A Creative Writing Workshop
Give Them A Future: Tribal Education in India
The training program was animated, and lively, as all the Shiksha Sathies had much to share, and also learn, the first feed back day was very useful in encouraging all Shiksha Sathies to share their efforts, and achievements, and also describe the problems they faced. Most of the Shiksha Sathies spoke about children with behaviour and attention problems, including children who found it difficult to sit in class and would frequently run out of class, children who would be very quiet, and not participate in the activities, and children loosing their pencils frequently. They shared about the problems they faced due to extremely crowded class room situations, the need for skills in multi-grade teaching, and having to take up other teaching work, including language teaching.
They were also happy to report that despite these problems, they had made visible improvements in the Government Primary Schools where they worked. They had helped the children overcome their fear of schools and teachers. This had not only improved attendance but also made a significant difference in children’s participation in classroom activities. The classrooms were now filled with laughter, and chatter, and children came to school early looking forward to the learning activities of the day. Many teachers were proud to report that they came singing songs they had learnt in class. The most significant change that had come about was in the attitude of the Government School teachers. In 3 instances, the Shiksha Sathies reported that the teachers had developed keen interest in teaching, and no longer found their work boring. They were also keen to provide the books that had been designed for early grade reading by Agragamee for children in higher grades who were not able to read well. In all 18 schools, the teachers who had been irregular, became more regular, and took their work more seriously.
Agragamee’s efforts for helping children in remote tribal villages in India get quality education has been recognized by the State Government, who have invited them to take up work in Government Schools to upscale their model of teaching and teacher training.
The training programme described above is one of a series of training programmes helping 'Shiksha Sathies' or support teachers take up innovative and child centred methods of teaching in Government primary schools. These have provided a demonstration of a better teaching model for Government School teachers as well.
In a very short period of time, schools which had poor attendance, listless children, who came because they were compelled to have shown dramatic changes. Children now come to school with much enthusiasm, and tribal parents also feel that the school is helping children read, and learn.
Training has been one of the key factors in this effort. The training programmes carried out with the help of Professor Indira Vijay Simha from Azim Premji Uniersity, have helped to bring about a paradigm shift in the conceptual understanding, and thinking of the teachers. This quarter has focused on training, and organizing common forums for stakeholders, and building up contacts with the tribal community, as the schools have been closed for summer holidays.
Active support from donors has also served to draw the attention of the state government as well as the media to the problems affecting primary education in the tribal regions. It resulted in an involved and multi-stakeholder State Level Workshop for Reading and Language development in Tribal Regions on the 8th and 9th June, 2017. The participation of Government Secretaries, Academics from different universities, representatives from the tribal community, teachers, non-profit organizations, and funding agencies helped to draw everybody together to address the common cause of poor educational levels in the tribal regions.
Tribal regions in India have some of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Much concerted and combined work is required to bring quality education in these regions for first generation school children. We are really happy to be part of a large community with the help of GlobalGiving who are helping bring about positive change in the education scenario of the tribal regions.
Making TLM during a Training Workshop
Teacher Training in progress
Agragamee primer holds children's attention
Children eager for fun games in Rasijhiri schoolAttachments: