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Oct 16, 2017

The Creative Classroom Gets An Upgrade!

Vinita and Varsha are happy to get back to books!
Vinita and Varsha are happy to get back to books!

Vinita* and Varsha* belong to a small village in Rajasthan. During an Educate Girls program implementation, Team Balika (Community Volunteer) Bhojraj saw them in the classroom and the first thing he observed was that both the girls were isolated from the class. They were the girls in Grade 5 who spoke the least, were always huddled together in corners and didn’t join their classmates in studies or play.

Vinita and Varsha both come from families with meagre earnings where both parents have to work in the fields to make the ends meet. They are also, like most of the children in their village, first generation learners. So, when they were struggling with their relatively lower learning levels in the populated classroom they could not depend on help coming from their homes. Furthermore, a lack of teachers in the school meant more number of students from different Grades clubbed together in a single room and more difficulty for the teacher to pay attention to those who might be struggling.

Both Vinita and Varsha found the classroom sessions difficult to understand. They couldn’t answer questions in class, couldn’t form or write words or sentences and were unable to grasp the concepts of basic Math.

But, this scenario changed when Educate Girls started implementing its learning curriculum in the school through the kits called as ‘Gyan Ka Pitara (GKP)’ which translates to Repository of Knowledge. The activity-based pedagogy focuses on building micro-competencies in English, Hindi and Math (children studying in grades 3-5) and has various tools like Cards for alphabet recognition, sight words, word family and conversation flip books, sentence strips, auditory and practice cards in English and Hindi. Number cards, rule cards, number boards and building blocks for place value and operations in Math. These tools are child-friendly, context specific and cater to the needs of most under-served and marginalized children in India. The tools and worksheets are more visual and activity-based in a way that they enhance reception and retention of the information that the child is being taught

Through the GKP kits, Varsha and Vinita are able to learn better. When asked, Vinita says she loves the ‘Gupshup Book’ (Conversation Book) as it has a lot of new information, pictures and she understands more words and their meaning. The ‘Word Family Book’ and ‘Sentence Strips’ are Varsha’s favourite because she says that the break-up of word sounds and the pictures have helped her read better and she’s excited that now she can also read an entire sentence like her classmates. Both girls are easily solving multiplication sums using the ‘Multiplication and Division Board’ and Varsha is now confident that she can read the story books that her elder sister had purchased two years ago, that until now were lying unused at home.

The teachers, and even the Educate Girls staff, are impressed with the tangible difference in the atmosphere and performance in the classrooms since ‘Gyan Ka Pitara’ was put into effect.

The huge progress that students like Vinita and Varsha are showing is further testament to the fact that Educate Girls’ Creative Classroom surely works!

 

*Names changed to protect the identity of the minors

Vinita & Varsha learning through the GKP kits
Vinita & Varsha learning through the GKP kits
Aug 1, 2017

Educate Girls has launched a new campaign to provide learning kits to children in rural India

Children learning from our Gyan Ka Pitara-GKP kits
Children learning from our Gyan Ka Pitara-GKP kits

I would like to thank you for your continuous and generous support to our project 'The Child Brides: Send Them to School instead'. We are grateful for your donation. Your donation has made a huge difference in improving girls’ access to quality education in Rajasthan, India.

It is a well-documented fact that educated girls have a unique ability to bring unprecedented social & economic change to their families and communities and have a phenomenal multiplier effects on all development indicators. Our program aims to usher in systemic reform, bridge the gender gap in education & provide quality education to 2.8 million under-served children annually in India by 2018.

Thanks to the generosity of the donors like you, we have enrolled over 200,000 unique out-of-school girls into school since our program inception (Year 2007). In the FY 2016-17 alone, we have been successful to enrol over 93,000 girls in school. We have achieved a 93% retention of girls in school and students have improved their learning in Hindi, English and Math by 25-45%.

Over the past decade, India has made significant progress toward universalization of primary education, which has led to increased access to schools for a large number of children. However, quality of education and low levels of learning continue to remain a major challenge in the government run schools of India. Recent studies show a disturbing trend, where although children are enrolled in school, they aren’t necessarily learning well. 47.8% of children in Grade 5 cannot read a Grade 2 text.

In order to help children learn well and achieve higher learning outcomes, Educate Girls has been implementing its activity-based pedagogy Creative Learning and Teaching (CLT) kitsin grades 3, 4 and 5 for a period of 24 weeks of an academic session. The CLT sessions complement the conventional school curriculum, and have helped make the classroom a stress-free and conducive environment, where children learn the basics of literacy and numeracy while having fun through games and group activities. Over the years, with the help of Educate Girls learning curriculum more than 650,000 children have demonstrated improved learning levels.

With the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals (2015), globally, the focus is gradually shifting toward ensuring quality education. In the light of these developments, Educate Girls embarked upon a project to revamp its learning curriculum. Educate Girls partnered with Sol’s Assessment and Remedial Centre (Sol’s ARC), a pedagogy and child psychology expert, to revamp the curriculum. Educate Girls new learning kit are called Gyan ka Pitara' - GKP (which translates to ‘Repository of Knowledge’). A few features that make the new learning kit unique –

-  Curriculum is designed for 5 levels of learning (pre-literacy & levels 1-4) for children in grades 3, 4 and 5.

-  Focus on building micro-competencies in English, Hindi and Math

-  Activity-based pedagogy with about 250 worksheets for each child, ensuring no child is left behind

-  Child friendly, context-specific, sensitive to the needs of the most under-served and marginalized children in India.

-  Tools include: Cards for alphabet recognition, sight words, word family and conversation flip books, sentence strips, auditory and practice cards in English and Hindi. Number cards, rule cards, number boards and building blocks for place value and operations in Math.

-  Pre-tests & post-tests based on ASER tools of evaluation determine improvement in learning levels for every child.

These learning kits will be implemented across all our operational schools in rural districts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in order to improve the learning levels of the children.

In light of this, we have launched a new project on GlobalGiving You Can Help Children in Rural India Learn Better”

You can help the children in rural India learn better. With a donation of USD 45, you can sponsor a ‘Gyan ka Pitaara’ kit for a remote school in Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh and benefit around 30 children! 

Your Help is Crucial in improving Learning Outcomes of the Children!

Jul 11, 2017

Education: The Power Behind Big Dreams

Poonam is now back to studies!
Poonam is now back to studies!

Today, even after 70 years of independence, archaic traditions still continue to be practiced in a small village in Rajasthan. People’s outlook towards girls’ education there is still negative. If the topic of a girl’s education arises, parents shrug it away saying, “What benefit will it give her or us? She will eventually go to her in-laws’ after marriage. Once married, her responsibilities will revolve around doing household chores, assist in farming or the like, raise children and take care of her family. That’s all.

Belonging to a family that had the same line of thought was a young girl named Poonam*. Her family was quite poor and her parents worked as laborers. Poonam was responsible for taking the cattle grazing. She went to school at the age of 7. However, owing to family conditions, she couldn’t go any longer and dropped out of school.

While conducting the door-to-door survey to identify out-of-school girls, Educate Girls’ Field coordinator Ekling found Poonam. So he reached out to Poonam’s parents and tried convincing them to send her to school and explained to them the benefits of educating a girl. Educate Girls Team Balika (Community Volunteer) Kamlesh also approached her parents, however, even after multiple attempts they didn’t agree.

Finally, he asked the School Principal for help and with his added influence, her parents agreed to send Poonam to school. Today, owing to the efforts of the school and of Educate Girls, Poonam enjoys going to school. The learning curriculum developed by Educate Girls’ has helped Poonam not only to catch up with the learning she missed out on due to dropping out, but also in improving on her fundamental concepts across Hindi, English and Math.

[The learning curriculum developed by Educate Girls is named as Gyaan Ka Pitara (GKP) which translated into 'Repository of Knowledge'. It is designed with the help of pedagogy and child psychology experts. It include easy to grasp graphic and activity-based tools and around 250 practice worksheets for every child that are aimed at improving learning outcomes for all children across Hindi, English and Math.]

*Name changed to protect identity of the minor

 
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