Shiksharth Trust

Partner From
01/01/2017 - On Going
shiksharth logo

Supported by: Wipro

About Shiksharth

Shiksharth is a not-for-profit educational initiative working towards ensuring safe spaces and contextually relevant personalized learning opportunities for children facing adversity because of geography or conflict. Working since 2015 and legally incorporated in June 2016, we are headquartered in Sukma district, South Bastar, Chhattisgarh and operational in Dantewada, Kondagaon, Bastar districts along with Sukma. A child in Sukma is born in an area with most deprived socioeconomic and human development index, one that is plagued with extremely intense structural violence and involuntary migration. If we look into classrooms of South Bastar region, 70% of children don’t understand the classroom language in Standard I and II i.e. Hindi. 90% of the school-going children speak local dialects like Gondi, Halbi, Dorli, Dhurwa etc. Majority children are part of the linguistic minority. It takes 3 years for a tribal child who is starting Standard I to understand the language of the teachers and textbooks.

Since 2015, we have been trying multiple approaches and environments of implementation with our intervention to design prototypes and solutions. Like day boarding versus residential schools, bridge schooling, re-opened schools, in alignment to state-prescribed curriculum, simplifying the comprehension process. We have served over 6000 children directly and 25000 children indirectly in the region till 2020 April. In order to scale up the idea, we are in the process of distilling our experiences and insights into a standard replicable template for serving similar geographies in adversity and conflict. The prototype intends to ensure contextually relevant personalized learning solutions for children in tribal areas and other adverse geographies.

We identify it as “Subject Lab” to support schools with single/double teachers for addressing the holistic learning and well-being of children. Our role is of the ‘aggregator’. Through subject labs as a medium, we are focusing on offering/delivering academic excellence to schools, which may lead the whole school towards a journey of transformation. “A subject lab is a breakthrough pedagogical solution which replaces the idea of classrooms in schools and introduces subject rooms which are in alignment with 21st century skills. It brings in contextually relevant teaching-learning opportunities to enable self-paced and self-designed learning catering to different learning styles for a child in an elementary classroom with multi-grade, multi-level, and multi-lingual diversity.

The Approach

Shiksharth has been working towards improving quality of education through action-based research and implementation. Inspired by Gandhian thought, it believes in ‘community taking ownership of its institution’, designing and implementing interventions in ‘immersive mode’. The core focus is on involvement of the community in the learning journey of children. Conceptual rooting of intervention is in multilingual education and the space-led model of education. Currently, work is divided into two primary areas – out-of-school children, and in- school enrolled children of armed conflict-affected areas. We have been following a 3 dimensional approach: Access to education/schools and safe spaces; Developing space-led model of education; Collaboration with local district administrations and government.

Impact of COVID

With the support and guidance of District Education Department, Sukma, we at Shiksharth are working on evolving different “physical mediums” where we can simultaneously maintain protocols of pandemic and continuity of child’s learning. State Education Department and District Administration have launched powerful initiatives to ensure continuity of access to learning opportunities for children across Chhattisgarh. However, with poor access to devices, mobile network and internet facility in areas like Sukma, online medium of education has limited reach. We have used different approaches to serve children in Sukma and other parts of the country. These include Offline Self -Learning Workbook, Project-based Learning, Online Read Alouds and Story-Telling, illustrated translation of storybooks in tribal dialects, science projects in collaboration etc. Through our different mediums of offline education and collaboration, we serve more than 2,50,000 children across India. It includes more than 10000 children of Sukma in collaboration with the District Education Department, the community, and 15000+ children of Bastar region, in collaboration with 12 different organizations reaching out to more than 2,50,000 children across India.

Plan for the Next 1-3 Years:

  • Design and implement personalized learning solutions for children in rural and tribal areas
  • Developing 10 Model schools and 5 community centers
  • Design and implement Parent Engagement tool

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