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 Education  India Project #25767

Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India

by Agragamee
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Give Them a Future: Educate a Tribal Girl in India
Grade II writing a story
Grade II writing a story

"Most of the days, I teach children of grades 1 to 5 together. I make them sit in different groups, and engage them in different activities, the first half an hour is usually very quiet as all children are completely absorbed in their work. Even the first graders are quiet because they enjoy their workbook "Kau Dake Ka" a lot. But after half an hour, Grade I becomes restless. This is the point where I taken them out, and they have great fun running around and playing games. It is difficult to manage so many grades at the same time, but, the older students also help in teaching the lower classes. This makes my work somewhat easier. Parents of children in higher classes come to me, and urge me to teach their children as well. They tell me, that children in my classes are learning very well, even better than their older siblings. I also take classes in the evening to help these children.” Phulanti Miniaka is sharing her teaching experiences in the Government Primary School in the village of Punjapai in the Rayagada District of Odisha in India. She is one of a group of support teachers, trained in Agragamee, who are improving the reading levels in the tribal villages, where less than 10% of the community is literate. These teachers face immense challenges including crowded multi-grade class rooms, children being called out of class for agricultural work by parents, little or no help in studies at home, etc. Yet, they love their work, and want to continue with teaching. For many of them, the most rewarding part of their work is the joy and interest with which the children come to school, and the improvements in their learning levels in just a few months. For others, it is the parent community’s positive feed back that makes them want to continue teaching despite the odds.

 The training in Agragamee has given them confidence, and a pool of ideas on teaching early grades, including fun games, helping children learn letters and reading through each others names, teaching through rhymes and so on. The focus has been on language and literacy development, and the method and approach in Agragamee has been very different from what they learnt in school, or what they see in other schools even now. The methods which did not involve any of the gradual steps of going from alphabets, to monosyllabic words to more complex words, and then simple sentences etc. but helped the children leap straight into fun worlds of animals, friends, colors and rhymes, seemed strange and difficult at first. But their initial apprehension has given way to a sense of great satisfaction and enthusiasm, as the positive result of their work is visible in their classrooms.

 The past few months have been really interesting, as these teachers have been involved in a range of educational activities in Agragamee. This has included a writers’ workshop by the well known and popular writer of children’s literature, Das Benhur, a training workshop by Professor Indira Vijaysimha, educationist from Azim Premji University, and a theatre workshop with the popular local artist, Dharanidhar Mahapatra, culminating in a lively cultural function for the children’s Annual day.

 All this has been anchored by ‘Mukta Gyana Kutira’, Agragamee’s model school, where the different methods and approaches for teaching of the various subjects are developed. In many instances, the students of Mukta Gyana Kutira have joyfully lead the training sessions, helping teacher trainees learn action songs as also fun games to take to their schools.

Agragamee's effort for education have also been recognised by Rotary International through their "Literacy Hero Award", which was given to Mr. Achyut Das, the Director of Agragamee for 2017. 

A scene from the Chilrden's play 'Frog Queen'
A scene from the Chilrden's play 'Frog Queen'
Children performing during the Annual Day
Children performing during the Annual Day
Busy time at the Writers' Workshop
Busy time at the Writers' Workshop
Learning rhymes in Jhiriguma village
Learning rhymes in Jhiriguma village
Teacher Padman's class observed during training
Teacher Padman's class observed during training

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Equal opportunities for all is enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The 'Give Them A Future' Project is an effort to take this objecttive forward, for the deprived and marginalised tribal children in remote regions of the country. Quality education at the primary level is provided through model schools, teacher training, lively and fun TLM, and reaching out to the Government to adopt this model.

The model schools are girls schools to address the huge gender gap in literacy. Initially local community members did not think much of this effort. However, now they have realised the value of this model, and there is an increasing demand. Agragamee Schools also provide catching up education for older students, whose learning levels are low because of irregular schooling in the early grades. 

Over the last few years we have been seeking to increase the visibility of this effort, primarily to raise funds to reach more children and more remote communities, as education is such a crucial need. The donor community has been very responsive. The early days fund raising was primarily through close friends who came to see our schools, and were impressed. They reached out to their friends, and our support base began to grow. Some of our friends committed to annual donations. All this provided the sustenance for our schools.

The support and good wishes provided us much encouragement, and Agragamee Schools emereged as examples of quality education for children from underprivileged and marginalised communities. The current fund raising effort, through the Crowd Funding Community, Global Giving has also been an extremely positive learning experience, helping us connect to a global network of people concerned for education and development of the underprivileged. In the beginning the going was tough, infact very difficult. Then members of GG came to our aid, and we faithfully followed all their very helpful advise and tips. This set the ball rolling, and our friends talking about the matter. From across the globe people supported the effort, and reached out to others to support the effort. The donations jumped up, and we reached the Global Giving Target within a week. 

Our local support base has also helped our efforts in outstanding ways, with support in kind of School Unifroms, School bags and notebooks. The success of Agragamee's efforts is the success of a global community concerned for the poor, concerned for equal opportunities! We thank Global Giving for helping us find this global family, we thank all our friends and well wishers who are part of this effort.

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Organization Information

Agragamee

Location: Kashipur, Orissa - India
Website:
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Agragamee
Achyut  Das
Project Leader:
Achyut Das
Mr.
Kashipur, Odisha India

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