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Pratham – education against poverty

Getinge participates in the Pratham project, a three-year project focusing on enhancing the quality of the education in India with the aim ‘every child in school and learning well’.

Pratham Sweden

Pratham means 'first' in Sanskrit. True to its name, Pratham is the first major organization to achieve lasting, wide-scale success in India's educational landscape. 

The foundation, which was established in 1995 by UNICEF and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, uses high-quality, low cost, and replicable activities to counteract gaps in the education system.

Although 96 percent of Indian children aged 6-14 are enrolled in schools, learning levels are still low. According to Pratham, almost 50 percent of year 5 school children in the countryside are unable to read texts aimed for students in year 2. In real terms, this means that 80-100 million kids in year 3 and upwards are in urgent need of help to catch up.

Pratham’s approach is to organize the children after knowledge levels rather than age. Playful activities based on interaction and repeated ‘Learning Camps’. These short bursts of teaching-learning activities, repeated several times during the year, enable students to progress rapidly. Parents are also engaged in ‘Library Activities’ after school.

Joining forces with Pratham Sweden

“Our engagement in Pratham is based on Getinge’s strong belief that education is a powerful way out of poverty,” says Ralf Schmitt, Corporate Head of Sustainability at Getinge.

Getinge contributes by participating in the initiative ‘Swedish Industry for Quality Education in India’. Initiated in 2017 and organized by Pratham Sweden, this three-year project focuses on helping 30,000 children in the Assam region learn to read and count.

“Assam has a higher poverty level than average in India, and the region lacks large-scale investments in the educational system. Consequently, learning levels among children are declining,” explains Ralf.

The first year of the project has been successful. Pratham’s activities have reached over 20,000 children in 550 villages, and the knowledge targets have been achieved both when it comes to reading progress and mathematics.

“How do you innovate to reach as many children as possible with education, without compromising on the quality? I work with Pratham because I admire their never ending strive to solve that equation, and I am glad that our partners within the Swedish industry feel the same,” says Ingrid Eelde Koivisto, Secretary General, Pratham Sweden.

The same dedication is found among Pratham people doing the fieldwork in India.

“The best part about working in Pratham is the fact that one gets to work so closely with children and teachers and contribute in a small way towards making a change. Whenever I see children become more confident, it makes me feel that I have done my bit towards contributing to the society,” explains Mukut Bora, District Resource Leader in Nagaon.

Learn more about Getinge’s sustainability efforts.