Education  India Project #34974

Support School Education of Children in India

by LOK MITRA
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India
Support School Education of Children in India

Greetings from Lokmitra,

Since the last update, a lot has happened in the schools Lokmitra is providing focused support with your help. The use of the Library by the children needs a special mention as it is helping in the emergence of a number of champions from within the school.

Here is the story of Grade 4 student Shiva of Primary School Gokulpur. He didn’t like anybody being scolded for not completing his or her homework or not able to read and write properly. So he started helping other children. Citing the opportunity Lokmitra facilitator encouraged him to help the other children to learn how to read. The facilitator also requested the teacher to issue him a set of storybooks from the library. Now Shiva regularly helps the children who come to him in the evening to read, there is reading aloud as well as group reading.

Impressed by Shiva’s supportive nature and leadership qualities, his teachers have given him some extra responsibilities at the school. As a member of Bal Manch, Shiva also looks after the games and activities during the morning assembly, and also take lead in managing the kitchen garden of the school. Shiva wants to continue helping other students of his school until all the children learn how to read and nobody is scolded by the teacher. Shiva’s parents and teachers are super proud of him.

Major outcomes of this period are the following – The average attendance of children in the 10 selected schools has increased by 10% in comparison to the last session with schools like PS Ikauna witnessing 85-90% attendance. The regular learning assessment shows that 70% of children of grade 3rd and 4th in PS Ikauna are reading their books now. In the rest of the selected schools, this number is around 50%. Some Teachers are showing changes in their teaching practices. Now they are using the previous knowledge of the children and takes up small group learning activities. They also take initiative to make the Morning Assembly more interesting for children.

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It is almost a year that we reached out to you for supporting LOKMITRA to ensure Quality School Education of deprived children attending state government schools in Uttar Pradesh. Given the immensity and complexity of the problem, and the scale of our work being quite small, be rest assure that work of Lokmitra has the potential to stimulate larger change, as it aims to bring change from within, and it can self replicate itself through key stakeholders of teachers and parents with minimal outside support. We are thankful that with your growing support we will be able to stay focussed and strategic.

Teachers being at the center of ensuring quality education, we share the story of Himanshi, a teacher in Bathuakhaas school, who was worried that the majority of children are not taking any interest whatsoever in learning the Hindi letters, so she discussed this problem during the Peer Learning Group Meeting. The other teachers and Lokmitra Staff shared their experience of starting the new chapter by telling the story orally with proper intonations. Followed by reading it from the book paragraph by paragraph and finally using flashcards to learn new words. The same process was also demonstrated in her classroom a few times and when she noticed that there was an increase in participation level of Snehlata and Aryan (who usually remain silent in the class) she also decided that this method deserves a try. She started off by assessing the learning levels of the children and dividing them accordingly. The lesson plans were made in collaboration with other teachers and implemented in the classroom.

Now her hard work has started bearing fruits and other silent students like Pushpa have also started reading simple sentences. Such signs of progress have motivated her and she has it a point to start each chapter of any subject with an oral discussion to bring the previous knowledge of the children in the classroom. Lokmitra’s efforts for Teachers Capacity building give the teachers like Himanshi and 25 other teachers of 6 schools (High Intensity and Focus Schools), new experiences so they become responsible for their learning and can improve the Learning levels of their schools.

You may wonder what stands in the way of teachers being able to deliver quality education. The major issue is with the very poor quality of pre-service teachers' training and selection process. Ill-prepared selected teachers do not receive proper guidance or in-service training. This results in the present learning crisis, especially in the State Government Elementary Schools. In the short run, the only way out of it is to make the teachers responsible for their development which they can do among themselves. The presence of an expert will be an added advantage. Lokmitra is that expert support. Under GlobalGiving School Learning Improvement Program, Lokmitra promotes the formation of school-level ‘Peer Learning Groups’ among them and also supports them by providing inputs in their meetings, suitable TLM and experiences thorough live demo for them to learn. As there are two more stakeholders directly involved in learning improvement of the school, namely children and parents, they are also engaged in several ways so that they can work together for the development of the school.

Presently we are supporting 10 Primary Schools of 5 blocks of Raebareli District, impacting the learning of 1527 children. The selected schools are divided into three categories. Bathuakhaas and Devanandpur schools were chosen as High-Intensity schools (a minimum of 4 visits per month). Ikauna Gokulpur Manchitpur and Balapur are chosen as Focus Schools (a minimum of 2 visits per month) and the rest are Low-intensity schools (1 visit per month).

Our overall activities are also divided into three parts.

Activities for Teacher’s Capacity building – The teachers were engaged on the topic of ‘How to teach Reading’ through different means like Peer Learning Groups of Teachers, one on one academic discussion with teachers, Capacity building Workshop, a live demonstration in the classroom and use of suitable TLM.

Activities for Children – Formation of Bal-Manch or Children Forum, use of Library and morning assembly to catalyze the learning process & Learning assessment of children in classes 3rd to 5th.

Engagement of Parents. – Formation of SMC and Capacity Building of SMC members.

Major outcomes of the effort of this period has been an increase in overall average attendance by 10% (from 60% in the last session to 70% until September 2019).

Other Outcomes - 

Importance of Bal-Manch - The children’s Forum

Arun, Shivam, and Tinku who are good friends and always stay together. They are enrolled in grade 3 of the Primary School of Devanandpur but had stopped going to school for the last 1 year. Their case was discussed in the Bal-Manch meeting of July 2019 and it was decided unanimously that the forum should do something to bring them back to school. 

The next day 4 members of the children’s forum (Ravi, Anshika, Prince, and Shivi) visited Arun and Shivam’s house and found all three of them playing under a tree nearby. 

Anshika – “Why are you people playing here during the school hours?”

Arun – “Why should we? Nobody teaches us there”

Prince – “Now all our teachers teaching us regularly. There is even a games period.”

Shivam – “No we are not coming back!”

The next stop was their house, where the same conversation was repeated with Arun’s Mother and after much deliberation over the next week, finally, she agreed to bring Arun to the school along with her so that there is no chance of him to run away. Shivam and Tinku followed suit and now all three are happy to be back and now are learning new things while enjoying themselves through the new and creative lesson plans prepared in collaboration with Lokmitra staff and the Teachers of the school.

The Children Forum or the Bal-Manch as it is locally called is a democratically selected group of children ( 2 to 4 students from grades 3rd to 5th) who supports the teachers in the overall management of the school like attendance, enrollment, MDM etc as well as in promoting peer learning among children in the classroom. 

Library – All the 6 focus schools have an active Library now from where children are also issuing books to read them at their homes. There is also a dedicated period for Library once a week when the responsible teachers take all the children to the library and do some activities based on books like Picture composition and other games.

Learning Assessment: 

A total of 157 students of grades 3rd – 5th of four schools were assessed on Hindi and 112 students were assessed on Math in August and September 2019. The main findings of this baseline are as follows: -

Hindi – One-fourth of the children can write a small story (5-6 sentences long) and 41% can read stories.

Math – One-third of students identifies the numbers till 100. Half of them can solve two-digit Addition and Subtraction.

The Midline assessment will take place in December so that we can track the increase in learning levels.

Outcomes of Parents’ Engagement – 

The SMC meetings of high-intensity schools are happening each month with the collaboration of SMC head and School Head Teacher. The average attendance in the last three months is 8 parents per meeting. An additional 4-5 non-SMC parents also participate in these meetings at the behest of Teachers.

Mr. Ajay, the SMC head of Devanandpur School provides continuous support to the school as there is a lack of teachers in the school.

Bal Manch
Bal Manch
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A big hello and welcome back to Lokmitra. With all your support now we have become a ‘site visit verified’  and ‘Vetted’ organization. We are now ‘top-ranked ’ and ‘effective’ organization at Global Giving.

Your support is doing wonders for the 1200 students. Here is the story of Mrs. Pratima and Sajan that we love to share with you.

Teachers’ Peer Learning, a Way Forward for BathuaKhas School

Sajan, a shy 9-year-old boy, was in class 3 when Pratima, the class teacher realized that he was even unable to recognize Hindi alphabets, leave alone any word or sentence. Sensing the urgency she started giving him 10-15 minutes separately each day, trying to teach him letter-word association (like b for ball). But even after a fortnight, there was no progress. Sajan used to get confused and pronounce b as ball. 

It was then she decided to bring Sajan’s issue in the weekly meeting with other teachers of the school where they discuss such issues. She is happy that she did so. The two suggestions she received were to try to remain silent for a minute whenever she loses her cool and to remove the association of alphabets with one particular word, and instead use a few words to enhance his phonic awareness. She used a few other words starting with each of the letters, and it worked!! Sajan was able to recognize most of the alphabets within the next one month. And now when he reads his Hindi book, her face beams with pride and joy.

She is happy with Sajan’s progress, still being aware that there is a long way to go. More importantly, no other children of the school will fall in the trap of strong association of a letter with a word.

And we at Lokmitra are happy to support such reflective teachers and we aim to share such stories more frequently.

Thank you.

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Nisaar in Classroom
Nisaar in Classroom

Visually challenged by birth, 11-year-old Nisaar is now attending Primary School of Betaura regularly. Even though school has got no regular special teacher, he finds school attractive and stimulating. He is an enthusiastic child. School gives him sufficient engagements. His day in school starts with joyful Morning Assembly in which children stand in a round circle and do a lot of joyful activities like singing songs, playing with words, etc.  Similarly, he is an active member of Children Forum that sits every month to discuss children’s need in school and promotes children’s leadership and involvement in participatory management for some of the school activities, like Morning Assembly, Library session, use of Learning Materials, etc.

Lokmitra has made a small contribution to make the school environment more conducive for children and effective for inclusive learning. Teachers of Betaura School have been encouraged to observe each other’s teaching and reflect on giving children better learning experience. Lokmitra facilitators emphasize that teaching should be as per need of children and at the right level. This is a major issue for most of the children who lag behind what is prescribed for the class. Teachers need to do multi-level teaching.  Similarly, the practice of Morning Assembly give children a joyful experience on the start of school has helped children like Nisaar in liking school and be regular.

At present Nisaar’s learning needs are being met by listening to stories and talk between teacher and children.  He has a good memory and is able to narrate stories. At the same time, he encourages other children’s to participate and tell stories. We do realize that Nisaar needs the support of a specialized teacher and he needs to learn Braille.  We hope to ensure that he gets such an opportunity.

Nisaar singing song in Morning Assembly
Nisaar singing song in Morning Assembly
Morning Assembly
Morning Assembly
Joy of writing a picture story
Joy of writing a picture story
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Teacher Peer Learning
Teacher Peer Learning

Ten Primary schools selected to support was finalized and school development facilitators have made initial visits to schools to understand the situation. In total there are about 1500 children enrolled in these schools with average attendance of about 60%. There are 39 teachers, so on average interestingly 39 children per teacher, slightly less than what is required under Right to Education Act.

Based on previous rapport of Lokmitra and facilitator, support to a few schools got initiated quite well. A few of them were supported earlier as well.

Peer learning among teachers - Betaura Primary School of Dih Block has been supported by Lokmitra a few years back by promoting community participation for improving the school infrastructure, enrolment, and attendance. Teachers have sustained the change and wanted additional support to improve the quality of education. The practice of Peer Learning among teachers based on the observation of each other’s teaching and then having a sharing discussion session was introduced and found useful. Here are a few pictures of teachers observing their colleague teaching, followed by teachers’ meetings.  

Children’s Library – Children coming to state government primary schools hardly get any chance to get exposed to any kind of reading materials apart from school textbooks. Most of the children struggling to read text-heavy school books, don’t develop a habit of reading or trying to read. So Lokmitra makes sure that children get suitable storybooks with a lot of colorful pictures and develop a love of reading. Children will learn to read by making attempt to read. Lokmitra encourages children to read in a pair so that they support each other.  Children Library has been initiated in the school of Pure Kallu, Balapur, Betaura and Manchitpur. Children’s group has been formed to take lead in managing the library. In a few schools, a separate room is being developed as activity cum library room.

School Management Committee (SMC) were reconstituted during this period by organizing parents meetings in school. SMC members of three schools got the opportunity to participate in training.


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Organization Information

LOK MITRA

Location: Raebareli - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LOKMITRA2
LOK MITRA
Rajesh Kumar
Project Leader:
Rajesh Kumar
Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh India

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