Oct 20, 2020

Thanks for the support

Operation Vasantha has been impacting the lives of disadvantaged rural children. This highly interactive and empowering initiative addresses the problem of school dropouts. It also aims to educate families on the importance of education and engage dropouts and other children through interactive activities and fun learning sessions. These activities include parents counseling, health and hygiene camps, and education on ecology.

Local college students are trained and given support from Agastya to teach children in their villages. These individuals willingly spend their evenings educating and inspiring weaker students and school dropouts from their villages.

 Reach and Benefits

  • 1 Operation Vasantha center reaches out to 30 children, operating for 200 days a year, the program will generate close to 6,000 child exposures* in a year.
  • Volunteers living in the villages with educational qualifications of graduate and postgraduate who are an innovative thinker and interested in teaching will be chosen for the Operation Vasantha program. They will be provided with a scholarship.

Operation Vasantha program aims to educate families on the importance of education and engage dropouts and other children through interactive activities and fun learning sessions. The program includes the following activities.

  • Helping children to complete their homework
  • Fun learning activities to the children between the ages of 7-11 have learning outcomes that shape a child’s logical, reasoning, deduction, analytical, motor, estimation and experimentation skills.
  • Multi-pronged approach: Mobile Science Lab reaching out to students in remote areas during the day and evening sessions being reinforced by Operation Vasantha program.
  • Activities related to Arts and crafts
  • During summer holidays, we will conduct summer camps to the children.
  • Local college students are trained and given support from Agastya to teach children in their villages. These individuals willingly spend their evenings educating and inspiring weaker students from their villages.

       Project Benefits:

  • Stimulates child’s inherent curiosity.
  • The program fosters critical thinking and creativity through hands-on science and provides a strong and dynamic learning resource base for rural children.
  • The instructor is a local hire has a greater sense of ownership and responsibility towards his/her community.
  • The sessions consist of multi-grade beneficiaries, which facilitates inculcating of soft skills such as collaboration and teamwork
  • Exposes children to topics such as logic, analysis, synthesis, imagination, estimation Measurement, design, scientific principles at a young age.

Links:

Sep 7, 2020

Thanks for the support

Reading is a mind’s journey into a world of endless possibilities. But children settled in rural parts of India are far kept from the magic of books, due to lack of resources and opportunities. Through our Community Library Program, we aim at building local libraries that are overflowing with all genres of books, driving every child’s imagination to new horizons.

With your support, Agastya able to conducted virtual library activity. In Covid-19 pandemic situation, we started Agastya Digital Summer Camp 2020. We conducted virtual sessions from April onwards. Daily 2 different activities posted into the what’s app and monitored by Agastya Staff and getting the reply from the students in the form of images, video, or audio

Digital library contains Collection of e-content which comprises 1800+ e-Books, and 1500 + videos as on 30th June 2020.

Activities Conducted:

Building Vocabulary in their Mother Tongue and English, Sentence formation and story writing through “Pop-Up books” making, Comic story writing (recognize the difference between Original Text & Dialogue), Origami paper crafts (Different caps, figure puppets, gift box, and miniature book), Characterization, Dialogue narration & roll play through Mouth Puppet, Book Research through the activity “Pop-Up books and Book Club Activity..

During the last quarter, we reached 539 students exposures through Kuppam library. In Digital Library Activity, we reached 262 children exposures and Creative Corner Activity total 1448 students exposures in the quarter Apr-June ’2020.

Links:

Jul 7, 2020

Thanks for the support

The Mobile Science Lab (MSL) is a very powerful and innovative instrument to revolutionize rural education and make hands-on education increasingly accessible. It is a catalytic channel that is fun, engaging and interactive, aimed to raise awareness among disadvantaged children and teachers of the value of learning - with a focus on science. Each MSL travels to doorstep of remote schools with 100+ hands-on science models covering a wide range of topics in Physics, Chemistry and Biology for Class 5 through 9. The teaching approach is consistent with the National Curriculum Framework and the topics overlap the NCERT syllabus. There are also experiments not directly correlated to the state syllabus but are intended to spark curiosity and encourage questioning among the children. The demonstration sessions emphasize interaction and questioning. Children are able to relate better to concepts explained through interactive demonstrations rather than through rote learning. MSL’s are highly effective in delivering large science fairs, and reaching community members through night community visits too. Night community visits allow the child beneficiary’s parents, family and community members to participate in learning sessions about various beneficial topics.

Activities facilitated by the Mobile Science Lab

Young Instructor Program (from first year of operation)

Apart from teaching and demonstrating through experiments Agastya identifies and trains students to be Young Instructors; where children teach their peers. A select group of students are identified with the help of instructors and teachers based on their innate curiosity, questioning nature and ability to think laterally, and not on their grades. These students are provided special training on science models in addition to building their capacity and skills in presentation and communication. They explain scientific concepts at Science Fairs to other children. Learners absorb concepts and information better through their peer instructors without the fear of being reproached, eliminating barriers that normally exist between an adult and a child. Young Instructors take initiatives in their communities and act as agents of change.

Science Fairs (from first year of operation)

Science Fairs are held to reach out to a larger group of children across age groups. Using simple models, 14 to 16 year old Young Instructors demonstrate scientific phenomena such as the solar and lunar eclipse, seasonal changes, concepts such as pressure and volume relationship and protein chains that link together to form insulin. The Science Fairs, in addition to targeting a large audience of children, serve as a platform to encourage Young Instructors to share science concepts with their peers (through the peer-to-peer learning method). This facilitates greater interaction and understanding of concepts, boosts confidence and improves their communication skills. Science Centres, as well as Mobile Science Labs, are both capable of supporting and organizing Science Fairs.

Teacher Training (after one year of operation)

Teacher training programs aim to diffuse and propagate creative-thinking and problem-solving skills among government school teachers. Agastya uses non-standard approaches to transform teachers, for example, by offering modules that integrate learning and knowledge across the different subject areas. Agastya works with mixed groups of teachers and children to raise interaction and bridge the gap between teacher training and the demands of the school classroom.

Night Community Visits (from first year of operation)

Mobile Science Labs operating in rural areas go on community visits during holidays and evenings (as time permits). The team visits villages and sets up interactive models and experiments in the popular gathering spots of villages. The Agastya team imparts a sense of responsibility to parents, while motivating them to send their children to schools. Specifically, the intentions behind community visits are:

  • To build strong relationships with community members and identify dropouts for mainstreaming
  • Liaise with Government School Development and Management Committees (SBMC) and interact with local leaders
  • Transfer Agastya’s experiences back to the community by advising about the importance of education

Reach and benefits of the Mobile Science Lab

  • Depending on the density of schools in the proposed catchment area, a single Mobile Science Lab can generate about 16,000 student exposures* per annum.
  • Mobile Science Labs access schools and raise awareness on the importance of hands-on science at a mass level. They are highly effective in delivering large Science Fairs and reaching community members (at night for example).
  • Mobile Science Labs help catalyse local schools and educators to improve the content and quality of education for rural children and teachers.

Links:

 
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