initiated for primary school children in southern Ethiopia.
Academic Collaborations : As part of RIVER’s endeavour to understand the implications of multi-grade education systems in more diverse communities, and to benefit from the contemporary pedagogical theories and practices, it is building connections outside the country. University of Regensburg in Germany and University of Metz in France have initiated long-term collaborative projects with RIVER including placement of students from their universities in RIVER projects. Already around sixteen faculty members and students have made three annual trips to RIVER since 2003. Rama and Padmanabha Rao, co-directors of RIVER, spent six weeks in Europe in April and May 2005 giving seminars at both the universities. In collaboration with RIVER a group of students and staff from the Harvard Business school and the Graduate school of Education at Harvard University have undertaken efforts to try and build a sustainable rural school in northern India as part of this field study course.