Okhamandal block, Dist. Devbhoomi Dwarka
Foundation skills of literacy and numeracy, Maths and Science Pedagogy in upper primary, Enabling libraries, Integrating technology with Education, Early Childhood Care and Education under Integrated Child Development Scheme
Project Stakeholders: TCSRD, TATA TRUSTS and Aga Khan Foundation
- Remedial program with students who are struggling with foundational skills of literacy and numeracy
- Maths and Science pedagogy using activity based learning for upper primary grade students
- Enabling libraries in public schools by enhancing the capacity of teachers and introducing them to child centric and contextually relevant books
- Integrating Technology with Education
- With Anganwadis under ICDS scheme of Ministry of Woman and Child Development
Interventions in public schools
- Developing foundational skills of literacy and numeracy grades:
Starting 2015, a project on developing foundational skills of literacy and numeracy in Okhamandal taluka of Devbhoomi Dwarka District of Gujarat. The actual implementation of work got initiated in January’16, with the scale up to 20 schools by October’16. In the same region, the organization is also working with 35 anganwadis under Ministry of Woman and Child Development, with the aim of enabling non formal education for children from 3 to 6 years age group.
As part of this project, a baseline was conducted to gauge the literacy and numeracy skills of children. Using the outcome of the baseline, children who were falling significantly short on their foundational skills were identified. These children were thereafter identified for remedial program. Each of the schools identified has anywhere between 35 to 50 children who have been enrolled into the program.
For each school, a learning assistant has been identified from the same region, who has been provided extensive training on pedagogy of language and on numeracy. These children from grades 2 to 5, are given remedial inputs during before-school hours in the same school premise in which these students come to learn.
- Maths and Science pedagogy using activity based learning in upper primary grade schools
It has been found that Science teaching is done in several schools in a way that is totally delinked from the essential nature of the subject. Students continue to depend upon rote memorization methods. In this intervention, students who are falling short of learning levels are identified through a baseline and thereafter they are given additional inputs during the before school hours.
As part of this program, the conceptual understanding of Science and Maths is done with students in upper primary grades by using process skills for developing Science and using activity based learning in Maths.
- Enabling libraries in public schools and developing capacity of government school teachers to run libraries effectively
The public schools have been provided a collection of books by the department. It has been found that the usage of these books is not commensurate with research on the role of children’s literature in bringing about development and teachers are not trained to evaluate how to go about selecting suitable books for children depending upon their context, language skills and key ideas that are worth introducing to children.
At present, 20 schools are using books that have been provided as per the project design. Along with providing books, the training is being followed by on ground support to teachers where they get to experience read aloud sessions, book talk by students amongst other activities.
- Integrating technology with education:
This program has been implemented by Trusts in various states under the initiative of ‘Integrating Technology with Education (ITE).
In this intervention, children are exposed to computers by taking it as an independent subject, without showing how its usage can be made in learning other subject areas. This approach has a demerit as it fails to leverage the possibility of teaching computers in an integrated way, by making use of its capacity to make students learn the academic concepts even better and in a more authentic way.
In this effort, students are introduced to projects which are specifically designed by including concepts pertaining to the academic domains of Maths and Science with situations from their lives. These projects are prepared by the respective instructor in the classroom (deputed by CSPC) and given out to students, who in turn, work on these projects in groups.
The projects are designed in such a way that students get to experience data search, analysis, interpretation, presentation and communication of the findings.
- Interventions in Anganwadis under ICDS scheme
It has been scientifically proven that early stimulation of children is crucial for their brain development. Given the fact that a significant percentage of brain development happens by the age of 5 years, pre-school component of education has a significant place in the overall education journey of a child.
Early Childhood Care and Education is the intervention directed at the crucial age group of 0-6 years. The non-formal education is delivered from the age group of 3 to 6 years. ECCE falls under the Ministry of Woman and Child Development and the provisioning of services under this age group is done under a comprehensive program by the name Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)
Considering the intrinsic idea of continuum of education, as part of this regional intervention in Devbhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat, along with enhancing quality of elementary education, the efforts are being made to enable Early Childhood Education as per the mandate under ICDS scheme. This is being implemented in 50 anganwadi centers in Devbhoomi Dwarka district.
Aga Khan Foundation is the implementation partner in this effort and the model of engagement is based on providing both training and exposure visits to the anganwadi workers and then follow it up with continued support for planning, implementing and reflecting on student progress.