Design & test administrative systems
Administration and Advocacy
It is independently inadequate to build the capacity of actors if the system is not ready for the change. Our interventions follow a two-fold design approach:
1] Design & test administrative systems that facilitate and support positive change
2] Advocate for adoption for easily implementable systems that bring about significant change
We imagine restructured systems and what behaviour would be like within them. What if a class was graded as a group rather than individuals? What if History and Geography lectures were combined and children studied why certain geographies were picked for historic battles? What if assessments focused on assistance rather than accountability?
Advocate for adoption
We support supervisors to facilitate learning circles every month for all 20 Anganwadi workers (AWW) who report to them. Led by the Supervisor, each learning circle is a combination of capacity building by the supervisor and sharing of best practices by Anganwadi workers. Protocols are laid down for the discussion of education in monthly review meetings to create a culture of collaboration and peer learning. The aim is to increase motivation through knowledge sharing and to build leadership capacity among the different stakeholders in the system. We are currently in the process of setting up such learning circles in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Karnal, Haryana.
Preparing Anganwadis for Learning (P.A.L.) and a few other Anganwadi interventions were presented to the Chief Minister’s Office in Haryana. It stated the need to increase focus on pre-primary education and the presented interventions were responsible for the State mandating each district to allocate a budget for Early Childhood Education (ECE) training of Anganwadi workers in 2018. Our focus for the year 2019 is to ensure allocation of this budget in Karnal, Haryana.
Through a district wide intervention, the focus on ECE at different levels–anganwadi worker, supervisor, district and state– increased.
Anganwadi staff participating in Capacity Building
Anganwadi workers in Karnal leading the ice breaker
Anganwadi Worker showcasing best practices
Access to Education
Students in the rented apartment
9 tribal children graduated from One Star Public School of 8th standard and through a competitive exam, meritoriously secured admission in Utkrisht School of Excellence. This is one of the few schools in Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh that has access to the internet, a library and other basic facilities required for a school to provide a conducive learning environment. Their education is fully funded for the next four years from class 9-12. However, the students landed in a situation where despite an admission, they wouldn’t be able to attend school. The students live 180 km away from the school. The government has constructed hostels of children belonging to OBC and SC category, but have not built a hostel for ST students. Our 9 students belong to the ST category and were being denied the right to stay in any of the other hostels for ‘not fitting the bill’. The students had worked hard to gain this opportunity which provided a chance for a markedly better future for them and their families, and were severely heartbroken due to this case of tribal discrimination.
Students proudly standing outside Utkrisht School of Excellence
To ensure that the children don’t lose out this opportunity we first rented an apartment which was at a walking distance away from the school. Many people came forward to support these students. Simultaneously, we lobbied with the local panchayat, district administration and State department (Bhopal) to address the root of this recurring problem. Our advocacy brought to the attention of the government that the right of the children to a hostel was being neglected and as a result many tribal students were denied admission in the government model school – Utkrisht, Dewas. Constructing the hostel would take a minimum of 2-3 years and so in the interim, we lobbied for a building to be rented as a hostel. This was successful and the government sanctioned a budget to rent a building until the official hostel is constructed. This building is open to ALL students who have not obtained a seat in the existing hostels, that is, it is open to OBC, SC, ST and general category, thus solving the problem systemically.
Students outside the hostel
Students preparing for mid-term exams
Students hanging around in Utkrisht School