Increasing People's Access and Control to Quality, Universal and Inclusive Elementary Education in the Public Education System in Danapur Block of Patna District

An Oxfam India supported Project

In 2009, the Government of India passed the historic Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. It prescribes for free and compulsory education of reasonable quality, based on principles of equity and non-discrimination to all children upto elementary education (8 years) in the age group of 6-14 years. This right is related to free and compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education. Bihar has done good work so far as access to schools is concerned. However, the critical issue of drop outs especially of excluded communities and girls needs to be addressed.

Association for Promotion of Creative Learning has undertaken the Project in association with Oxfam India to increase people's access and control to quality, universal and inclusive elementary education in the public education system in Danapur block of Patna district.

Objectives

  • To establish a resource centre which works as a model centre for ensuring better access and control over institution by the community for effective implementation of RTE.
  • To support children with learning difficulties and low achievers for the socialization and rehabilitation in the education system.
  • To develop/strengthen network of likeminded CSOs working on RTE and advocate effective implementation of RTE including critical pedagogic changes.

Activities

International Day of Girls

We had celebrated International Day of Girls. For the event many competitions were organised. The purpose of celebration was to celebrate the success of the girl and cheer them for better future. The best performing girls were given certificates of appreciation by the Block Development Officer.

Advocacy Workshop with SCERT

The APCL had organised an advocacy workshop with SCERT Bihar. The title of the workshop was “Educational Inclusion: Ensuring Success to All”. Two principal secretaries were the main speakers of the workshop. The regional manager OXFAM India and Ms Anjela Taneja, National Coordinator Education OXFAM India participated in the workshop. The other participants were from SCERT (Director and other faculty members, research scholars), representatives from private B.Ed colleges. In the workshop, the using the method of creative learning for fighting exclusion was discussed. An exhibition was organized and students of School of Creative Learning showed their creativity in the workshop. The workshop was a huge success in changing the minds of the people who are involved in the training of teachers and material (books) development. 

State Resource Centre

State Resource Centre (SRC) has helped in supporting the ongoing movement on Right to Education. The resource centre assisted in the capacity building of School Chalo Bahna. The resource centre provides technical and academic support. To support low scoring children by removing their learning difficulty, resource centre developed two teaching learning materials one on language learning and another on arithmetic.

Gyan Setu

Language learning material is a book with supplementary supportive materials for better language learning outcome. The main purpose of language learning material is to make low achiever student competent to read and understand basic Hindi language. The book has total 43 activities or chapters that make learning through games, expressing, thinking, etc. The book also focuses to increase the vocabulary of the low achievers student. This material has two parts one is main book with all activities and second is supplementary book to support all activities with the learning materials.

Pahada Sab Ke Liye

The purpose of this book is to make low achievers students competent to understand basic multiplication activities. The book has total 37 activities. The materials helped in getting the students admitted in the age appropriate classes at the elementary level.

In addition, the resource centre supported in capacity building of the School Chalo Bahna volunteers, Community Educators, Community Workers, PRIs, Teachers, Parents etc. The SRC has also contributed in making favorable environment for the education of the excluded communities.

School Chalo Bahna

The campaign of ‘School Chalo Bahana’ (SCB) was intended to capitalise the peer pressure to mobilise out of school children back to school. It has proved to be a great success. So far 52 volunteers have been identified from the community. They are chosen from regularly school going girls. They are trained in the art of motivating fellow girl children and their parents in pursuing education in the schools. They have also made aware about the provisions of RTE. The volunteers adopt an interesting method to convince fellow unenrolled or drop out girl children. They form a group of 3-5 members and prepare a list of the un-enrolled and drop out girl children of their locality. Then they talk to the child to find out the reason of not going to school. Thereafter, they visit their parents and convince them about sending their daughter back to school. They also convince that they would provide continuous support to the girl in the school if she faces any difficulty. Till date they have identified 262 drop out and unenrolled students and out of that they got success in sending 114 girl students and two boys to continuing their studies in school in two years. They also support their peers in learning, if the student is not performing.

Srijan Chaupal (SC)

The SC is formed in the project area and it is involved in different activities of promoting education and social development activities. We have done PRA mapping activity with Srijan Chaupals, the purpose of the activity was to identify the drop-outs the activity was really successful and learning experience for members of Srijan Chaupal. In addition, we have organized International day of Girls, it was organized to empower girls, to honor girls for their efforts and disseminate information about RTE the Block Development Officer has participated in this activity. We have also made progress in creating awareness on social issues like using fireworks in Diwali. We have organized camps against the use of fireworks. We had also done Participatory Rural Appraisal with the Srijan Chaupal for identification of drop out girl of their community.

Adhikar Ki Ghanti

The grievances received from adhikarak ghanti in this period were referred to the concerned department. All grievances written in post cards, each post card contains multiple complaints and problems. All post cards are written by the regular school going girls. Water logging, non-availability of fan, non-availability of bench, non-availability of toilets, non-payment of scholarship and less number of teachers are the issues covered in the complaints. All the grievances gathered by Adhikarak Ghanti are being referred to the education department. There are few changes after filling complaints, i.e. Construction of toilet in Sikarpur Upper Primary School and Construction of bridge and connecting road in Brijnarayanpur Upper Primary School. Issue regarding delay in distribution of scholarship was taken up and now government has started providing scholarship. The Adhikarak Ghanti has successfully given voice to the voiceless people. People came forward and shared their grievances on mike. After two years, the people are talking about education, RTE and about the girl‟s education. It has proved to be an important tool for empowerment of community.

Networking with NGOs and Individuals

There is a forum of NGOs and Civil Societies in Bihar to deal with the issues of RTE. However, the specific issues related to concerns of education of underprivileged sections of society. It has been found in Bihar that the communities like Musahars have been totally alienated from education despite being offered so-called equal opportunities. The rate of growth of literacy and participation in education is abysmally low in these communities. Hence, there is a need to create a forum which can focus on the special issues related to these deprived communities, it was felt to establish a „Network‟ of NGOs and individuals working on the RTE issue with special focus on underprivileged communities. Accordingly a network of NGOs and individuals named „Forum on Right based Education and Development‟ (FRIEND) has been formed. It has proved to be an important milestone towards the effective strategy formation for effective implementation of the RTE. We found that schools are refusing admission for want of birth certificates. The local problem was solved by creating awareness regarding the provision of admission without birth certificate. We made advocacy for providing birth certificates to all children of the school who do not have birth certificates. We are happy to report that the government of Bihar has launched a two months' camp on providing birth certificate to 2 crore students studying in schools.

Functioning of School Management Committees (SMCs)

Initiatives taken by the SMC and PRI Members on our stimulus and capacity building are installation of Hand Pump in Brijnarayanpur School by mukhiya is big success for our project because now the PRIs are taking ownership of schools and taking initiative to make changes in their own life. We had talked to Mukhiya of Jamsaut panchayat regularly and we motivated her for the education of girls and we told her that school is not the responsibility of education department but the community is responsible for school. Now she is taking leadership and now she visits the schools of Jamsaut Panchayat regularly and talk to principals and teachers. With the efforts of the Mukhiya new classrooms in Dhibra Upper Primary schools is being constructed.

Shikshadhikar Report Card

Shikshadhikar Report Cards for two Panchayats were prepared. It consisted of the details of the status of the implementation of the educational rights in the Panchayat. It is important to note that whereas the project has some information of implementation of educational rights at State and district level, they have no such information for Panchayat level. Hence no structured discussion takes place at panchayat level, which is the cutting edge for all kinds of planning and implementation of educational rights.

Brain Wave Mapping (BWM)

Brain wave mapping is the technique for recording brain waves of a person to assess the level of concentration, memory etc. Thereby it helps in assessment of learning difficulties of a person. It is also used to identify proper method of learning suitable for particular low achievers.

State Shiksha Sammelan

We had organized State Shiksha Sammelan for the larger objective of promoting education for underprivileged at A.N. Sinha Institute, Patna. It was participated by government officials, civil society organizations. The programme was also for sharing the work and experience of School Chalo Bahna volunteers. The volunteers also got felicitated in the progarmme.

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