Training for Anganwadi workers
On May 27th 2012, 126 dynamic women and men ran for Akshara Foundation in the TCS World 10K Run 2012 to create an awareness on the Need for Better Schooling in Government schools. With the help of monetary contributions from all of you and other sources, we were able to raise over USD 15,400 through this event for our pre-school programme supporting over 32,000 children studying in around 1770 Government-run preschool centers in Bangalore, India. Please find below an update of the pre-school programme in 2012 - 13, for which the funds raised through the run were used:
The new academic year 2012-13 began in June 2012 with some changes. Akshara Foundation has been working in the pre-school space, with the Government Anganwadis for the last three years in Bangalore. The results of the programs so far speaks unequivocally of large-scale gains:
- The importance of preschool education was underscored and brought to the forefront in long-neglected, government-run anganwadis and their tired energies revitalized.Community support structures like Bal Vikas Samithis and Friends of Anganwadis, failing or defunct in many places, were resuscitated.
- The programme forged a bond between anganwadi workers and the community and fostered in the ICDS a realization that teaching-learning material (TLM) is a vital instrument of preschool education. That the ICDS is supplying new material to anganwadis this year is a triumph for the programme.
- Change was worked into an under-performing government system in conjunction with the ICDS.
- Motivation and purpose were instilled in a flagging workforce of anganwadi workers who discovered an array of pragmatic teaching solutions and practical work management and time consolidation methods
Along with working with all the 1770 Anganwadi (pre-school) centers, the team decided to choose 333 centers to groom and nurture them in Model Anganwadi centers. The focus for the year is to train the Anganwadi workers on effective classroom management and TLM arragements in a way that it is easily accessible to children. Another important aim for the year is to engage the community effectively and involve the Bal Vikas Samithi members to participate in the day-to-day Anganwadi activities.
12 Supervisors and 333 Anganwadi workers were trained under the Model Anganwadi concept. The training spanned over 2 days and focussed on Classroom Management, TLM seggregation, grouping of children according to their age and classroom rules.
An upgraded TLM was given to each center to replenish broken / damaged materials and provide additional and new learning materials for children. As a part of a tie up with LEGO Foundation, this year, a curriculum based around LEGO Duplo blocks was also introduced in the centers.
Children were assessed in the beginning of the year to get a feel of their current learning levels. The assessments focussed on 7 sets of competencies using 56 indicators:
- General Awareness
- Gross Motor Development
- Fine Motor Development
- Language Development
- Intellectual Development
- Social and Emotional Development
- Pre-academic Development
When the anganwadi workers conducted the assessment for the children, the mothers also showed interest in conducting some activities for the children. This is a good sign of the community taking ownership of their children’s education and also at the same time they are supporting the anganwadi worker in her work. The post- programme assessment will take place in the month of March 2013 and then the results will be compared to measure the impact of the programme.
As a part of the community initiatives, we organized the following activities:
- Mother’s Monthly Meetings – These take place once a month. The mothers are happy with the pre school kits.
- Friends of Anganwadis – To get the active participation of the parents in preschool activities, Akshara Foundation introduced the concept called Friends of Anganwadi (FOA) in each centre. The members of the FOA are the primary stakeholders of anganwadi, i.e parents. This group consists of mothers who interact and engage with the children in the anganwadis. There are about 3-5 mothers per anganwadi who visit the centres and interact and teach the children.
- House-hold visits - Akshara staff visited over 12,000 households to meet parents and discuss with them about the importance of pre-school education, sending their children regularly to the Anganwadis, their child's learning outcomes amongst many other topics.
Impact story of a beneficiary: The Story of Little Jeeva -
Tannery Road is a long stretch of chaos, thick with bustling shops, traffic of various kinds, ambling cows, stray dogs and little mounds of garbage. It leads to K.G. Halli where the K.G. Halli anganwadi tucks itself behind the main road. This is one of the 1787 Anganwadi centers which is supported by Akshara Foundation Thirty-five children between 3 and 6 years of age are enrolled in this center. Little Jeeva who is all of 4 years is one amongst them. Jeeva's parents are illiterate and exhibit astonishing lack of interest to send her to the Anganwadi center. Jeeva is a silent girl. She seldom mingles with everyone in the class. But when the Anganwadi worker, Vijaya opens the Akshara “Pandora-Box”, Jeeva's eyes start glowing and she is full of energy. Jeeva likes to play and inturn learn using Akshara Teaching- Learning Material Kit which has a host of child-friendly aids, very colourful and eye- catching, teaching various concepts like Alphabets, Colours, Numbers, Animals/Birds, Fruits,Vegetables and many more that goes a long way in building the child's cognitive skills. While participating in the learning sessions, Jeeva is very active and attentive and is quick to understand and answer correctly. “Her favourite activity is weekly market”, says Vijaya. “She is very enthusiastic about this topic and comprehends and participates well in it”. Jeeva says, “Miss, fruits and vegetables are available in a shop that I know. My mother buys them from there.”
Thank You for your contribution in making impact in lives of many children like Jeeva. Looking forward to your continued support.
Children working with LEGO Duplo blocks
Mothers meeting in progress at an Anganwadi
Children using the TLM