Dell Corporation has been actively supporting the four government schools in Domlur, Bengaluru where Sikshana Foundation is present with volunteer participation and conducting events to motivate the students. In the last quarter, Dell conducted a Talents Day program in its city campus on 28th November in which students from the government schools in Domlur participated. Sikshana selected 15 students for the program—10 for the drawing competition and 5 for the cultural programs.
The 10 students actively took part in the drawing competition by using their imagination and drawing different themes. A set of 5 students joined the Dell employees and exhibited their talent through a small dance program. These students were from the Tamil and Kannada medium government schools in Jogupalya.
Yet another event was the celebration of the birthday of senior management member of Dell R Jagdish in the Appareddypalya government school on 5th December. He sponsored lunch for 90 students of the school by contributing Rs 100 per student. The luncheon arrangements were made by the Sikshana mentors in co-ordination with the school authorities.
Besides, Dell volunteers have been visiting these schools regularly to interact with the students. Every week volunteers from Dell visit the schools and teach children simple mathematics, share interesting videos, guide students on the usage of computers and the Internet for improving their academics, motivate them with inspiring stories and anecdotes, etc.
Dell organized a Health Camp in three primary schools of Domlur on July 3rd 2014, partnered with RMV Foundation. 20 volunteers from Dell and 2 doctors from RMV Foundation came forward to conduct a health check up for 40 children from Jogupalya (Kannada, Tamil and Urdu) schools. The health awareness camp was organized to teach children the basic health and hygiene like brushing teeth everyday, to drink clean water, at least 4 to 5 glasses in a day for keeping good health and take bath every day to keep your body and system healthy. Children were encouraged to keep their class rooms and school surroundings clean.
The RMV Foundation doctors did a thorough health check of 40 children like eye testing, ENT check, skin check and ailments and lastly dental check. Those children who were detected with basic ailments were given immediate medical aid like medicines and first aid. There were a few children who had chronic asthmatic problems, those children were asked to visit the RMV Foundation hospital with their parents for free health care.
The Endline Assessment was conducted by Sikshana for the children in the classes IV to VII . The feedback from the assessment was positive with enhancement in learning levels for language reading and writing and arithmetic skills.
This ASER based assessment reflects the state of learning among children. The ASER based assessment tests the basic language (reading simple sentences in the regional language) and mathematics skills (simple division skills) among children studying in Class IV and VII.
In schools adopted by Sikshana, the children are doing remarkable in language and mathematics skills. Sikshana's intervention shows that the children are way ahead of ASER level skills. To prove that, Sikshana introduced a level higher than ASER in assessment the year 2011-12 and continued in the last academic year. In Government Higher Primary school,Appareddypalya, Domlur alone, 75.5% of the Class IV students are able to solve mathematics problems which are higher than ASER level and 87.7% of the students are able to read Kannada language which is a level higher than the ASER level.
Similarly, 65% of Class V students are able to solve mathematics problems which are higher than ASER level and 70.7% of the students are able to read Kannada language which is a level higher than the ASER level. In class VI, 69.7% are able to solve mathematics problems which are higher than ASER level and 94.5% of the students are able to read Kannada language which is a level higher than the ASER level.
92.1% of Class VII students are able to read complex Kannada language text, which is higher than the ASER level. Nearly 59% of the students are able to solve mathematics problems which are above ASER level. Sikshana's programs such as providing writing sheets, mentoring the children, teachers and schools has helped in the overall development in the schools.
Efforts were made by the field mentor to engage the children with holiday reading and writing assignments.
The children were away for the summer holidays for two months and the school reopened in first week of June , with the begining of the child tracking and data entry exercises.
A drawing competition was held in Jogupalya government primary school, located in Domlur, Bangalore. Students from four governemnt school took part in the competition. 120 students turned up at the event where 40 volunteers helped them bring their artistic talent to the forefront. Children participated with great enthusiasm and left with smiles at the end of the day. Sikshana emphasises on such motivational activities, which has proved to be a good tool to create interest in learning among children studying in government schools. Many children who study in government schools do not get a chance to explore their creative self nor are they aware of their potential. This activity allowed them to explore their talents.
Domlur school children do well in Sikshana’s assessment of language and arithmetic skills
Children studying in Sikshana adopted Primary schools are evaluated on a regular basis through Sikshana Basic Assessment module, which is based on *ASER. The objective of this evaluation is to understand the level of learning among children and undertake measures which would help them better their skills. Basic Mathematics and Kannada skills are assessed among children studying in 7th standard. All the 24 students studying in 7th standard who took the test are able to read simple sentences in Kannada (**ASER level) and 19 of them are able to read complex sentences in Kannada (***above ASER). 16 students out of 24 are able to solve basic mathematics problems (addition, subtraction, multiplication & division). The eight students who lack these basic skills are monitored and mentored to improve the skills.
Domlur school children improve their handwriting
The handwriting quality of every child studying in 7th standard is being monitored through the Sikshana ‘Writing Book Program’. Under this Program, the handwriting quality is assessed and documented through the sheets provided by Sikshana. A preliminary evaluation was conducted in the month of August to assess the speed and quality of writing among children. 24 students of 7th standard underwent the Program and their work was documented. Based on this assessment, children who lacked in speed and quality were given attention and monitored. The assessment was repeated in the month of September and a comparison of both assessment showed that there was a drastic improvement in the quality of writing among children.
‘Star badges’ and ‘Learning tree’ stickers provided by Sikshana prove to be good incentives for children to improve their learning ability
Time and again, Sikshana’s star badges, an incentive given to children to encourage learning, has proved to be an effective motivational tool. Categorised coloured star badges (for academics, extra-curricular activities and personal/school hygiene) are awarded to children to motivate them to learn. Children feel proud to display the badges, which boosts their morale to excel further.
Sikshana diaries, which are given to every child studying in Sikshana adopted government schools, help them to document their work and keep a tab on the progress of their work. In addition, these diaries have useful information, interesting facts and figures, which create interest in the child to learn. Sikshana introduced ‘My Learning Tree’, a tree picture puzzle, where each part of the tree is associated with one concept of learning (mathematics concepts and language skills). The parts of the tree (each concept of learning) are in the form of stickers, given by Sikshana to all the teachers of Sikshana adopted schools. The child will have to stick a part of the tree after demonstrating the concept in front of the teacher. The enthusiasm to complete the picture is pushing the children to learn all the concepts thus improving their learning ability.
A little encouragement makes a lot of difference
Shobha (name changed), a student studying in 7th standard in Appareddyplaya Government Primary School, was constantly chided by her friends and teachers for being a dull student. She was encouraged by Sikshana mentor to overcome the fear of reading. This encouragement boosted her confidence and improved her skills further. She was enrolled in the Sikshana Reading Program, a month long Program where children who lack basic reading skills are tagged with one of their peers who are good at it and who can help them improve their reading. After a month’s time, Shobha is able to read Kannada fluently, which is ***above ASER level reading.
*ASER (www.asercentre.org) is a national standard created by Pratham, an organisation, which has data (since 2005) on two metrics namely Arithmetic skills (ability to solve two digit simple division problems) and Kannada language skills, which are assessed in children studying in classes 4th to 7th across all states in the country. The ASER report shows the learning level of children studying in 4th to 7th standard.
** Students falling under ‘ASER level’ category are able to solve basic Arithmetic problems (two digit division and subtraction) and read basic Kannada (simple sentences).
*** The students falling under the category of ‘Above ASER’ level are able to read class-appropriate Kannada language text and solve fractions and decimal system based Arithmetic problems.
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