Association for Promotion of Creative Learning (APCL)

Project Theme

Education

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2015 - 31 Jan 2016

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Introduction

In 2009, the Government of India passed the historic Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. It prescribes for free and compulsory education of reasonable quality, based on principles of equity and non-discrimination to all children upto elementary education (8 years) in the age group of 6-14 years. This right is related to free and compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education. Bihar has done good work so far as access to schools is concerned. However, the critical issue of drop out especially of excluded communities and girls needs to be addressed. 

It has been found that the issue of social and cultural exclusion plays an important part in educational exclusion of children leading to dropping out of the school system.  The pedagogy also plays a major role in the psychological association and learning achievement of children in the school system as prescribed under RTE. It has been found that due to various factors many children face many types of learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), etc. If not attended during the course of learning process in the school, it leads to less achievement of children in the school and at times it leads to dropping out as well. These learning difficulties are critically associated in the context of socio-economic environment of the school, family and society of the child. Tackling the problem of learning difficulties is a necessary step towards ensuring quality of education in school.

Another problem is the issue of tracking of implementation of educational rights at the ground level. It is important to note that PRIs have been entrusted with the task of monitoring and implementation of RTE. However, PRIs are not empowered enough to tackle the complex issues of RTE provisions.  

Government has introduced reservation of women and SC, ST, and other OBCs in PRIs and local bodies as an intervention for empowerment of weaker sections and excluded communities. However, due to lack of awareness the full advantage of RTE has not percolated down to the excluded communities despite their representation in political process.

APCL has been working with excluded communities for a long time. In fact, the organisation was born out of desire to develop a learning system conducive for concerns of excluded community. As excluded community were very good at creative skills, it was thought proper to design learning system which can promote creativity. Thus the organization started working for promotion of creativity and innovative education suitable for education of excluded community. It has developed large number of teaching learning materials particularly from the view point of development of creativity among children of excluded society. It has developed a separate pedagogy for SC children based on multiple intelligence. It has published a book called ‘Abhivanchiton Ka Shikshadhikar’ (Right of Education for Underprivileged). It has also developed special indicators for identifying status of educational rights of different groups. Based on these indicators it has identified the vulnerability of social groups with respect to their educational rights. It has also developed special pedagogic corrections to meet the needs of excluded communities. It has developed special Teaching Learning Materials for developing learning motivation in children of excluded community. APCL has been running Shabari Ashrams, a centre for community intervention for educational empowerment of children in underprivileged particularly Musahar (SC) habitations of Patna and Darbhanga Districts of Bihar.

 

The Project: 

The project aims to increase people’s access and control to quality, universal and inclusive elementary education in the public education system in Danapur Block of Patna District. 

It proposes to address the problem by making people aware about their rights and providing a forum to articulate their grievances and concerns. The Rights Bell has been envisaged to become a mobile platform to capture such grievances and concerns. It is also proposed to develop a peer-group network of girls (called School Chalo Bahina or Come to School Sister) to out-of-school children to go back to school. It will also provide home and institutional support to so-called low achievers in the present schooling system. The project also proposes to develop Report Cards of the Panchayat to do advocacy for proper implementation of educational rights. The project would also set up a resource centre for inclusive learning.

The project is extended to cover 13 villages from 02 Panchayats in Danapur Block of Patna District. The GER at Primary level of Danapur block is only 79%, whereas NER is only 70%. The repetition rate is 12.60%. In Danapur block 1714 children in the age group of 6-14 years are out of school of which 879 are boys and 835 are girls. 343 children of SC community are out of school out of which 148 are boys 195 are girls. The block which has got a very high density of population of excluded community of SC including Musahars, EBCs and Minorities. It does not have the population of Forward community. There is wide disparity among privileged and underprivileged communities. Though schools have been opened in the neighborhood, and admission has been taken children are not able to continue due to various kinds of learning constraints. Most of the children are first generation learners. Dropout rate is extremely high especially in girl child.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To establish a resource centre which works as a model centre for ensuring better access  and control over institution by the community for effective implementation of RTE.
  • To support children with learning difficulties and low achievers for the socialization and rehabilitation in the education system.
  • To develop/strengthen network of like minded CSOs working on RTE and advocate effective implementation of RTE including critical pedagogic changes.

 

The Impact:   

  • The campaign of ‘School Chalo Bahina’ (SCB) was intended to capitalize the peer pressure to mobilize out of school children back to school. It has proved to be a great success. So far 52 volunteers have been identified from the community. Till date they got success in sending 114 students to continuing their studies in school. They also support their peers in learning, if the student is not performing or facing any difficulty. 
  • During the visit of ‘Adhikaar Ki Ghanti’ 56 complains have been collected from the community. The complaints are forwarded to concern department for further action. 
  • During the year the accepting the local language dictionary by SCERT and the state was one of the big achievements of the advocacy intervention. 
  • State Resource Centre (SRC) was established in the first year of project implementation. It has helped in supporting the ongoing movement on Right to Education. The resource centre provides technical and academic support. To support low scoring children by removing their learning difficulty, APCL have developed two teaching learning materials one on language learning material and another on mathematics. They have been advocating and promoting use of the local language in teaching learning process. This year SCERT has published a local language dictionary. It is a major achievement and landmark for the education of the underprivileged communities and 5 schools out of 16 are upgraded as per Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan norms. 
  • In one of the state level workshop with SCERT resulted in acceptance of the advice to include teaching about agriculture to the children in school.
  • Scholarship and uniform distribution was on time for 84 children and this has happened die to project intervention.
  • 8 (Male- 6 and Female-2) drop out children were mainstreamed in Shikarpur school from project intervention.
  • State level media advocacy on RTE status and focus on grievance redressal mechanism has taken place.
  • More than lakh grievances under RTE Act were collected and a report was shared at state and to all the 38 districts to District Magistrates to take action on the same.

 

Quotes of Beneficiaries: Dinesh Prasad Sharma, Teacher “ Education is the mirror of society. Every person should be literate to drive the society in a right direction”.

Case Studies/Human stories: 

Arti Kumari, 14 years old, studying in std 9th from Shikarpur village is a first generation learner. She has two sisters and a brother. Her father is the only breadwinner in the family. The family is of joint type and includes altogether 9 members. Total income of the family is not enough to take care of the each one in the family. She wants to do something good for her family and make a better society, where everyone gets educated as its very important in today’s context be literate and knowledgeable.

Agriculture is the main source of income of the family. Her family lists in the category of BPL list. Her dedication towards education has given her a new face in her society.

After the inclusion in the school chalo behan campaign group, she started going to school. She was supported by the group members, staffs of APCL as well as later the parents also came in support when she started performing well in her class. Besides performing good he clas, she started taking interest and along with school chalo behan campaign group members, she went door to door and spread ethe messagfe of importance of education with a focus on girl child education. She was able to convince the parents to send their children to school including mainstreaming drop outs back to school.