Our model is to adopt backward villages, develop their education quantitatively and qualitatively (from ground/root level) until the villages become self-sustaining and then put these villages in monitoring phase and go on to other villages. This model is scalable because our work touches masses (poor and middle classes in villages), who form a majority of population in India.
Our work is twofold in each of our adopted villages. As you can see we are doing it right – its not anything less than converting backward villages into educated societies.
- (Qualitative) Improve children’s quality/personality/capability: Conduct daily classes to teach academics, sports, arts, communication skills, moral values, discipline and other personality/quality development aspects. Having quality/capable literates is much better than just quality-less literates.
- (Quantitative) Make every child go to school: Provide awareness to villagers (esp. parents) to reduce dropouts and improve literacy. Once parents are aware of important of their children’s education, everything else will be secondary in their lives. This will result in 3 benefits:
- Parents will want their children to go to school daily (govt or private), which decreases dropouts and increases literacy percentage.
- There are some government mandates that let parents demand better quality from their (govt) school. Since parents will want their children to study well and thus the (govt) school to run well, this will result in better teaching standards and better facilities in govt schools.
- Above 2 aspects directly result in self-sustainability of the village w.r.t education.
This is the general process we follow:
- Identify villages to adopt.
- Perform full household survey in villages. This gives the baseline of village’s situation.
- Identify local volunteers in villages.
- Train volunteers.
- Group students/children as centers in each village maintaining a ratio of around 1:30 (RTE norm). One volunteer for each center.
- Actual developmental work:
- Distribute resources – sports kits, books – to each center.
- Daily classes will begin. Students learn academics, sports, arts, communication skills, moral values/discipline/behavior, and other personality development aspects.
- Constantly perform various awareness programs with villagers (youth, parents, etc). Eliminate dropouts.
- Strengthen government school’s School Management Committee.
- At the end of every academic year we take endline survey to assess progress of students in the year
- Take endline full household survey. Assess the difference between endline and baseline surveys.
- If results are satisfactory, put the village under monitoring.
- Before ‘leaving’ the village, the plan is to form a committee within the village to take on as many things as EF used to do (daily classes, no dropouts, parents monitoring their kids’ education and the govt school, etc).
- Go onto more villages.
Important thing to note is we assess the performance of both goals every year so that we know things are going each year and make adjustments if something needs to be changed for a specific village.