As India nears universal enrolment, there is a growing realization that bringing children into schools doesn’t equate to quality learning. In fact, as the conversation has moved away from enrolment, there is an active shift towards seeking factors that deliver and influence quality. There are more than 1 million public schools in India. But numerous problems like poor school infrastructure and learning environment, lack of adequately trained teachers, high teacher absenteeism, a large volume of teacher vacancies, low levels of learning and achievement and lack of accountability to name a few contribute to a staggering dropout rate that sees nearly 50% children abandoning their education at the key transitional ages of school. Well, for us to start with, tackling all of these problems together would be equivalent to trying to push a wall. Hence, we focus on one, the quality of content delivery and facilitation.
Knowledge nowadays is merely theoretical, taught like a formality, with no applications. The purpose of knowledge accumulated throughout thousands of years, we have forgotten. The method of imparting knowledge has not changed, despite the vast syllabi, our system continues to hold onto the orthodox methodology. Some children, if not all, do not find anything enthusiastic, yet they continue to churn the words to make sense and fail miserably.
The education system has a grip on the children, relieving them of their freedom. It is slow, yes, but steady. The system focuses more on the children to become followers of the system rather than leaders and hence the disinterest and amplification in drop-out rates.
Before the introduction of a proper, formal system of education, knowledge was preserved in the form of stories and skills, arts and crafts, imitation and application. This knowledge was passed down to the generations, each generation adding their own to the already existing skill, perfecting it, and honing it, one at a time. It is this experiential context-based learning that is missing.
Our approach defines who we are and how precise we are to change things as they were.
- Preparing and curating ‘content with a meaning’ where each subject and topic is depicted like a storyboard in a contextual sense.
- Delivering content digitally and making it available even without internet at all schools.
- Making the content free and open-source.
- Making the delivery facilitation process fun and full of learning with minimal teacher intervention.
- Encouraging community financing for resource allocation in all regions.
To further the ‘holistic development’ of under-resourced schools we are incorporating the following additional methods:
- Sensitization programs to ensure families and communities and teachers understand the importance of education and how they can play a role in enabling students to achieve their potential.
- Build toilets and hand wash stations to inculcate a sense of hygiene among children.
- Build libraries full of quality engaging books to foster the excitement of reading and develop literacy and numerical skills.
- Establish an internet enabled computer facility.
- Build new learning spaces and repair learning spaces to improve lighting, ventilation, and safety so that children have safe learning environments.
- Provide material support such as uniforms and supplies to children from low-income households. This way many parents do not have to choose between putting food on the table and sending their children to school.
- Conduct programs to motivate and help teachers improve their effectiveness both in terms of content and pedagogy.
- Implement structured systems of performance-based pay, contractual employment, motivation, evaluation and monitoring for teachers.
- Introduce application based and blended learning to facilitate and improve learning.
- Design and conduct assessment programs to measure student learning achievement and the school’s performance (input, output, and outcomes).
- Build an information feedback loop to connect stakeholders.
- Introduce and build the capacity of school-based management systems to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders.
Our Partner Schools
- Bal Vikas School (Telibagh, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh): Bal Vikas School is a community school that provides education to 300 at-risk children from low-income households in the neighborhood area.
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