India's much talked about Demographic Dividend can only be reaped if the 120M children who study in Government run elementary schools (60% of all kids) can comprehend the global language of English and Technology, which is in serious deficit in these schools. OBLF fills this vacuum by imparting basic English and Computer skills to children studying in Government Primary schools in the rural areas around Bangalore, by training and employing local rural women as teachers.
State run schools are plagued with serious issues like teacher absenteeism, poor student teacher ratios, text books beyond the children's comprehension, pressure on teachers to complete the syllabus which tends to leave many children behind as most classrooms have multi-grade children and most importantly, a style of teaching in which the teachers aren't motivated and the learners are not engaged. To reap the benefits of demographics, the masses must comprehend information and use technologies.
We work as a partner to the state and use the infrastructure of govt schools. OBLF has adopted 25 schools in which we assess children in the start of a school year, divide them into groups based on how they do, teach via fun filled methods and technologies like tablets and use syllabi designed by us. Our teachers are local rural women. Year end assessments have constantly shown that the kids in the program are way ahead of the ones who attend the same schools but are not in the program.
OBLF's Vision 2020 is to create a model by adopting most schools in a Block in Bangalore. Since government schools in the entire country face similar challenges, we would like to eventually scale up the program in other parts of the country as more resources become available. Our program has not only benefited the children in the schools we adopted, but our strategy of selecting rural women as Coordinators from the communities has also provided them financial and intellectual independence.
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