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Desirability of scaling up educational interventions: An interview
'Scaling up' of educational interventions has become the latest catch phrase among funders of the non-profit education sector. On coming across the phrase, Kulesh Jain, librarian at Jaipur's Disha NGO expressed his desire to interview me on it and I agreed.
Kulesh Jain: From which knowledge area, the term of 'scaling up' originates and what does it connate?

Dr. Lalit Kishore:
The word that has origin in industrial sector and business management sciences, and it pertains to doing something in a big way, more so in the areas of material needs satisfaction and marketing of products. It is more related to improving access, scope, efficiency; outcomes in the form of coverage and utilization of products.

Kulesh Jain: Can the idea of scaling up be suitable in the area of educational intervention?

Dr. Lalit Kishore: No, it is not, since it leads to commoditising educational intervention as a product. Moreover, it seems to be forced upon education. In fact, education is meant to respect the diversity among learners, their needs and contexts, I feel. The nature of up-scaling sounds more like 'one-size fit-all' strategy which is against the diverse needs of learners and tested principles of differentiated learning.

Kulesh Jain: What should be done in education to benefit most children?

Dr. Lalit Kishore: It is not desirable to scale up an educational intervention but it could be good idea to universalise the culture of innovations and designing interventions to address to the diversity of learners and their contexts. Education has to be based on the democratic principles of justice, equity and inclusion to accept every child and accommodate him or her in the learning process by addressing to his or her learning style.

Kulesh Jain: How can we go about spreading the culture of contextualised interventions and innovations in school education?

Dr. Lalit Kishore: We must go for community-based democratic schools with autonomy to make learning happen for every child for whom they must create needs and context based interventions and innovations rather than imposed interventions. Responsive teachers and schools are needed to be created that have faith in the innate learning potential of each child and foster and nurture it in diverse ways.

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