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Continuation and Expansion of Elementary Education (CEEE)
Women Empowerment and Zari Training
Madrasa-Makhtab Intervention
Community Initiative in Addressing Rural Education
Residential  Bridge Course Camp
Training on  HIV/AIDS
Comprehensive & Reading Skill Development and Remedial Coaching Classes for Class VIII-XI under Ban Bandhu Kalyan Yojna

Residential  Bridge Course Camp




Project background

FACE organized residential bridge course camps for a period of 9 (nine) months under Education Guarantee Scheme & Alternative Innovative Education (EGS & AIE) component of SSA with support from district SSA office – JEP, Pakur to reach out to 100 Paharia girls children (a primitive tribe residing in the district) of the village Chappadanga located in the Pakur block of Pakur district.
Paharias are one of the most backward primitive tribes of India, who primarily thrive on forest product collection & farming. Education – as far as going to school is concerned has never been a priority area of these tribes. Reaching out to all children between age group of 6 to 14 yeas is one of primary aim of SSA. Hence, FACE felt the best option is to expose these children gradually to a school like atmosphere. Residential bridge camp was the appropriate option as it acts as a transit centre bridging the gap between the freedom based home atmosphere to a discipline based school atmosphere. It enabled the children to acquire some popular socially accepted behavior that a child is expected to follow in a formal school. RBC instilled discipline, attention, co-operative behavior, skills to manage time etc. among these tribal girls. Hence, FACE understood that RBCs were more than residential learning centers. It encompasses parameters like ushering in behavioral change among children, discovering strengths of each child, establishing linkage with Community, Schools & Government etc.
Like, RBCs, here in NRBCs also children are taught through an accelerated teaching learning process based on a condensed curriculum (Prayas) designed by JEPC, Ranchi within a specific time duration. The principles of multilevel teaching learning processes were adopted to address varied learning needs of girls of different age groups. A combined approach of group learning, peer learning and self study helped educators to manage classes better. Once the children acquired age appropriate minimum competencies they were mainstreamed in the local schools in their native villages.

Strength of the Programme


Process of Acclimatization

The tribal girls of Paharia community who once used to spend time moving in the forests collecting firewood were admitted to RBC that acted as a transit home or a satellite school. The success of the project lies in the fact that instead of focusing on academic aspects from initial days the tribal children were given enough space to get acclimatized to a routine based life. Unlike girls of other communities, these girls were more freedom loving, timid and came with lots of inhibitions. The camp tried to instill some much required behavioral traits among the girl children so that they can get better adjusted to the formal schools.

Incorporation of non scholastic activities

FACE took initiative to introduce many co-curricular activities like dance, drama, drawing, craft work, elocution. These activities were practiced daily in the centre as a therapy. It helped many of the girls to release their pent up feelings, express their hidden potentialities, unused energy through these activities. Often, children were made to perform these activities in front of audience (school teachers, community members, office staff) to build their confidence, give exposure to outer world.
Appreciation & recognition enhanced self esteem of these deprived girls.

Sound implementation of academic inputs

The educators of RBCs were able to successfully implement the principles of multi-level teaching learning method. It enabled us to address the multiple learning needs of girls within a short duration. Learning competency based group formation and movement of children between the groups as and when required helped the children to learn faster. Introduction of peer learning & self study enabled teachers to give time to learners with learning difficulties.

Understanding the Ethos of mainstreaming

Internalization of the fact that “mainstreaming” is not just admitting children to school but it includes various other parameters has made the project successful. Mainstreaming includes bringing forth behavioral change among the children, weaning away children from work, establishing linkage with the community, monetary and time adjustment of family members subsequent to the withdrawal of child laborers, considering the RBC as a feeder school to selected formal schools
where children would be mainstreamed, changing mind set of the teachers , post-mainstreaming adjustment by the children in routine based school life, retention of mainstreamed children in schools etc.


Impact of RBC

Change in the mindset of the community
Paharia tribal community who earlier had little faith in formal education started gaining it gradually. A willingness to send other siblings to school could also be noticed. Mothers gave importance to monthly parents meeting and attended it. They were impressed by the fact that their children were also able to read books, perform mainstream dances and recite poems in front of government officials. Some even started dreaming about how to give a secured life to their girls.

Withdrawal of children involved in labour

Many children who were involved in labour like mining (in stone quarries, coal mines) and bidi making were withdrawn by the parents from work to put them in RBCs. This radical change in the attitude of the parents deserves mention. As parents they started making sacrifices by taking up extra work, cutting expenditure during festivals. These facts prove that the community started having faith in the formal school system.

Belief in bridge course

The formal school teachers who earlier were apprehensive about the condensed curriculum–bridge course started believing in the fact that children can be made to acquire competencies with a short duration if taught scientifically applying correct teaching learning principles. Overage, having been not gone to school ever does not act as the impediment.
 

 

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