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SHIKSHA-SNF launched SHIKSHA+ at Mathura District jail


Creating another bench mark, SHIKSHA-SNF launched its SHIKSHA + program in the Mathura district jail of Uttar Pradesh on 6th November, 2019 after the successful operation and being highly appreciated by jail authorities in Gautam Buddh Nagar and Bulandshahr district jails of Uttar Pradesh.

The program started with the two days training of the master trainers on 23-24 October, who are literate inmates, willing to take up the responsibility of making other inmates literate through ICT enabled adult literacy program. The training was imparted by the SHIKSHA + training team. Trained inmates will work as facilitator of the program and will successfully deliver the program and simultaneously will capture the learning outcomes of the program. The operations of the program will be monitored by the continuous visits of the SHIKSHA Initiative team.

On the launch of the program the Jail Superintendent Mr. Shailender Kumar Maitrey, welcomed and appreciated the action taken by the SHIKSHA Initiative team to make the inmates literate. Addressing inmates, he said that it’s a great opportunity to become literate
and motivated them to attend SHIKSHA + classes regularly with dedication. Mr. Arvind Pandey(Jailer), Mr. Raj Kumar (Jailer) and Mr. Sandeep Kumar (Deputy Jailer), and from SHIKSHA Initiative Mr. Robin Sarkar (Project Director), Mr. Lalitendra Bhartiya (Project
Manager), Mr. Vijay Anand Verma (Adult Literacy Head) and Mr. Ram Lakhan (Resource Coordinator) marked their presence on the launch of the program.

“I am quite confident program will be beneficial in this premises as well, as it had been proved in other two jails. And I extend my heartiest gratitude to Jail Superintendent and administration to initiate this program in an engaging manner”, said Mr. Sarkar.

Tree plantation drive at Sitapur

Showing its commitment towards conserving the environment, Shiksha Initiative launched a massive tree plantation drive in 6 blocks of Sitapur from 31st August-15th September,2019. Mr. Ajay Kumar, BSA, Sitapur initiated the drive by planting the saplings in primary school, Daudpur and primary school, Maholi in the presence of the Block Education Officer Pushpendra Jain, Kasmanda and Shailendra Shukla, BEO Gondlamau, along with entire team of SHIKSHA-SNF led by Mr. Mayank Sinha, group project Manager, Shiksha-SNF. This year Shiksha-SNF has decided to distribute 3500 saplings to its intervening Government Primary Schools along with the villages where it is operating its adult literacy centers. Shiksha-SNF has also planted 500 saplings in Sitapur Jail. Students of grade 1 and 2, who are benefitting from ICT classes of Shiksha-SNF have taken the pledge to conserve the environment by taking care of the plants planted saplings. Learners from adult literacy centers also showed their commitment towards saving the environment by planting the trees and pleading to protect them.

Eye Check-up Camp in Centre of Excellence (CoE)

SHIKSHA+ is an adult literacy programme which uses an ICT approach to enhance the learning and instill learning retention among adults who have not attended a formal school. Learners in SHIKSHA+ platform vary in culture, age, socio-economic status, language, gender, ability/disability and personal interests. Age is a crucial factor in SHIKSHA+ that affect the learning of adults. Thus, in different instances, SHIKSHA+ learners have shared that due to their poor eyesight they face difficulty in studying. It is in this respect, SHIKSHA Initiative in collaboration with MAX Hospital organized a free eye checkup camp for SHIKSHA+ learners of Gautam Buddha Nagar. The objective of the camp is not just to provide eye checkup services but to create an environment where the learners gets sensitized about health issues.
About 396 (Male 185, Female 211) people of village Jaracha, Bishara, Noorpur, Hridyapur and Chhaulas have been examined. The heads of all the villages actively collaborated in smooth operation of the camp in their respective villages. The patients were examined by Dr. Shilpi Aggarwal and assisted by other technical staff. The camp was facilitated by Bhawana Sharma (Senior Field Officer), Seema Sisodiya (SHIKSHA+ Instructor), Ramlakhan (Senior Field Officer), Sandeep Kumar (Field Officer) and Vijay Anand Verma (Adult Literacy Head).

Baal Diwas Celebrations at CoE

To tap the hidden talents of our little champs, SHIKSHA Initiative organized Baal Diwas celebration on 14th November 2017. The celebration started with a drawing competition followed by recitation competition for Grade I students. During recitation competition, the students were singing rhyme with actions. The adorable actions and drawing skills of our tiny tots left the audience amazed. Grade II students displayed their public speaking skills through a ‘show and tell’ competition followed by a creative writing competition. During the creative writing competition, students shared what they want to become in life. The students were full of enthusiasm and performed outstanding in all the activities. To celebrate the success of our students best three performers of each activity were identified, recognized and rewarded.

Mobilization Drive for SHIKSHA+ in CoE

Community mobilization is a key strategy to raise awareness and bring together as many stakeholders as possible for a programme. It helps people to identify their own needs, to respond to and be a part of the solution. Mobilization is a continual and cumulative process that strengthen community participation for sustainability and self-reliance as communities are empowered and capable of addressing their own needs.
SHIKSHA+ team organized mobilization drive in 8 different villages of Sikandrabad and Dadri block. Door to door mobilization, house visits, focus group discussions, referrals from Panchayat leaders were some of the major tools employed for mobilizing the adults. As a result, it encourages collaboration between the community and SHIKSHA staff promoting local ownership and decision making.

SHIKSHA+ 1st Batch of Male Learners in Sitapur

First male batch with 8 SHIKSHA+ learners has been formed in village Maheshpur of Gram Panchayat Kaima. It was an achievement for the field team to convince male members to attend the classes as it involved numerous challenges. The foremost challenge for them was to overcome the apprehension of being stigmatised.
The other noteworthy challenge for them, was to manage time to be engaged in the programme since they are primarily engaged in agricultural activities.
A counselling session was conducted by the field team before registration in order to enable the aspirants to make an informed choice. Significance of education was communicated with them during number of community mobilization visits and the same was reiterated during the counselling sessions. The aforesaid enabled the team to incentivise eligible learners to enrol themselves in the centres.
After their successful enrolment the time of class was decided. The prospective learners shared that it would be difficult for them to attend a class after performing exhausting agricultural activity throughout the day. In response to the aforesaid, the respective instructors suggested that the classes could be conducted early in the morning. However, the suggestion was deemed infeasible since the learners start their agricultural activities in the morning. After the concerned instructor and field team interacted with the learners a conclusion to attend the class during the lunch hour was arrived at. Currently, the centre is in session during the lunch hours, however this group needs regular motivation and attention. From their past experience, team has learnt that the quality of candidates mobilized has a significant impact on the degree of retention during training.

Expansion of SHIKSHA Initiative in New Blocks of Sitapur

During October 2017, SHIKSHA Initiative expanded its operation to 5 blocks of Sitapur district, i.e. Biswan, Khairabad, Gondlamau, Sidhauli and Machhrehta. To initiate the process following activities were conducted:
– A meeting was held with the Hon’ble District Magistrate (DM) in order to formalise the approval for project expansion into 5 new blocks. The respected Chief Development Officer (CDO) communicated the formal approval to the officials and schools of these blocks on the behalf of the Hon’ble District Magistrate.
– Secondly, a list of schools in the range of 5Km with Kasmanda block with power supply, was provided by the respective Block Education Officer (BEO).
– Thereafter, a survey was conducted by the field team in order to discern the viability of successful ICT integration with the classrooms of the schools listed out by the BEO. A total of, 77 schools were surveyed in 5 blocks.
– In Khairabad block, an introductory meeting was held in the presence of the respective BEO and Block Development Officer (BDO), wherein the vision and mission of the SHIKSHA Initiative was clarified. They were familiarized with the prerequisites to the setting up of ICT integrated smart class. The meeting was led by Field Supervisor (FS) Zeeshan Ali and IT Support Engineer (ITSE) Chandan Kumar.

Chris Garrett’s Visit to Centre of Excellence

On 24th of August, 2017, SHIKSHA Initiative was privileged to facilitate a familiarisation tour in an effort to introduce Chris Garrett to various facets of SHIKSHA Initiative. Chris is one of the esteemed board members of Better World Ed (formerly reweave). The mission of Better World Ed is to overcome world’s big challenges by disseminating empathy among youths. During his visit to Bhagat Convent School, he was informed about the technology that SHIKSHA Initiative uses in the ICT integrated class rooms. He had the opportunity to spectate live teacher-student transaction in the ICT integrated class room. Subsequently, he was provided a panoptic overview of various operating procedures. He was apprised about the impact-measurement of SHIKSHA Initiative along the lines of various aspects Viz. Literacy level, content retention, attendance rate. The ways in which teachers are constantly supported and engaged were explained at Primary School Sarai Dula. Subsequently, Chris was informed about the parameters on which assessments are developed by SHIKSHA Initiative. Later, he visited one of the SHIKSHA+ centres at village Chhaulas, and witnessed an adult literacy session. After completion of the field visit, he experienced an attributes enhancement training of newly recruited SHIKSHA+ field instructors. During the visit Chris learned about the impact of social change brought about by SHIKSHA Initiative through the prism of its employees. He has expressed his interest in collaborating with SHIKSHA Initiative

Launch of SHIKSHA+ in Kasmanda

SHIKSHA Initiative has strategically intensified into adult literacy approach entitled as SHIKSHA+ that uses an ICT based methodology to teach the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic skills to illiterate adults who have not attended a formal school. With this objective, SHIKSHA+ was initiated in Kasmanda block of Sitapur district. Prior to it’s implementation, social mapping was done to encourage and help community to get directly involved in their development and to identify centre locations. Furthermore, focused group discussions were held with an objective to sensitize community on adult literacy. In total, 749 household surveys were done in 10 villages and 1070 adult learners were identified. Post identification of learners, pre-test was conducted of 103 learners to select and enroll candidates as per the eligibility criteria. Criteria like age, pre-test scores were considered while enrolling learners in the batch. Thus, 100 learners were enrolled in Batch 1 in 10 SHIKSHA+ centres who will undergo training for 90 days. Further, to ensure effective implementation of SHIKSHA+, 8 instructors have been recruited and trained with an intent to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge to impart learning.

Roshni Nadar’s Visit to SHIKSHA Enabled Schools of Kasmanda

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation, visited SHIKSHA enabled schools on March 1, 2017 in Kasmanda block of Sitapur district. The agenda of the visit was twofold i.e. to understand the current scenario, progress and implementation of the project and also to meet parents and SMC (School Management Committee) members. During the visit, she observed that learners were engaged with digital content and persistently involved in the learning process. Also, with technology and sound pedagogy of the content they were taking full interest and were also responding actively in the class. She emphasized that technology enabled learning has become an essential element in the area of education and can contribute to universal access to education.
Also, teachers shared that fostering digital literacy in the classroom help children to diversify the experience and knowledge to make learning more relevant and purposeful. She acclaimed the teachers for their understanding and acquaintance with the digital content in no time and appreciated teacher’s reception towards the content and the lesson plans provided by SHIKSHA.
Further, parents shared that they have seen positive change in the behavior of the children and they are extremely happy about it.
Lastly, interacting with the SHIKSHA team, she congratulated and appreciated the efforts of the team and said that in a short span, team has shown the tremendous growth and progress in the schools of Kasmanda.