Protective, Effective N Context-based Initiation of Learning
Education is a fundamental right of every child guaranteed by Indian laws under the Right to Education Act, which mandates schools to provide free and quality education to children aged between 6 and 14 years. However, according to the National Sample Survey Organization’s 2017-18 report, about 3.22 crore children remain out of school in the country.
The program interventions are designed to help children attain age-appropriate learning outcomes and enhanced SEL skills:
Preparing for School
Providing for early childhood development, our intervention ‘transforms government child care centers (Anganwadis) into dynamic learning spaces, where we prepare young children (3-6 year olds) for school. Vibrant Early Childhood Centers are equipped with state-of-the art facilities and services, including the best teaching practices, required for children’s optimum development.
Inspiring Imagination with Books
The Reading for Leading intervention works towards building literacy skills, both reading and writing, of children belonging to deprived, excluded and vulnerable communities. Through this, we stimulate a multilingual learning environment and a culture of reading by proactively involving parents, teachers, and communities in reading to and with children. Also, we ensure that access to learning is more democratized by creating and providing a rich children’s literature assortment in form of books in local languages. In tandem with the National Education Policy 2020, we are in the process of developing content in 36 different languages, including dialects and tribal languages. ChildFund India’s another intervention ‘Child-friendly School Libraries’ facilitates a thriving learning environment in schools and communities by creating reading spaces in form of libraries in schools.
Empowering with Socio-emotional Skills
Socio-emotional learning (SEL) is fundamental to support healthy human development. Our intervention SEL benefits children and young people by equipping them with skills to positively navigate, manage emotional processes and form respectful relationships. To ensure SEL is effective in schools and communities, ChildFund India trains master trainers, project staff, and most importantly, parents, making them understand the socio-emotional needs of children.
So far, we have sensitized and trained 48 master trainers, 87 education facilitators and 1009 parents as peer educators, to raise awareness in the community. Also, we facilitate SEL through different child engagement platforms including Child Parliaments, Child Club, Baal Sabha, and so on, to help children express their views, thoughts, ideas and emotions.
Pacing with Digitization – Smart Classes
This addresses the need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. In smart classes, digitally interactive learning material for children in grade 6 and above are provided to aid robust critical thinking, problem-solving, and encourage an innovative attitude. Also, ChildFund India has set-up science and math laboratories in various schools to develop practical knowledge and understanding of the subjects for students.
Improving Access and Retention
Out of School to Back to School
ChildFund India’s “Back to School” initiative helps 6-14 year olds out-of-school children to get back to education by addressing social, geographical, and learning environment-related barriers that they face in accessing school education. Through community-led advocacy and linkages to government programs, we provide psycho-social support to children and train teachers to integrate them into formal schools. Besides, this initiative helps children bridge learning gaps by having an option to attend special classes. We support teachers by building their capacities, and promote a sharing and learning culture through activity-based and scientifically proven pedagogical approaches.
Supporting Retention and Transition
Special Support for School Retention and Transition conducts special support classes for children who face difficulties in transitioning to higher grades due to low learning levels. The intervention not only supports children to improve their academic performance but also helps those who face financial constraints, with school admission and examination fees. In addition, we also provide necessary educational material such as notebooks, guidebooks and so on.
Ensuring Smooth Transition to Higher Education
ChildFund India’s High School Education Program supports children to make a successful transition from elementary school to higher education by strengthening school’s governance and helping children to access quality education, while addressing a high percentage of school dropouts. In the past year, we reached out to hundreds of youths through counselling sessions to spread awareness, give career guidance, and conduct life skill sessions across 9 districts of Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, which helped them to transition back to the mainstream education system.
Supporting Beyond Schools
In collaboration with NIOS and SIOS, ChildFund India also facilitates open education under the intervention ‘Open Education Program’ for school dropouts and children with low competency and learning ability. In 2019-20, NIOS examinations were facilitated for 68 youth from Jharkhand and Odisha. Also, our intervention Youth Support provides academic guidance and life skills, financial and other related support to the youth. Youth Support collaborates with government departments, universities, and colleges to facilitate scholarships and placements for students of marginalized communities.
PENCIL contributes towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote learning opportunities for all.