Safe, Effective, Inclusive School

Children's access to Child-Friendly and Climate Ready Schools

ChildFund in India, with the support of the Swedish help organization Radiohjälpen, has undertaken an 18-months project, Children's access to Child-Friendly and Climate Ready Schools, in Gogunda block of Udaipur district in Rajasthan. The project seeks to improve the quality of formal education in 20 public schools in Gogunda by providing Child Friendly and Climate Ready public schools where children can thrive in a safe, inclusive, and stimulating learning environment.

This project is designed to ensure a comprehensive approach to enhancing children's learning outcomes by targeting three layers of society; the children, the school community, and the society, with the child at the center. This project helps children from deprived communities of Gogunda to have access to quality education and school safety by adopting scientific child-centric pedagogical teaching. This is achieved through a holistic and child-participatory approach, incorporating climate actions, that improves the competence and resilience of the school environment. Efforts are employed to support school children's learnings, development, and well-being by providing safety, support, academic challenges, cultural responsiveness, time and space to be active and socio-economic learning (SEL). The project also brings to the attention of the duty bearers at the local and district level, the need to address the lack of resources allocated to schools, and ensuring that the rights of the children are being secured.

By 2022, the project will enable 1000+ school children (6-14 years old) in 20 schools across Gogunda to enjoy a children-friendly and safe-learning environment, have improved age-appropriate skills in literature and numeracy, and SEL skills, in addition to ensuring that all the 20 public schools have increased capacities to identify and minimize risk for a safe learning environment with a climate-change focus.

The project directly contributes to SDG 4 - quality education and SDG 13 -  climate action

Promoting Effective and Context-based Initiation of Learning for Life

ChildFund is supporting the education of 5,000 students from grade 8-10 in 15 selected high schools in the Jigani Hobbli area in urban Bangalore under the “My school” project of the “Uday” program undertaken by HCL. The focus of the project is towards promoting academic achievement along with socio-emotional achievement including arts and sports.

The project aims to reach out to the marginalized high school children in the selected grades in the area and work with the school, community, and students to show improved learning competencies and increased socio-emotional skills for learning.

Under the project, ChildFund has established libraries, STEM labs, and art corners in schools and builds capacities of government teachers and School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC) members to use these facilities for the future use of the same. ChildFund also works with children, teachers, parents, and community members to enhance the socio-emotional skills of the children and also on sensitizing about gender and inclusiveness. To ensure that school governance overlooks the successful implementation of all these facilities and training, we engage with SDMCs, Panchayati Raj Institutions, and communities so that greater leadership on the part of the community is achieved.

The project directly contributes to SDG 4 - quality education.

Splendid Platform of Learning Arts towards Sustainable Happiness (SPLASH)

ChildFund initiated the project - Splendid Platform of Learning Arts towards Sustainable Happiness (SPLASH) - with the support of Technicolor India Private Limited intending to introduce children living in socioeconomically challenged communities to an appreciation for Art that encourages exploration, intellectual growth, self-expression, logical thinking, self-esteem, imagination, and creativity in children and young people.

Under the 1-year project that was initiated in 2019, we worked in government schools and community blocks in Kavalbyrasandra, Devanahalli, and D J Halli areas of Bangalore and established Digital centers and a Children Resource Center (CRC), conducted summer camps and theatre workshops for art forms such as Graphics, Videography & Animation, Story Telling & writing, Drawing/ painting/sketching and Theatre (Street play/Playback Theatre)  and organized volunteer engagement programs.

Through this project, we covered 13 government schools and reached 2750 children from socio-economically challenged communities, who thoroughly enjoyed the exposure to arts and crafts through workshops, training, and street theatre.

The project directly contributes to SDG 4 - quality education and SDG 16 – peace, justice, and strong institutions.

Setting up of SMART Classes

With the support of Aryaka Networks, ChildFund initiated the SMART Classes initiative in October 2019 for a year, in Bengaluru. The project addressed the need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education by providing interactive learning material in schools for children in grades 6 and above to aid robust critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovative attitudes in children.

In addition, the project helped establish SMART classes at three government schools in slum/semi-urban areas of Bangalore, a SPLASH Center in the neighboring area to support these three schools and created a volunteering program for Aryaka employees to participate in change, firsthand.

The project directly contributes to SDG 4 - quality education.

iStar - Improving Success through Academic Readiness

The Improving Success through Academic Readiness (iStar) project was supported by Jindal Steels Limited in the Jajpur district of Odisha between 2016 and 2018.

The iStar project was implemented to enhance the learning levels of the most marginalized and at-risk children in four villages of Danagadi Block in the Jajpur district, through quality early childhood education and non-formal education. We also included non-formal education sessions for out-of-school children and potential drop-outs through customized learning interventions with a focus on improving reading skills.

We established Library and Reading Corners with age-appropriate teaching and learning materials at the child-friendly educational Centers to help children develop and enjoy reading. Teachers were trained on reading improvement programs, classroom processes, development of session plans for teaching children.  We also provided the children with uniforms.

Overall, the iStar addressed the learning needs of 200 children aged 3 – 5 years in pre-schools and 150 children in the age group of 6-14 in the centers established in four villages - Baligotha, Trijanga, Kantipur, and Kiapada in the Jajpur district.

The project directly contributed to SDG 4 - Quality Education.

Vidya  Towards Quality Primary Education

Vidya is an initiative that ensures quality primary education by strengthening the capacity of teachers and School Management Committees, creating a conducive atmosphere in the classroom, and encouraging community participation in schools.

The project was implemented in close collaboration with the local government to help primary school children in Ranka block of Garwa district and Satbarwa block of Palamu district in Jharkhand achieve grade-appropriate learning levels in language and math.

Through Vidya, ChildFund India worked with 80 schools, reaching more than 7,000 primary school children, and trained close to 245 government school teachers and 800 community members. Community members in the catchment area of the 80 schools will benefit from an increasing awareness of education.

Reading for Leading

Reading Improvement Program

The Reading Improvement Program (RIP) project, supported by Fullerton India Credit Company Limited, was implemented in the Alwar and Khairtal districts of Rajasthan, between 2015 and 2018. The project aimed at enhancing the reading and writing skills among children in the age group of 6-13 years.

Under the project, ChildFund established “Anandshala”- a Child Learning Centers in 13 Government schools and trained community education facilitators to maintain the Anandshalas and facilitate learning activities. The Facilitators aided learning activities which included opportunities for children to work individually, in pairs, and groups, with text. ChildFund created a wide range of context-specific teaching-learning materials for the children.

The project reached out to 3,118 children through 13 Anandshalas. Due to the interventions, we observed a 31% increment in reading ability contributed by the reading improvement project, while we also observed improvement in areas such as reading habits, attendance, etc.

The project directly contributed to SDG 4 - Quality Education.

Mobile Library

Mobile Library project, aims to improve the literacy skills of marginalized children between the ages of 6-14 years from 4-5 primary & middle government schools in 4-5 villages in Chandankyari Block of Bokaro District, Jharkhand to encourage them to become life-long readers.

The mobile library was equipped with curated, age-appropriate, and context-relevant books (bilingual, vernacular, and English), teaching materials, and other educational materials along with provisions for video screening.  The children were regularly engaged in reading thanks to the sessions held by the librarian.

After the project, 45% of children increased their interest in reading, 99% of children accessed mobile library facilities, 3,325 books were issued to children, and 13 Children’s Reading Clubs were formed. The program also engaged the parents and School Management Committee members and capacitated on their roles & responsibilities along with teachers and government officials from Education Department.

The project directly contributes to SDG 4 - quality education and SDG 16 – peace, justice, and strong institutions.

Early Childhood Education

Safe and Stimulating Anganwadi (SASA)

ChildFund with the support from Bernard van Leer Foundation implemented the Safe and Stimulating Anganwadi (SASA), in New Delhi, intending to develop/implement a comprehensive and holistic set of “child-friendly” guidelines at two pilot Anganwadis in the slum areas between July 2017 and Feb 2018.

In the eight months, the SASA project was able to provide a better quality of care and education to nearly 200 children aged 0-6 years. The two selected Anganwadi centers have improved their quality of care after they were equipped with the necessary teaching, learning, and play materials along with provision for hygiene and safe drinking water materials. Parents and caregivers have been sensitized about the importance of the role of parents in enhancing their children’s learning ability, which has improved their participation in their children's upbringing.

The project directly contributed to SDG 4 - Quality Education and SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation.

Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS)

The Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED), Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi conducted a project on “Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS)” with the support from UNICEF, in 2017.

The project brought together professionals and organizations working with early childhood education and development to collectively work towards the development of nationally accepted and culturally appropriate early learning and development standards for the young children of the country.

ChildFund supported CECED in conducting the study in Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh; the organization helped the CECED develop and translate the tools for the pilot and conducted the on-ground survey amongst 1140 adults and 360 children in the age group of 3-6 years covering six blocks in Palamu (Rural) area and five wards in Ranchi (urban) area, respectively.

Back to School

Promoting Access and Continuity in Education (PACE)

The project - Promoting Access and Continuity in Education (PACE)- was funded by Kavlifondet, a Norwegian foundation, and Barnfonden, a Swedish member of the ChildFund Alliance. It was implemented from January 2018 to December 2019 in Kotra Block of Udaipur district, Rajasthan to mobilize the community for the promotion of continuation of education if children; strengthening the Community-Based Learning Centres (CBLCs) through training teachers and school management committees, community-based organizations, and local self-governance and developing effective educational workbooks, teacher handbooks, etc.

At the end of the project in 2019, we reached almost 1,000 children. Our interventions have helped 52% of the out-of-school children to be mainstreamed in government schools and 93% of children were enrolled in the five CBLCs. More than 75 CBLC committee members were actively participating in advocacy efforts of the Right to Education Act and 384 Panchayati Raj Institution members reported an increase in skills regarding leadership, networking, and advocacy.

The project directly contributes to SDG 4 - quality education and SDG 16 – peace, justice, and strong institutions.

Community-based Learning Centres (CBLCs)

ChildFund implemented the Community based Learning Centers (CBLCs) project in partnership with Barnfonden, (Childfund Sweden) to improve the literacy skills of children in the age group of 6 to 14 years, between 2016 and 2018, in the Kotra block of Udaipur District in Rajasthan.

The project aimed to reintegrate children into formal education with CBLCs serving as an alternative basic education facility for children within their own communities. At the end of the project, a total of 171 drop-out students were re-enrolled in the neighboring government schools, and 71 children from CBLCs were enrolled for the first time in the two schools. Additionally, 575 children's literary skills had improved significantly.

Overall, there is a significant improvement in children’s learning levels, perception of community members about education, and creating a conducive learning environment in intervention schools.

Looking at the success of the CBCL project, Barnfonden and ChildFund initiated a 2-year project in 2019, wherein five new CBLCs have been set up beyond the boundaries of a regular classroom. These CBCLs were managed and monitored by the communities themselves, equipped with age and grade-appropriate learning materials and properly trained instructors who took care of the learning and developmental needs of the tribal children.

The project directly contributes to SDG 4 - quality education and SDG 16 – peace, justice, and strong institutions.

Higher Education

UDAAN - Higher Education for Girls

Project Udaan was supported by ChildFund Deutschland (Germany) to support young women from deprived, urban poor households across Bengaluru since March 2018. Until the project's completion in October 2020, the project supported 52 exceptional girl students, from marginalized backgrounds, to pursue higher studies of their choices so that they have access to better opportunities in life.

Through the project, we also conducted career guidance workshops 456 students from five government school and colleges in Bangalore, conducted Life Skills training sessions for 1160 students from government schools, and ensured that all these students can develop confidence, can do goal setting, adapt to the changing environment and take decisions to choose viable careers. Additionally, we created awareness among the parents and communities about the rights of a girl child to have access to education.

The project directly contributes to SDG 4 - quality education.