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February 26, 2012, Samastipur – Today, the Unites States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Government of Bihar’s Department of Education held an event at the Uma Pati Narayan (UN) Palace Hall in Samastipur to recognize activities implemented through the School Dropout Prevention Pilot (SDPP) Program.  Senior officials from the Government of Bihar’s Department of Education, representatives from USAID/Washington and USAID/India, other government and NGO representatives, and local school personnel, students and parents participated in the event  to celebrate the school-based interventions to reduce dropout rates among grade 5 students.

Dr. Rebecca Adams, USAID’s Senior Education Development Officer in charge of the program, highlighted the program’s mission, local commitment to its success, and India’s long-standing partnership with the US in achieving shared goals in development and education. Addressing teachers, students, and members of the community, Adams said: “Together you can build a better future, and together we can reach for the goal that every child can complete his and her basic education.”

The SDPP Program is a four-country USAID-funded initiative to mitigate dropout in primary and secondary schools.  With the Government of Bihar’s Department of Education, the SDPP Program developed two school-level interventions–an Early Warning System and an Enrichment Program–to mitigate dropout in grade 5, which are being implemented in 113 primary schools in Samastipur.  The effectiveness of these interventions will be evaluated, and the Program will generate evidence on successful strategies which can be used for preventing school dropout throughout the country and region.

In collaboration with Creative Associates International, SDPP is implemented in India by the Institute for Development, Education and Learning (IDEAL) with technical support from QUEST Alliance. The SDPP program is one of many assistance projects in India provided for by the American people through USAID, and it is also being implemented in Tajikistan, Cambodia, and Timor-Leste. USAID’s partnership with India supports education, health, economic growth, and democracy and governance.