SAATH ASHA NON FORMAL EDUCATION PROGRAM PROJECT REPORT

July 2000 to June 2001

 

Background of Non Formal Education Program (NFEP)

 

SAATH had proposed a Non Formal Education Program (NFEP) aimed at improving the education status in the slums of Pravinnagar-Guptanagar in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat.

 

 

The goals of the project and changes planned were:

 

·         To support 11 slum residents as bare foot teachers;

·         To support  6 school rooms for NFEP Classes;

·         To prepare 3 – 5 year old children for primary schools;

·         To enable children attending primary school cope with formal curriculum so that they do not drop out of school;

·         To conduct education classes for non-school going children, especially girls;

·         To involve parents in the education of their children;

·         To increase literacy levels amongst adult residents.

·         To facilitate NFEP with Sakhi Mahila Mandal, a local Community Based Organization in Pravinagar-Guptanagar.

 

The main components of NFEP to attain the goals are:

 

1.      Educationists.

2.      Barefoot Teachers.

3.      Curriculum and Teaching Methods.

4.      Schoolrooms.

5.      Preschool Classes.

6.      Supplementary and Special Classes.

7.      Study Tours and Outings.

8.      Parental and Community Involvement.

 

The activities carried out to attain the project objectives during the period July 2000 to September 2000 are as follows:

 

1.      Educationists

 

One educationist coordinates the project.

 

2.      Barefoot Teachers.

 

There are six teachers in the Preschool Program and six teachers in the Supplementary Program. These 12 teachers conduct classes on a regular basis.

 

 

3.      Curriculum and Teaching Methods.

 

In the Preschool program, Saath has evolved a one-year curriculum based on the developmental stages of a child aged between 3-5 years specifically for the program.

 

Activities, which enhance learning as per these stages, are planned and conducted on a weekly basis. The activities include drawings, story telling, songs, games, visits and basic reading and writing skills. Teachers maintain individual files, which record the activities of the children. These records of children's growth are shown to parents during discussions and meetings.

 

In the Supplementary Classes, the curriculum adheres to the formal one. Teaching methods, differ greatly. In the NFEP, the project method in which the child relates with academic learning to practical application is widely used.

 

The curriculum in the special classes for non- – school going children and dropouts has flexibility to meet the varying learning levels of children. Innovative teaching aids, developed in NFEP are widely used.

 

 

4.      Schoolrooms.

 

There are separate schoolrooms for conducting NFEP. Presently there are three schoolrooms where the Preschool classes are conducted and two schoolrooms where the Supplementary classes and Special Classes are conducted.

 

Schoolrooms in the supplementary Program are shared to reduce costs. The formal schools attended by the children have classes for std. 1,2 & 3 in the morning and std. 4 & 5 in the afternoon. Supplementary Classes are arranged accordingly.

 

 

5.      Preschool Classes.

 

During the project report period, there were three separate Preschool Classes. About 90 children attend these classes every month (refer table … for details). Each class has two teachers. Theses classes begin at 11.00 AM and end at 2.30PM. Attention is given to the physical environment in these classes to make it conducive to joyful learning. Children are given nutrition supplements in these classes.

 

 

6.   Supplementary and Special Classes.

 

In supplementary classes children have opportunity to cope with their learning in the school, through its innovative and relevant methods.

 

Similarly, special classes are conducted with specifically designed curriculum for children who have never been to school or have dropped out of school. With special attention given to each child, innovative methods and psychological support brings self-confidence and self-esteem to the children. Three children have rejoined the formal education system.

 

The projects, which the children have worked on, are:

 

·                  Environments in jungles, desert and farms, Children in Std. 1,2 & 3 and in the non-school going/dropout classes participated in the project. The duration of the project was three weeks.

 

·                  Understanding the connection between land and growth of plants, fruits and vegetables. Children in Std. 4 & 5 and in the non-school going/dropout classes participated in the project. The duration of the project was three weeks.

 

 The project cycle includes, discussion, selection of project, implementation and review of learning.

 

7.  Study Tours and Outings.

 

This is an important aspect of the teaching methodology. Students get a chance to connect the classroom learning with a real life environment. The outings and study tours have been to Vasna Park, Temple, Law Garden, Pratapkunj Post Office, Saath Dispensary, Supplementary Classes, Tailor, Shoemaker, Painter, Sundervan, M J Library.

 

8.  Parental and Community Involvement.

 

This is an essential part of the Program. Parental involvement increases the psychological and material support for the child to cope with school, especially in circumstances where most children are either first or second-generation students. Teachers interact with parents in two ways. They regularly visit the children’s houses and have formal PTA meetings every three months.

 

Special training:

 

The training was organized for eight teachers who have joined the Education Program recently and had not been exposed to formal training.

 

The content of the training course included

·                  Constructive relationship between teachers and students

·                  Classroom environment

·                  Innovative teaching methods

·                  Encouraging and maintaining children’s interest in learning

 

The training was conducted at Himavan Hall, Paldi from 2nd to 4th November 2000.

 

The resource persons for the training were Ms Sarojben Verma of Development Activities, Social Service and Research, Ms Vasvi Sengupta from Crime Prevention Trust, Yaminiben Shah from Sarjan, Sayeedaben Valiullah from B. M. Institute and Suresh Ramanuj from Disha.

 

The guidelines for objective selection of students who can be given scholarships are being prepared and will be ready for announcement during this year.

 

Deviation

 

The major deviation from the project objectives has been to discontinue with Supplementary Classes for Standards 6 & 7. The reason was the difficulty in getting trained teachers and the fact that there are private tuitions in the slum, which are more popular.

 

Adult education program has not yet started because the regular working hours of teachers do not permit time for adult education classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenges/Progress seen in the last year and goals for next year.

 

The year activities in the NFEP have been satisfactory. Overall investment in education, in terms of money, time and materials has increased. This is reflected in the increasing portion of the family budget being spent on education.

 

Saath’s survey of May 1997 and December 2000 shows that the increase has been from Rs 108 per month to Rs 155 per month.

 

At the programme level, teachers are more capable and the involvement of parents is increasing. The number of students still shows a fluctuation. This is reflected in the amount of fees collected.

 

These are the goals for the next year. We want to form parents committees whose involvement in the education programme will be more direct and participatory. The parents committees will be consulted for content, timings, monitoring and financial management.

 

Another goal is the setting up of a formal school within Pravinagar-Guptanagar. Preliminary discussions indicate that parents are willing to pay fees if the education programme is formalised. During the year we will explore options for registration, funding, location and teacher training for this purpose.

 

Increasing capacities of teachers is an ongoing process. We are continuing with the basic training of enabling teachers understand children and on innovative teaching methods. These training have continued during the year. A special training course was conducted at Himavan, Paldi

 

Simultaneously, there is continuos ongoing capacity building of teachers for classroom management and programme management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A – Details of Education Programme from July 2000 to April 2001.

 

 

  Pre-school Classes:

 

PROJECT COMPONENTS

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

CLASSROOMS

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

TEACHERS

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

CHILDREN

56

71

71

74

81

81

83

58

61

59

OUTINGS

1

1

2

3

2

2

2

3

2

1

CELEBRATIONS

 

2

 

3

 

1

1

2

1

1

PARENTS MEETING

 

 

3

 

 

 

1

 

1

 

FEES COLLECTED

1380

1760

1985

1715

2075

2235

1700

1200

960

755[1]

 

 

 Supplementary and Special Classes

 

PROJECT COMPONENTS

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

JAN

FEB

MAR

CLASSROOMS

2

2

2

2

2

3

3

3

3

TEACHERS

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

2

2

CHILDREN

45

70

84

94

102

112

98

48

54

OUTINGS

1

1

1

 

 

1

1

1

2

CELEBRATIONS

 

 2

1

1

 

1

1

1

1

PARENTS MEETING

 

 

7

 

 

1

 

 

 

FEES COLLECTED

772

1035

1105

1322

1838

2619

1575

677

577

 

 

Special vacation classes were conducted in April and May 2001 as the government had closed schools fearing collapse of buildings after the earthquake. 131 children attended the classes in April and 140 in May. Fees amounting to Rs 1965 were collected in April and Rs 2100 in May.

 



[1] In April 2001, preschool classes were conducted for 15 days. Fees were charged for 15 days