the ant's Science on Wheels project in government schools in Assam

Child and Youth Development

Child Development through Enriched Learning

While sports and education is a routine for privileged city kids, the Right of Development through quality education, play and other activities is a far-off dream for most village children in government schools. The programme aims at developing all-round excellence in kids from the interior villages of Bodoland in Assam, who are abundant in talent, but are starved of better opportunities. The first step is to create motivation to learn and then create spaces for unperturbed learning and finally to excellence.

a. Sports for Development (S4D)

Started in April 2015, the project takes advantage of the children’s groups in villages formed some years back. Every week, 20-25 children in the S4D groups meet and do what children are best are doing – PLAY. But, as they play they also learn according to a curriculum that is designed to address issues of children – motivation to go to school, confidence building, inter-personal skills, lessening girl-boy differences, handling conflicts to name a few.

         Number of children  - Over 3000

         Age group                  -  8-16 years

the ant partners with  The Magic Bus Foundation, Mumbai for the curriculum and technical inputs for this project, that is supported by DKA, Austria.

 

Frisbee Fun:

We introduced Frisbee playing in our villages - a low cost, gender-inclusive game. Girls and boy playing together, the game has helped in building self-discipline and honesty among kids as there are no referees. Started in our Deosri cluster on the Bhutan foothills, the children as well as the youth have formed 10 frisbee teams with 150 players. After some months of playing, when tested we found that the skills level of our kids was 5.5 compared to 7 scored by much privileged starter level kids of the U.S….! Our kids were not doing so badly then!

The project had been developed under the guidance of Mr. Anish Mukherjee, founder of the Art of Play foundation, Kolkata and was supported by Arpan Foundation, USA.

 

b. Project Bigyan ( Science on Wheels)

This project works at making science-learning, often a daunting task, do-able and fun. For the first time in the their lives, children in our government schools get to do science practicals and learn by doing. We circulate what we call  a ‘Lab-In-a-Box’, a complete kit of demonstration and experiments in biology, chemistry and physics among a cluster of schools in one geographic area on a fortnightly basis. Our science facilitators support the teachers in the schools in not just teaching but “doing” science.  

 

        Number of students benefitting                       - 2719

        Number of govt. schools covered                    - 23

        Number of villages reached                             - 200

the ant has purchased the LIB Kits that includes the support by Agastya Foundation in knowledge capacity and training. Also supported by grants from ChildAid Network, Germany

 

  • In periodic science exams conducted, students from our partner schools scored 25% more than students from out-reach programmes.
  • 23 small village level awareness programmes with 1199 people; “Science stalls” in 2 public events – at least 5000 students and adults visited.

c. Project Shiksha (After school centres)

The project which started off as evening study centres, as spaces for children to group and study peacefully, has now grown into ‘Children Development Centres’ for enriched education. This also includes remedial classes for middle school children and residential coaching for girls appearing for Class 10 matriculation exams. The project also encompasses providing supplementary teachers to schools that have few or no teachers at all.

No of Chidren Development centres - 25

       Age groups                                      - 6 to10

the ant is supported by Sh. Kamal Agarwal through Arpan Foundation in Deosri and Kuklung villages for two years in a row.

 

A rally unique to the education in village children was organized in Deosiri on 28th September 2015, when children of the evening study centres unanimously raised their voice demanding “books are our best friends, do not separate us.” The demand was directly placed before over 150 parents in a meeting following the rally. The adults were moved to tears, when child after child, especially girls, stood up bravely and pleaded with the parents to allow them to go to school, instead of keeping them behind to look after their siblings or fetch firewood.

 

Youth Development Programme

Community outreach through Youth Mentors (CYMs):

 Youth plays an important role in implementing our education programmes especially the Sports for Education project. The youth volunteers selected in each village becomes our designated Community Youth Mentors, who are trained to run the weekly S4D programmes. Each CYM takes care of atleast 10-12 children groups.

 

The CYMs volunteer 2-3 hours a week to train children of their own village and thereby develop problem solving skills and management techniques. To further develop leadership skills in these mentors,  Community Youth facilitators are selected from them, who facilitates and guides 4-5 CYMs and help push their boundaries and extend potential. The CYMs also participate in exposure visits, career guidance workshops, sports tournaments etc., to develop their own skills and have fun on the way.

 

 

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