Activity Based Learning (ABL) is a methodology where children of different ages are grouped together in one class and learn at their own pace through teacher-facilitated exercises. It was launched in 1977 in India.


The key feature of the Activity Based Learning (ABL) method is that it uses child-friendly educational aids to foster self-learning and allows a child to study according to his or her aptitude and skill. ABL serves as one model of child-centered, child-friendly education, which is the mandate of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in India.

According to observers, the ABL method has created a visible improvement in children’s learning and psychology. Children learn to make independent decisions at a young age, from choosing their activity card for the day, to marking their own attendance. Under the system, the curriculum is divided into small units, each a group of Self Learning Materials (SLM) comprising attractively designed study cards for English, Maths, Science and Social Science. When a child finishes a group of cards, he completes one `milestone.’

Activities in each milestone include games, rhymes, drawing, and songs to teach a letter or a word, form a sentence, do maths and science, or understand a concept. The child takes up an Exam Card only after completing all the milestones in a subject. If a child is absent one day, he continues from where he left unlike in the old system where the child had to learn on his own what he missed out on. Integrated in the curriculum are activities to create awareness about the environment, sanitation, health, and nutrition.

Adapted from UNICEF India

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