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Re: [Arkitect India] letter to MHRD regarding the quality of school education

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  • Pankaj Jain
    What you say Ms. Annie Namala is very correct, and I am sure that more such thoughts are relevant and needed to improve quality. Since such details could not
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 14, 2012
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      What you say Ms. Annie Namala is very correct, and I am sure that more such thoughts are relevant and needed to improve quality. Since such details could not be suggested to the Minister-MHRD to consider, we think it is better to simply highlight the central issues, and then leave the details for various experts to lay out.
       
      Pankaj

      --- On Thu, 11/15/12, Annie Namala <annie.namala@...> wrote:

      From: Annie Namala <annie.namala@...>
      Subject: Re: [Arkitect India] letter to MHRD regarding the quality of school education
      To: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: "Sr Lissy Joseph Hyd" <ndwmhyd@...>, "Sr Lissy Joseph Hyd" <srlissyjoseph@...>
      Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012, 8:38 AM

       



      Yesterday, on children’s day some of us spent the day with the National Domestic Workers Movement’s (NDWM) Hyderabad chapter. The movement was initiated since about 20 years and is active in about 300 urban poor areas in and around Hyderabad-Secunderabad. The Hyderabad chapter in addition focuses on children’s education with the vision and active engagement of Sr. Lizzy Joseph and her team.  


      We visited and spent time with the children/adults in Kabadi basti (every city has its kabadi bastis, mostly occupied by Dalits and Muslims), the construction workers colony and Bhoodevi colony again of urban unorganized workers. It was encouraging to see almost all children in school, we met a young boy who was preparing for his state service examination all on his own, having completed his graduation.


      The strategies of the NDWM to promote education are considerable. Over the past twenty years, they have engaged in awareness building among parents as central to promoting children’s right to education. Constant home visits, motivation meetings, awareness camps, cultural programmes resulted in parents change of attitude ‘we have no food – how do we send children to school’ or ‘if she goes to school –who will do the household chores and baby-sitting’. The constant efforts have resulted in the majority of families sending their children to school. The team recounted how it took them almost six months before the community even considered it worthwhile to sit down for a meeting on children’s education. During this six months the team constantly made home visits, identified influential leaders in the community and organized small programmes with children. The next step was to hold informal classes for children. The motto was ‘start the school where the children are’ and there were schools in the traffic circles, middle of slums, near the railway line – about 60 schools that were run from 3-5 years. The team found that after the six months – children took almost a year to become regular in schools, motivators having to round up children and continuous home visits to track absent children.  All this while, the centres tried to make themselves as relevant and interesting to the needs and context of their children. In the experience of the team, it took another 2-3 years for a child of 10-12 to catch up with the education level for her age. Mothers groups and SHGs were key actors in ensuring all children fo to school. About 30 of the sixty centres run by the NDWM has been converted to schools under SSA, a few had been closed down as there were schools nearby and two continue to run. The team is keen that the schools where they have admitted children continue to provide quality learning and facilitate their learning.


      The efforts of the NDWM once again brings to the fore the creative collaboration across various stakeholders to ensure every child’s right to education. The state and education administrators have a critical role to play to identify NGOs and other stakeholders in the given locality and creatively evolve a road map to ensure every child is in school. There are no dearth of willing stakeholders as seen from even this small example where private individuals, private schools, religious bodies, corporators and many others came together to promote the education of these children. The Hyderabad district SSA played an important role in working with the NDWM too. 

      As we are looking at the role of teachers, the role of education administrators is critical. Having put teachers on the cutting edge, we sometimes do not see the administration that play an important role in the background for good or bad. 

      Can we also include the education administrators in the chain of accountability to ensure the RtE implementation?

      Annie Namala

      On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 5:16 PM, Pankaj Jain <pjain2002@...> wrote:
       
      [Attachment(s) from Pankaj Jain included below]
      Dear All,
       
      In continuation of views expressed on the forum, I am attaching a draft letter to Honorable Minister MHRD, to (i) seek comments about improvement, and (ii) seek indication of agreement to sign it.
       
      Kindly consider and respond.
       
      Pankaj Jain
       

      --- On Mon, 11/12/12, Annie Namala <annie.namala@...> wrote:

      From: Annie Namala <annie.namala@...>
      Subject: Re: [Arkitect India] CABE on the extension of deadline under RtE
      To: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, November 12, 2012, 8:47 AM

       
      Dear All

      I agree with the need to focus on quality learning and its dimensions. In many discussions with children and parents from marginalised communities, a critical area for non-enrollment, absenteeism, drop out etc is the lack of quality education in schools. Children today openly say that there is no teaching in schools, they are not learning anything, school is not interesting all of which point to the need for us to focus on quality education. Linked to this is the perception that private schools is better. 

      Here i would also stress on the need to integrate 'equity with social inclusion' as critical to quality given that the most marginalised children have social and financial constraints in accessing schools and continuing their education. We need to detail out how equity and social inclusion become basic and integral to quality education. 

      best

      annie namala

      On Sun, Nov 11, 2012 at 7:50 AM, Pankaj Jain <pjain2002@...> wrote:
       
      Dear All,

      I would suggest that it is high time that the attention of education activists shifts from the provision of school infrastructure and increasing budgetary support' to the 'assurance of quality of education' in already existing schools, particularly in the light of following facts.

      1. The quality of education provided in most existing schools is dismal, as shown by repeated ASER surveys, recent PISA tests, and NCERTs studies.
      2. The RTE conferred right to a child to secure admission is a recognized school was available to more than 95% children even before RTE was promulgated.
      3. Available research does not show that meeting RTE conditions on infrastructure assures improvements in education quality.
      4. India now spends more than world average of financial resources-GDP on elementary education, up to grade 8, so the focus must shift to better utilization of funds spent than increasing the funding alone.

      Would someone influential take lead in drawing attention of MHRD, the Minister and CABE, and would the forum members be willing to co-sign a petition to the Honorable Minister-MHRD and CABE appealing for a concern for 'quality of education and children's learning'?

      Pankaj Jain

      --- On Sat, 11/10/12, Vinod Raina <vinodraina@...> wrote:

      From: Vinod Raina <vinodraina@...>
      Subject: [Arkitect India] CABE on the extension of deadline under RtE
      To: "arkitect India" <arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com>, "rteforum" <rteforum@...>, "state_bgvs" <state_bgvs@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 3:03 PM


       

      Following is an extract from the official summary record of the 60th CABE meeting held on Nov 8, 2012 (you can see the full summary at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=88950)

      Vinod Raina

      (ii)   CABE noted the progress under the roll out of the RTE Act, 2009 which shows substantive efforts by the States and UTs to implement its various provisions.  CABE took note of the support extended by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in augmentation of school infrastructure in order to meet the gaps in the opening of neighbourhood schools, recruitment of teachers and in improving quality of schooling.  Bihar Education Minister pointed out to the need for extending the RTE deadline for completion of school infrastructure by March end 2013.  While some other members of CABE did not support such an extension.  CABE took the view that redoubled efforts should be made by State/UTs to achieve RTE standards for school infrastructure in 2012-13 as over 12,000 new schools remain to be opened, over 2,50,000 additional class rooms and large number of toilets, drinking water facilities, and ramps are under construction under SSA as also by other national programmes for sanitation and drinking water supply.  The CABE would review the progress again in its next meeting.



      --
      Annie Namala
      Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion
      26/131, 1st Floor, West Patel Nagar
      New Delhi - 110 008
      +91 9871800639




      --
      Annie Namala
      Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion
      26/131, 1st Floor, West Patel Nagar
      New Delhi - 110 008
      +91 9871800639

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