Jehanabad is a district in the Northern Indian state of Bihar. It has a population of just over one million and 92 schools. Padho Jehanabad started in 2012 as a project to rapidly raise reading levels in government schools in Jehanabad. The project targeted 225 schools and 16,000 children. An independent evaluation found that within 80 days, the proportion of children reading had risen from 40% to 61%.


The intervention consisted of eight elements:

  • A clear goal, widely communicated, of every child being able to read by the end of the program
  • New teaching materials, including story books for every child in the program
  • A dedicated 90-minute reading lesson every day during the program
  • Grouping of children by reading ability rather than age or grade during the reading lessons
  • Regular assessment of each child’s reading level using a simple assessment tool
  • Training of the teachers in how to teach reading, including guided practice in real schools
  • Monitoring of the program, and intervention to support weaker schools, by a group of regional teacher trainers