Akshara's pre-school program: Another year begins!
By Asha Sharath - Coordinator, Donor Relations
Training Anganwadi workers on Model Anganwadis
The new academic year 2012-13 began. The pre-school program has recommenced in June but 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.
The team therefore exits 1437 anganwadis with a sense of fullness and satisfaction to focus on a new effort, no less intensive, no less weighty. The 335 centres selected from 2 circles in each of ICDS's 6 projects in the city, will be nurtured and groomed into model anganwadis. Last year the team had 8 model anganwadis, supported with additional training, inputs, pedagogy and monitoring to become centres of learning excellence and nuclei of high performers – achievement-minded anganwadi workers and inspired children. The same principle will be applied to the 335 anganwadis this year. With the strategy for this year in place, the program will impact appx. 8375 children between 3 and 6 years studying in 355 Anganwadis. The focus for this 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. At the end of the academic year, Akshara would like to make each of these centers as a Model Anganwadi Center in pre-school education.
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