01 Feb 2016 - 31 Jan 2017
01 Feb 2016 - 31 Jan 2017
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 up to 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 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 project completed its fourth year with support from Oxfam India and second year with supports from OHK. Now APCL is planning for its fifth year with supports from Oxfam India. The project has been satisfactorily progressed towards promoting the provisions under RTE Act focusing on underprivileged communities. In the last few years of its implementation, the project recorded many milestones. Formation and strengthening of School Chalo Behna and Srijan Chaupal at the community level were recognized as the most successful intervention in the project area. 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.
Quotes of Beneficiaries:
Rakesh Kumar, Teacher “Beta Beti Ek Saman, Sabko Mile Siksha Samman”. Bringing children to school gives me inner satisfaction.
Case Studies/Human stories:
“School chalo Bahna changed my life as a Change Agent”, Neha Kumari
Neha kumari is one of the School Chalo Bahna Volunteer. She is just a 13 year old girl studying in class 9th of High School Sarai, Danapur block of Patna district. Her father’s name is Sri Papu Saw who is a daily labourer. She lives in Hatiyakandh village of Hatiyakandh Panchayat of Danapur block.
She is very quiet and committed girls who make lots of effort to get the un-enrolled and drop out girls back to school. Last year she has motivated 18 girls and this year also she is performing excellent and she encourages girls to join the school.
One of the positive things about her is that she gets full support from her parents and relatives. Her mother says about her that she is very shy but she always think of studies and whenever she finds that her sister are not performing she guides her. Neha just not only guide her sister but she also guides the girls she has motivated to join the school. She does not speak much but her motivating skill is excellent that’s why she is able to motivate girls. After the news of scholarship for all students she was very happy and told that now she can motivate more girls because everybody will receive scholarship.