“Before Madam Sarita (Yuvachrya from AOL) came, we used to argue and fight in the class every day. She taught us how to stay calm and concentrate better with meditation. We also learned how to be nice to each other. There are no more fights in the class now. We laugh and enjoy class every day.”
– Yashoda, 12yrs old, Student, Sriramapura Govt. Girls High School
One out of every three students who starts primary school in India ends up dropping out before finishing school. Even when they continue school many don’t demonstrate learning commensurate to their grade. Roughly 30-40% of students in IV – VI in government schools do not have the basic ability to read and write. With no one to guide and to mentor, these students from poor families turn away from school and find refuge in crime, drugs and child labor.
Understanding that there is need to augment the existing education mechanism, we initiated Vidya Shilpa – a program that includes engaging with students, parents, teachers and school administration to make education delivery more efficient. Over 7000 students from across urban slums in Bangalore have benefited from our efforts. Attendance levels in the schools where we worked increased by 10%.
We were able to help the children by ensuring that the child and his education is adequately supported. There was a marked improvement in the teacher’s effectiveness resulting in improved attendance and performance of students in academics. Apart from this, hygiene and cleanliness of students and student’s interpersonal relationship saw a positive transformation.
How does the journey look so far?
Over 30 government schools
in slum areas catering to around 7000 children were adopted
who were unable to read/write in Kannada became literate through Utthana (special) classes
of students improved by 10%
Over 250 students
in their child’s education went up by 10-30% across schools
Over 2700 children
participated in medical and environment awareness camps conducted as a part of this initiative
How did we work?
We conducted the following programs as a part of this project:
ART EXCEL (All Round Training for EXCELlence) and YES (Youth Empowerment Seminars) for Students – Workshops aimed at improve the intellectual and emotional faculties of students and helping them tap their full potential
LIVE (Lessons in Value Education) for Teachers/Administrators - An effective workshop to bring self-awareness on values and how to nurture these values in children they teach
KYC (Know Your Child) for Parents – Programs that make parents take greater responsibility for themselves, their children and understand their needs better
Regular SDMC (School Development Managing Committee) and Parent-teacher meetings to ensure better infrastructure and greater involvement in child’s development
What did we learn?
A large proportion of India has educational infrastructure. However, to ensure good learning outcomes one has to encourage further involvement of parents and school administration in the child’s education.
How can you contribute?
Mentoring and guidance that a student receives out of school is very important to ensure the growth of the student. We would like to expand the scope of these projects to include more schools and children.