Isha Vidhya commits to scale its Government School Adoption Program to reach an additional 10 Government schools in Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu. Ten schools (five Girls Higher Secondary schools and five co-educational Middle schools) have been selected based on a survey of willingness shown by the school Headmasters to support the program and availability of space to conduct the interventions. Specifically, Isha Vidhya will:
- Recruit five to ten teachers to fill existing teacher gaps.
- Recruit and train 35 to 40 new teachers to specifically teach struggling learners who currently constitute approximately 25% of the class. Special classes for these struggling learners will occur simultaneously with the main classes in extra classrooms or corridors, thus helping the struggling learners learn at their own pace and catch up with their peers.
- Equip teachers with learning aids, worksheets, etc. designed by Isha Vidhya and provide training through the Isha Vidhyas Central Academic team. Teacher training is a structured program carried out by the Isha Vidhya central team, initially over four days followed by two sessions of two days each at the end of each term.
- Hire and train about 10 more teachers to implement Magic English, a special program to teach English, covering all children from classes 6th to 8th. The program will help develop English speaking, reading and comprehension capabilities.
- Arts and crafts, Yoga, Sports, Health and Environmental Awareness programs will be conducted at each school to make school more interesting and development more holistic. These will include yoga classes for all children and special health awareness programs for young girls to learn health and hygiene specific to young women. Each school will also implement an environmental awareness program which will include the planting of a seedling nursery as well as an education program on environmental stewardship. All of these programs will be conducted on Saturdays, other holidays or during special vacation camps.
- Hire one contingency staff per school for toilet and school maintenance. These efforts help make a school a healthier and more conducive space for children.
- Survey of schools & short listing, final budget
- Recruitment & training of School Coordinators
- Recruitment of teachers
- Baseline tests
July 2015 March 2016:
- Regular interventions will be carried out including in-class programs in all 10 schools with special attention on bringing students up to grade level in all subjects and introducing English language learning.
- Monthly assessment tests will be conducted for all students based on the above interventions, monitoring success.
- Summer Activity Camp (Arts and crafts, Yoga, Sports, Health and Environmental Awareness programs.)
- Teacher Training for second cycle
June 2016 May 2017: Same structured timeline as above for remainder of school quarters.
Despite considerable economic progress in India in the last couple of decades, poverty has continued to pervade rural areas. However, with access to education, youth in rural areas can be empowered towards wellbeing and can contribute to the countrys development.
Unfortunately, children in rural areas have been denied access to a proper education, with most Government schools (which cater to 95% of rural children) lacking basic facilities and with unmotivated, frequently absent teachers. Even those who eventually make it through twelve years of schooling lack basic skills, making it impossible to pursue gainful employment or higher education.
According to the Annual Status of Education Report, 2013, only 2% of rural Tamil Nadu students in Std. 2 could read at the appropriate level; in the 8th Std., 32% were unable to read beyond the Std. 2 level. Further, 63% of students in the 8th Std. were unable to do basic subtraction and 61% could not do division.
Isha Vidhyas nine English-medium schools in rural Tamil Nadu and AP open the door for providing underprivileged rural children access to high quality education, where about 58% of the children are on full scholarship. The holistic, activity-based approach of Isha Vidhyas educational system nurtures childrens development beyond just academics, ensuring that students realize their full potential and learn in a joyful manner.
Through the Government School Adoption Program, Isha Vidhya has taken a major step in bringing Isha Vidhya teaching methodologies into government schools. Forty Government schools in Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Salem and Kanchipuram Districts have been adopted and various initiatives have been taken to improve the quality of education in these schools. Isha Vidhyas experience is being utilized to make a positive impact on the methodology and teaching environment in these schools.
Isha Vidhya is seeking additional funding support to implement the school interventions in 10 Government schools in the state of Tamil Nadu for the period of 3 years.
Isha Vidhya is open to partnering with other organizations to carry out similar initiatives anywhere in Tamil Nadu. Isha Vidhya could provide training to partners Supervisory Coordinators, share the academic content developed by Isha Vidhya, train teachers and provide ongoing support for implementing the program.