Saturday, July 30, 2011

Phase-II trainings given to Right track, Kolkata

In Bengali training session
       On 4th July, 2011 Primary Supervisor, Prosanto Mondal and Master Trainer, Gopal Mondal went for a follow up visit to the 4 centres of Right Track ( a Kolkata based NGO). These centres were mainly for the drop out slum children and also for the weaker children who were less interested in the studies.
       Teachers of the centres took Phase-I training from us. That was held on 6th Dec, 2010 and was ended on 10th Dec, 2010. We had seen some remarkable development after being trained. The second phase training was held at Swanirvar on 26-28th July, 2011. 8 teachers from different centres of Right Track participated in that training.
       There were two fold objectives – 1. How to deals with the dropouts and bringing them into main stream.. 2. Dealing with weaker children.
        We tried to make the trainees understand that to bring the dropouts into main stream they might have to bring into a system that would bring integrity in their students mind and life. We taught them a number of games so that they could use these in classroom. It had been seen that games brought joyfulness in learning.
        They were given modules by which children could get an idea on his/her’s surroundings. Through these they would be able to communicate better with the societies. Gradually they would feel inquisitive on study. Another main objective was to deal with the weak students. We gave training on classroom management and identification of advance and weak students, taking special care for weak children and children with disabilities.
In Math session
        In these Phase-II training session they were given also given trainings on Bengali ( Class-III & IV- Total syllabus)- more stress given on story telling , making story from picture, making picture from story and poem etc, use of Audio visual and methodology on teaching grammar, etc. Mathematics (class-III –IV Total syllabus)- more stress – LCM, HCF, fractions etc and learning through TLMs. Science (Class-III –IV) - classifications of living and non livings, flora and fauna, many hand held experiments, maps making etc. Art & Craft- origami, drawings, group drawings, greetings cards making etc.

** To get detailed training module – contact Primary Supervisor, Prosanto – 09732829202 (M)..

Friday, July 29, 2011

Disciplinary Committee in Zakir Hossain High School:

Swanirvar run 14 per-primary and 4 primary schools. We also gave regular imputs to many ICDS, Sishu Siksha Kendra and Govt Primary schools. One of our main activities was to motivate students to form committees in schools with the responsibilities of cleanliness, Drinking water, sport, library, cultural activities etc.
We also gave inputs to 21 High Schools on Environment Science. We persuaded the Headmasters and Head mistress of these institutions about the importance of student committees in Classroom management as well as school management. We motivated the students and now in many schools student’s committee with the responsibilities of cleanliness, cultural, news, sports, environment management and disciplinary had been formed.
Zakir Hossain High School (one of our partner High School) had a major problem in classroom management. Most of the upper class students (class-IX-X) left the school during the Tiffin time on regular basis. They left the school to take the tuition during the school hour. Another problem was the use of cell phone in the classes. Most of the student brought their cell phones and many of them stated ringing during the class time. That made huge distraction and chaos.
At this situation, the Headmaster discussed with the disciplinary committee members. He requested the committee members to intervene and to stop school leaving during the tiffin time; he also requested them to persuade all the students not to use cell phone in school premises.
The disciplinary committee members persuaded the all the students not to leave school without proper reason. They identified the students who leave during the tiffne time and hold a counseling session with them. They also put posters in each class on the prohibition of cell phone use in the school premises. Presently, the unauthorized school leaving had been reduced remarkable and no one was using cell phone in school.
In the follow up meeting, the Headmaster expressed his gratitude to the student committee members also thanked Swanirvar for motivating the students to form such committees.

Reported by:
Samir Biswas
Tel: 9732574947

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A silent change in a under privilege village life

          Swanirvar, a non Government Organization started its journey from 1990. In the initial days, Swanirvar experimented for several years as to how education could be made enjoyable and how to unleash the creative potential of children. Experiments had been carried out to make education relevant to the immediate context of the rural children, encourage them to ask questions and evaluate them in such a way that it helped them to grow rather than feeling small.

In mid 1990, we carried out a survey on the primary and pre-primary children of Chandalati Village under Kolsur Gram Panchayat of Deganga Block. At that time, Chandalati was famous for supplying Arsenic affected patient to the city hospital. 95% of the total population was Muslim and living below the poverty limit. We found that most of the parents were illiterate and had no much interested in education. At that situation, we started a learning centre, ‘PATHABHABAN’ in that village. We had five objectives behind this:

1. To assist the poor and weaker children in their studies.

2. To use local and available materials as teaching – learning materials

3. To make them aware on local history, geography and culture.

4. To encourage the creative activities amongst the children.

5. To bring an environment so that the student got the values of Education (group activity, tolerance, morality etc)

Our PATHABHABAN model became very popular. In 1992, we converted PATHABHABAN into a pre-primary school (for class I-IV). Vikramshila Education Resource Society gave us initial trainings to our teachers. We never gave stress to the regular syllabus, but we gave more stress on learning from the surroundings. From 1996, a new primary department started in that school. The difference of our school is listed below:

Activities in Govt. School:
• Syllabus oriented – classroom based teaching.
• No classroom decoration- no use of chart, poster in the classroom.
• Inadequate use of Teaching Learning Materials( TLMs)
• No sitting plan, use of benches in most of the schools – no group activities
• Teachers don’t encourage – creative activities like singing, dancing, drama, painting etc
• In many schools, special days are being celebrated but these are not planned by the student, they have very minimum role in school programme.
• No library facility.
• No strategy for managing the advance and weaker students and student with physical and mental difficulties.
• Most of the schools do not have sufficient teachers in comparison with student numbers.
• School in-charge (head of the school) are busy with non-academic activities throughout the year.
• Teachers get trainings but the new methods are not introduced due to lack of follow up and motivation by the superiors.
• Parents are not involved in the Education system.

Activities in our School:
• Adequate no of TLMs in the classroom and use of TLMs.
• Group activities.
• Learning local History, Geography and Environment and culture. Map making, survey etc
• Decorated classroom- use of chart poster in the classroom
• Encourage in paintings, dancing, drama and all kind of cultural activities, Sahitya sabha, wall painting, etc.
• Hand held experiments in science classes.
• Separate class room for – English study.
• Children committees for cleanliness, library, drinking water & sanitation, sports, notice board, etc.
• Special days celebrating by the children.
• Involving parents and ex-students by regular meetings and workshops.
• Pen friendship with local and international schools.
• Special class on Art & Craft.
• Annual sports, field trip etc
• Regular writings by the children
• Use of Audio-visual equipments in the classes.
• Workshop with teachers; teachers empowerment trainings
• Regular follow up, cross visit etc child to child approach
• Special attention for the advance and weak children.

From 1996 to till this year, more than 500 students had come out from that village and its surrounding hamlets. In, June 2011 we made a review committee to analyze the impacts of our activities and its effects on the societies. We had found the followings:
1. The students learnt many hand held activities in school, like measurement, survey, seed collection etc. They had found its applications in their life. Most of them are now farmers or doing business. They had found the utility of measurement, survey etc in their life.
2. We had regular cultural activities, Sahitya Sabha in our school. Now some of our students had become famous in High Schools and colleges for their creative writings and singing.
3. There were sessions on drawings, map makings etc in the schools. Our students who are now in high schools, colleges and in Universities had expressed the usefulness in their future studies.
4. We had children committees in our school and these committees had specific roles and responsibilities. Some of our students who are now in active politics and are representing their societies have found its usefulness. Most of our ex-students had claimed that they did not have any toilets in their homes but they had forced their parents to make latrine with help of local Panchayat. They were inspired by the cleaning committee programme.
5. Chandalati was a Muslim dominated village. There was a social prohibition on playing drums and music and dancing, etc. But school had helped them to come out from these barriers. Presently, many of our students who were now in high schools and colleges were regularly performing dance, drama and playing drum etc Some of them were representing their present institutions, too.
6. Our ex-students also told that they were helping the younger brother and sisters in their studies. Some of them also take classes in our schools.
7. One of our main successes was to involve the parents in education system. We gave more stress on local history, Geography and Environment studies. The students got the data from their parents that had made the parents more inquisitive on school education. Many parents came in the parents meetings and also were involved in the workshops. We made such an environment in these meetings and workshops so that a so call illiterate mother also got scope to covey her opinions in the meetings.

Reported by:
Evaluation Team, Swanirvar