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Education At Doorsteps

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  • Ark Foundation
    Friends, We have been working on the project Education At Doorsteps since 1995. Kataila school is the first experiment in this direction. After that we
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 20, 2005
    • 0 Attachment

      Friends,

      We have been working on the project "Education At Doorsteps" since 1995. Kataila school is the first experiment in this direction. After that we started similar programmes in Jamalpur, Dhapo slum, JJ Camp and Chandanhaula. Very soon we are going to start similar programme in Namkum village , Distt – Ranchi , Jharkhand.

       

      The Population of the Surveyed area (Namkum village ) is nearly 1050. Most of  the families fall under BPL (Below Poverty Line). Agriculture is the main occupation of people here. There is no High School as well as P.H.C. ( Primary Health Center ) within the 15 Km radius. Irrigation facilities are negligible and also all the Wells are out of order.

       

      Since we are planning to replicate this programme "Education At Doorsteps" in other village, it is better to discuss and develop a model. The following mail is an attempt in this direction. Please comment and criticize freely so that we can develop it properly. If any of the readers has any other model please do share it with us.

       

      Please read the article below.

       

      Regards,

      Dr. Shaheen Ansari

      Prgramme Coordinator

      Ark Foundation

      _____________________________________

      ----------------------------------------------------------

      _____________________________________

       

      EDUCATION AT DOORSTEP

      providing  urban  educational facilities to rural children

       

      Ark's Philosophy

      Spoon feeding creates dependency. It is always better to give, says a Chinese saying, a fishing technique to a hungry man than a fish. And above all,  right to live in dignity is a basic human right. The best way to help those who are disenfranchised live a dignified life is through creation of Social Capital. It includes formation of self help groups, vocational training and local resource management education, all of which form the backbone of Ark's programmes.

       

      Education at Doorstep

      Ark understands the difficulty many children have in travelling from one village to another to attain school lessons and is aware that for many children education is secondary to contributing to economic activities at home. It is with this in mind that Ark began its Education Centres with the idea that if children can't go to school, we'll bring school to them.

       

      Children's Need

      ·        One of the basic guiding principles is to find out   children's need and what they should be taught?

      ·        We know that:

      *      Children need love more than anything else. For this,

             parents, guardians and employers of children need to be

             educated about the importance of love for children.  This is a

             big challenge before the Foundation.  Ark still does not have

             any concrete programme for this.

      *     Children  work hard, all by themselves, to be more grown up

            and responsible.

      *     Many of them who get into the most trouble are suffering from a

            lack of affection rather than any form  of punishment.

      *     Children are eager to learn if they are instructed in ways that

            are right for their age and if they are taught by understanding

            teachers. That is why we are equally focusing on providing

            training to teachers from Ark's perspective of education.

      *     Children have a natural curiosity and capability of learning

            which needs to be preserved and  promoted.

       

      Significance Of Education

      The significance of education in modern society cannot be over estimated. Literate and educated people are a prerequisite both for maintaining and furthering developing societies. The crucial need of education for the people in various spheres of modern social life- economic, political, social, ethical, health and others- has been unanimously recognised.

       

      Understanding Issue

      More than fifty years into Independence, Indian children have little to celebrate: 6.3 crore of them are still out of school. This despite the constitutional directive (now a fundamental right) urging all states to provide "free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years". The Constitution envisaged fulfilling this promise by 1960. Yet, if present trends continue, India is still 50 years away from reaching the goal.

       

      There are two myths that are often invoked to explain the slow progress of elementary education: one, a supposed lack of parental motivation; two, that work keeps children away from school. Work does not keep children away from school: a myth is that children are unable to go to school because they have to work. It is true that some children -- for example, eldest daughters in poor families, work long hours, which makes it difficult for them to go to school. But the general pattern is surprisingly different: a majority of out-of- school children in rural India have plenty of time on their hands. Among out-of-school children, about half work less than three hours a day. Only 18 per cent work more than eight hours. One-third do not do any work at all during school hours. Girls tend to work more than boys (mainly at home), but even they usually have enough spare time to attend school. Indeed, school hours in rural India are effectively quite short -- say four to five hours a day for 120 days in the year. Only a small minority of children is so busy that they cannot make themselves available for such a limited period of time. Moreover, when children work rather than going to school, it does not necessarily mean that work requirements are to blame for their failure to attend school. In many cases, it is the other way round: children work because they are unable to go to school.  The right to education in India is one that is violated to such an extent that it often assumes the nature of common occurrences in everyday life. At an early stage, violations take the form of bare walls and classrooms without teachers. At later stages, the lack of adequate education often pushes the already impoverished into informal sectors of labour.

       

       

      Poor Are Too Backward To Invest In Education

      Why is education special? Why should Ark Foundation and other social action groups work  on providing quality education? A common reason that is supplied is that poor people are too backward to invest in education by themselves; hence the only way to ensure that their children grow up educated is through  government and social action groups' interventions. Indeed, the withdrawal of the State from other areas should help free up resources for education and health. Both the state and social action groups should work together to strengthen existing educational infrastructure by making them accountable to the village communities and creating new infrastructure in the area where there is no access to school within a walking distance of one kilometer in case of a  primary school and three kilometers in case of a high school.

       

      Great Equalizer

      Purpose of education should be to work in the direction of equalizer. Each child is an individual and should be allowed to be so. Reason, science and respect for humanity will form the educational curriculum of the foundation.  It will finally leads towards creating of just and equal society.

       

      There is a strong consensus today about the importance of education in Indian public policy. It is hard to imagine how productivity and income growth can come about for the 45 per cent of India, which is illiterate. It is high time serious attention be paid on educational questions as they go a long way in shaping the thinking of the people.

       

      Means And Ends

      It is not just important to have noble goals only. Nobel means are equally important. We don't believe in 'Peace at the gun point'. Let peace comes through  peaceful, noble, means. It is very simple. One does not have to remove darkness to bring light. Darkness is nothing but absence of light. Light a candle, the darkness will disappear.

       

      So we should focus more on process rather than product, though the later one is also not ignorable.

       

      Enhance Student Learning

      Ark Foundation will work towards enhancement of a student's learning and understanding ability through  innovative educational tools and proved traditional learning methods.  It will employ a student- centered curriculum that builds on student knowledge. The curriculum will be supported  with in-depth activity-based learning and   teach and reinforce it with instructional opportunities that celebrate the unique background and experience each student brings to the Ark Education Centre. Its programmes will take advantage of a new and emerging education technology that improves student achievement.

       

      Motivate Students for Education

      Students should be taught to learn from their surrounding. An issue- oriented rural education curriculum will be designed to help them understand and address major cultural and environmental issues. The education centres will encourage there critical thinking and problem- solving skills. Ark  looks at the cultural, economic, social and educational environment of a human being's universe, with education being at the forefront.

       

      Connect Education Centre And The Community

      Community participation is at the core of the foundation. Ark aims to work hand in hand with the disadvantaged sections of the society, specially children, so that they can learn to help themselves and look forward to a better and brighter future. Education programmes will be a collaborative effort that brings the community to the centre, and the centre to the community. Education Centre will tie the curriculum to the home culture of the students, and will present multiple points of view and diverse perspectives. The Programmes will link centre restoration or research projects with similar community projects.

       

      Build Future of India

      Children are future of a country. It is they who are going to be torch bearer of tomorrow. So in order to build strong and vibrant tomorrow we need to work in children. Is a nation's welfare possible without the welfare of its children?

       

      Educators and students will understand the philosophies, practices and strategies used by Ark Foundation  in the protection and preservation of the nation's natural and cultural heritage. Students will be introduced to careers in environmental advocacy, in general, and Ark Education Centre, in particular

       

      Equitable Education

      We understand the division of Indian society. We also know that the division is more prominent in the rural society. Ark Foundation will cultivate educational environment that encourages all students to learn to the best of their potential. The centre will make programmes accessible to students for whom English is a second language through the use of translated curriculum guides, bilingual volunteers and multiple styles of learning. The centre will establish and sustain relationships with  low-income group section of the society.

       

      Two-Way Process

      Education should always be two way process.  It is dynamic in a sense that both teachers and students are in a process of learning. Learning about the natural and cultural world takes place in the context of social relationships. Education programmes must involve the interaction of students with Ark staff, teachers and other students, not simply the actions of Ark staff and teachers on students. Students experience cooperative learning, see the curriculum applied in the real world, and have a moment to reflect on their own contributions.

       

      Other Objectives:

      ·        To provide all children in each Village Development Circle         with access to quality education up to high school. To check         differences in enrolment, dropout rates and learning achievement among gender and social groups.

      ·        To check overall dropout for all students in the Village         Development Circle.

      ·        To create an environment and capacity- we call it "social capital"- in a Village Development Circle  to run and manage its own educational institutions- school, library, computer centre and vocational training centre.

      ·        Create a responsive institutional base which includes enhanced community participation and strengthen the process of catering to special focus groups-marginalized sections.

      ·        Purpose of bringing about quantitative and qualitative         improvement in the Village Development Circle.

      ·        Establishing linkages between other individuals, institutions and group to achieve common goals.

       

      Ark Education Centre

      A Village Development Circle (VDC) in each village with a radius of approximately 3kms will be the basis for the implementation of Ark's activities. Each Development Circle will have:

       

      •        High School

      •        Computer Education Centre

      •        Cultural Activity Centre

      •        Vocational Training Centre

      •        Library

       

      High School

      Ark has been involved in its Kataila school project since 1995 but it was in 2002 that the school got recognition from the State Education Board of Uttar Pradesh Government. With the consistent efforts of Ark, Village Head (Graam Pradhan) and educated community of the village, the UP Government sanctioned funds for the school building for middle school (6th, 7th and 8th standard).

       

      This school is very much patterned on the mainstream schooling system, though with reliable teachers and consistent classes. From this semester Ark has introduced high school (9th and 10th standard) in the village school as we see a real need for this in the village.

       

      Library

      In the village, people are accustomed to making bowls or decorative items out of their old books! They do not know what to do with their old books. Ark Library is working as a hub where people deposit their old books so that these are available for student exchange. Ark volunteers and teachers of the school go from house to house collecting disused books, binding them if necessary and then arranging them in the library. The Library is open every Sunday to issue and collect books, and we are planning to extend the library, adding new books to the growing collection.

       

      Medium of Instruction

      Mother tongue is the medium of instruction at our all the education centers. However teaching of English language is compulsory at the schools and centres run by Ark Foundation

       

      Comprehensive Intervention

      Ark aims at a comprehensive intervention in the field of education in general and environmental education in particular.

       

      It will design strategies and an alternative curriculum which take a comprehensive overview of the current education system. The second important step in this direction will be to take an overview focus of teachers, students and the learning situation, with special emphasis given to the context and location specify of the learner. Textbooks can be the starting point only and classroom the first meeting place.  But to make them work properly learning should be made playful, adventurous and exciting; in whatever manner that suits the teachers and learners.

       

      Implementation and Accountability

      One of the important strategies before a social action group (SAG) should be to see local government official implement the  existing programmes and make them accountable to the institution they belong to in particular and to people of the area in general.

       

      There are a number of government schools in rural areas where teachers go to schools once a week and that too to fill their attendance register of the whole week. They are least botherd about their duty.  Similarly,  there are government Primary Health Cenres (PHCs) in villages where neither doctors nor nurse or even midwives visit. Medicines, which should be given free of cost, are being sold in open markets. Doctors are busy in minting money by  practicing in cities leaving poor villagers at the mercy of traditional healers and yamraaj- the god of death.

       

      A  SAG can educate people about their right to free health facilities at the local PHCs. It can also teach them strategy to make government servants accountable. People's acceptance and participation are very crucial for such kind of action. Villagers can also force teachers to attend school six days a week or face the wrath of their collective power. A  SAG can help them in making rational and sustainable strategy. It can draft applications to be given to higher authority to make them accountable.  SAG people can contact media to highlight the issue.

       

      Text Design

      Ark is following the text books of  state boards but at the same time it is also working on developing its own text books which will enable children to develop their environment. It is important to see the appropriateness of the use of teaching learning material and activities in their transaction

       

      Teachers Training

      A school is like a temple, teachers its priests and children its devotees. Ark is very sad to see corruption making dent in the most pious area of the society. It is here, future of a country is being trained to take the challenge of changing world. Ark team is working in this direction and at the same time also inviting people to share their information and experiences to provide for quality education. It will take the concern for our environment as a prime area of emphasis, especially in the larger content of quality education. It attempts to ingrain love for nature and environment into the children.

       

      Ark would like to create a group of committed teachers who can help us realise Ark's dream— the dream to see that each and every child has access to a quality education, a healthy life and a society free of exploitation and violence. The teachers have to rethink  about the traditional educational techniques and to evolve new one as per the need and requirement of particular village society.  Ark believes that every society has its own social dimension, economic resource and cultural practice. So we need to plan our strategy keeping in mind the need of a particular village.

       

      Value

      Apart from helping young pupils acquire intellectual abilities and developing basic competence in them, the foundation  lays great stress on the values that they inculcate, the faith that they develop in their own self-making and range of human qualities. To enable a child to grow into healthy, capable and good individual is an aim Ark seeks to fulfill in respect of each of its students. Alongside the development of critical and rational faculties of a child, the school should contribute towards the blossoming of the creative potential of every child.

       

      Vocational Training

      Education of the mass of children requires enormous flexibility, acceptance of different paces of learning, adoption of a variety of methods rather than one uniform method, placing greater emphasis on skills and processes of the production of knowledge than on information memorising and processing, which would enable children to build upon their own experience, reflect upon it and articulate their experiences and visions.  When educational services are produced by the public sector, as they are at present, there will be no effort at trying to think about the customer and improving the quality of services from his perspective.

       

      Participatory Learning

      It is not possible to change so many ideas about the natural needs of children without mixing up a lot of parents.  We are planning to create ongoing relationships with parents and professionals who can give support and guidance. Written information can also help children. Ark Foundation will be happy to incorporate practical suggestion from concerned people.

       

      Community Mobilization and Participation

      Educational innovations of Ark Foundation are based on the strong foundation of community support and participation. This is based on the age-old tradition of Shramdaan- donation of labour. Ark heavily depends on volunteers in running schools and educational centres in slums and villages.

       

      Ark believes in grass root development, which is not possible without involving the affected people of the area.  This will give strong foundation to make a development programme sustainable and self reliant. Mobilising the village community to take responsibility to ensure quality education for every child is the core strategy of Village Development Circle and Slum Development programme of the Foundation in its efforts to universalize primary education and deliver quality education up to high school level in its action areas.

       


      Dr. Shaheen Ansari
      Programme Coordinator
      Ark Foundation
      www.arkindia.org.in
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arkitectindia/
      Phone: +919868740449,9899529790,9312838170


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    • ali raja
      hi there, it si a great step u have taken.we wish u best of luck in it.i would like to visit ur org to see th way u r implementing this prog for an experience
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 20, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        hi there,
                   it si a great step u have taken.we wish u best of luck in it.i would like to visit ur org to see th way u r implementing this prog for an experience and learning.if u can arrange a visit for us it will be great ful.
         
        thanx again.
         
        atiq raja.
        prog officer.
        lda badin.
        cantt road badin(sindh)
        0092-333-2520923.

        Ark Foundation <arkitect95@...> wrote:

        Friends,

        We have been working on the project "Education At Doorsteps" since 1995. Kataila school is the first experiment in this direction. After that we started similar programmes in Jamalpur, Dhapo slum, JJ Camp and Chandanhaula. Very soon we are going to start similar programme in Namkum village , Distt – Ranchi , Jharkhand.

         

        The Population of the Surveyed area (Namkum village ) is nearly 1050. Most of  the families fall under BPL (Below Poverty Line). Agriculture is the main occupation of people here. There is no High School as well as P.H.C. ( Primary Health Center ) within the 15 Km radius. Irrigation facilities are negligible and also all the Wells are out of order.

         

        Since we are planning to replicate this programme "Education At Doorsteps" in other village, it is better to discuss and develop a model. The following mail is an attempt in this direction. Please comment and criticize freely so that we can develop it properly. If any of the readers has any other model please do share it with us.

         

        Please read the article below.

         

        Regards,

        Dr. Shaheen Ansari

        Prgramme Coordinator

        Ark Foundation

        _____________________________________

        ----------------------------------------------------------

        _____________________________________

         

        EDUCATION AT DOORSTEP

        providing  urban  educational facilities to rural children

         

        Ark's Philosophy

        Spoon feeding creates dependency. It is always better to give, says a Chinese saying, a fishing technique to a hungry man than a fish. And above all,  right to live in dignity is a basic human right. The best way to help those who are disenfranchised live a dignified life is through creation of Social Capital. It includes formation of self help groups, vocational training and local resource management education, all of which form the backbone of Ark's programmes.

         

        Education at Doorstep

        Ark understands the difficulty many children have in travelling from one village to another to attain school lessons and is aware that for many children education is secondary to contributing to economic activities at home. It is with this in mind that Ark began its Education Centres with the idea that if children can't go to school, we'll bring school to them.

         

        Children's Need

        ·        One of the basic guiding principles is to find out   children's need and what they should be taught?

        ·        We know that:

        *      Children need love more than anything else. For this,

               parents, guardians and employers of children need to be

               educated about the importance of love for children.  This is a

               big challenge before the Foundation.  Ark still does not have

               any concrete programme for this.

        *     Children  work hard, all by themselves, to be more grown up

              and responsible.

        *     Many of them who get into the most trouble are suffering from a

              lack of affection rather than any form  of punishment.

        *     Children are eager to learn if they are instructed in ways that

              are right for their age and if they are taught by understanding

              teachers. That is why we are equally focusing on providing

              training to teachers from Ark's perspective of education.

        *     Children have a natural curiosity and capability of learning

              which needs to be preserved and  promoted.

         

        Significance Of Education

        The significance of education in modern society cannot be over estimated. Literate and educated people are a prerequisite both for maintaining and furthering developing societies. The crucial need of education for the people in various spheres of modern social life- economic, political, social, ethical, health and others- has been unanimously recognised.

         

        Understanding Issue

        More than fifty years into Independence, Indian children have little to celebrate: 6.3 crore of them are still out of school. This despite the constitutional directive (now a fundamental right) urging all states to provide "free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years". The Constitution envisaged fulfilling this promise by 1960. Yet, if present trends continue, India is still 50 years away from reaching the goal.

         

        There are two myths that are often invoked to explain the slow progress of elementary education: one, a supposed lack of parental motivation; two, that work keeps children away from school. Work does not keep children away from school: a myth is that children are unable to go to school because they have to work. It is true that some children -- for example, eldest daughters in poor families, work long hours, which makes it difficult for them to go to school. But the general pattern is surprisingly different: a majority of out-of- school children in rural India have plenty of time on their hands. Among out-of-school children, about half work less than three hours a day. Only 18 per cent work more than eight hours. One-third do not do any work at all during school hours. Girls tend to work more than boys (mainly at home), but even they usually have enough spare time to attend school. Indeed, school hours in rural India are effectively quite short -- say four to five hours a day for 120 days in the year. Only a small minority of children is so busy that they cannot make themselves available for such a limited period of time. Moreover, when children work rather than going to school, it does not necessarily mean that work requirements are to blame for their failure to attend school. In many cases, it is the other way round: children work because they are unable to go to school.  The right to education in India is one that is violated to such an extent that it often assumes the nature of common occurrences in everyday life. At an early stage, violations take the form of bare walls and classrooms without teachers. At later stages, the lack of adequate education often pushes the already impoverished into informal sectors of labour.

         

         

        Poor Are Too Backward To Invest In Education

        Why is education special? Why should Ark Foundation and other social action groups work  on providing quality education? A common reason that is supplied is that poor people are too backward to invest in education by themselves; hence the only way to ensure that their children grow up educated is through  government and social action groups' interventions. Indeed, the withdrawal of the State from other areas should help free up resources for education and health. Both the state and social action groups should work together to strengthen existing educational infrastructure by making them accountable to the village communities and creating new infrastructure in the area where there is no access to school within a walking distance of one kilometer in case of a  primary school and three kilometers in case of a high school.

         

        Great Equalizer

        Purpose of education should be to work in the direction of equalizer. Each child is an individual and should be allowed to be so. Reason, science and respect for humanity will form the educational curriculum of the foundation.  It will finally leads towards creating of just and equal society.

         

        There is a strong consensus today about the importance of education in Indian public policy. It is hard to imagine how productivity and income growth can come about for the 45 per cent of India, which is illiterate. It is high time serious attention be paid on educational questions as they go a long way in shaping the thinking of the people.

         

        Means And Ends

        It is not just important to have noble goals only. Nobel means are equally important. We don't believe in 'Peace at the gun point'. Let peace comes through  peaceful, noble, means. It is very simple. One does not have to remove darkness to bring light. Darkness is nothing but absence of light. Light a candle, the darkness will disappear.

         

        So we should focus more on process rather than product, though the later one is also not ignorable.

         

        Enhance Student Learning

        Ark Foundation will work towards enhancement of a student's learning and understanding ability through  innovative educational tools and proved traditional learning methods.  It will employ a student- centered curriculum that builds on student knowledge. The curriculum will be supported  with in-depth activity-based learning and   teach and reinforce it with instructional opportunities that celebrate the unique background and experience each student brings to the Ark Education Centre. Its programmes will take advantage of a new and emerging education technology that improves student achievement.

         

        Motivate Students for Education

        Students should be taught to learn from their surrounding. An issue- oriented rural education curriculum will be designed to help them understand and address major cultural and environmental issues. The education centres will encourage there critical thinking and problem- solving skills. Ark  looks at the cultural, economic, social and educational environment of a human being's universe, with education being at the forefront.

         

        Connect Education Centre And The Community

        Community participation is at the core of the foundation. Ark aims to work hand in hand with the disadvantaged sections of the society, specially children, so that they can learn to help themselves and look forward to a better and brighter future. Education programmes will be a collaborative effort that brings the community to the centre, and the centre to the community. Education Centre will tie the curriculum to the home culture of the students, and will present multiple points of view and diverse perspectives. The Programmes will link centre restoration or research projects with similar community projects.

         

        Build Future of India

        Children are future of a country. It is they who are going to be torch bearer of tomorrow. So in order to build strong and vibrant tomorrow we need to work in children. Is a nation's welfare possible without the welfare of its children?

         

        Educators and students will understand the philosophies, practices and strategies used by Ark Foundation  in the protection and preservation of the nation's natural and cultural heritage. Students will be introduced to careers in environmental advocacy, in general, and Ark Education Centre, in particular

         

        Equitable Education

        We understand the division of Indian society. We also know that the division is more prominent in the rural society. Ark Foundation will cultivate educational environment that encourages all students to learn to the best of their potential. The centre will make programmes accessible to students for whom English is a second language through the use of translated curriculum guides, bilingual volunteers and multiple styles of learning. The centre will establish and sustain relationships with  low-income group section of the society.

         

        Two-Way Process

        Education should always be two way process.  It is dynamic in a sense that both teachers and students are in a process of learning. Learning about the natural and cultural world takes place in the context of social relationships. Education programmes must involve the interaction of students with Ark staff, teachers and other students, not simply the actions of Ark staff and teachers on students. Students experience cooperative learning, see the curriculum applied in the real world, and have a moment to reflect on their own contributions.

         

        Other Objectives:

        ·        To provide all children in each Village Development Circle         with access to quality education up to high school. To check         differences in enrolment, dropout rates and learning achievement among gender and social groups.

        ·        To check overall dropout for all students in the Village         Development Circle.

        ·        To create an environment and capacity- we call it "social capital"- in a Village Development Circle  to run and manage its own educational institutions- school, library, computer centre and vocational training centre.

        ·        Create a responsive institutional base which includes enhanced community participation and strengthen the process of catering to special focus groups-marginalized sections.

        ·        Purpose of bringing about quantitative and qualitative         improvement in the Village Development Circle.

        ·        Establishing linkages between other individuals, institutions and group to achieve common goals.

         

        Ark Education Centre

        A Village Development Circle (VDC) in each village with a radius of approximately 3kms will be the basis for the implementation of Ark's activities. Each Development Circle will have:

         

        •        High School

        •        Computer Education Centre

        •        Cultural Activity Centre

        •        Vocational Training Centre

        •        Library

         

        High School

        Ark has been involved in its Kataila school project since 1995 but it was in 2002 that the school got recognition from the State Education Board of Uttar Pradesh Government. With the consistent efforts of Ark, Village Head (Graam Pradhan) and educated community of the village, the UP Government sanctioned funds for the school building for middle school (6th, 7th and 8th standard).

         

        This school is very much patterned on the mainstream schooling system, though with reliable teachers and consistent classes. From this semester Ark has introduced high school (9th and 10th standard) in the village school as we see a real need for this in the village.

         

        Library

        In the village, people are accustomed to making bowls or decorative items out of their old books! They do not know what to do with their old books. Ark Library is working as a hub where people deposit their old books so that these are available for student exchange. Ark volunteers and teachers of the school go from house to house collecting disused books, binding them if necessary and then arranging them in the library. The Library is open every Sunday to issue and collect books, and we are planning to extend the library, adding new books to the growing collection.

         

        Medium of Instruction

        Mother tongue is the medium of instruction at our all the education centers. However teaching of English language is compulsory at the schools and centres run by Ark Foundation

         

        Comprehensive Intervention

        Ark aims at a comprehensive intervention in the field of education in general and environmental education in particular.

         

        It will design strategies and an alternative curriculum which take a comprehensive overview of the current education system. The second important step in this direction will be to take an overview focus of teachers, students and the learning situation, with special emphasis given to the context and location specify of the learner. Textbooks can be the starting point only and classroom the first meeting place.  But to make them work properly learning should be made playful, adventurous and exciting; in whatever manner that suits the teachers and learners.

         

        Implementation and Accountability

        One of the important strategies before a social action group (SAG) should be to see local government official implement the  existing programmes and make them accountable to the institution they belong to in particular and to people of the area in general.

         

        There are a number of government schools in rural areas where teachers go to schools once a week and that too to fill their attendance register of the whole week. They are least botherd about their duty.  Similarly,  there are government Primary Health Cenres (PHCs) in villages where neither doctors nor nurse or even midwives visit. Medicines, which should be given free of cost, are being sold in open markets. Doctors are busy in minting money by  practicing in cities leaving poor villagers at the mercy of traditional healers and yamraaj- the god of death.

         

        A  SAG can educate people about their right to free health facilities at the local PHCs. It can also teach them strategy to make government servants accountable. People's acceptance and participation are very crucial for such kind of action. Villagers can also force teachers to attend school six days a week or face the wrath of their collective power. A  SAG can help them in making rational and sustainable strategy. It can draft applications to be given to higher authority to make them accountable.  SAG people can contact media to highlight the issue.

         

        Text Design

        Ark is following the text books of  state boards but at the same time it is also working on developing its own text books which will enable children to develop their environment. It is important to see the appropriateness of the use of teaching learning material and activities in their transaction

         

        Teachers Training

        A school is like a temple, teachers its priests and children its devotees. Ark is very sad to see corruption making dent in the most pious area of the society. It is here, future of a country is being trained to take the challenge of changing world. Ark team is working in this direction and at the same time also inviting people to share their information and experiences to provide for quality education. It will take the concern for our environment as a prime area of emphasis, especially in the larger content of quality education. It attempts to ingrain love for nature and environment into the children.

         

        Ark would like to create a group of committed teachers who can help us realise Ark's dream— the dream to see that each and every child has access to a quality education, a healthy life and a society free of exploitation and violence. The teachers have to rethink  about the traditional educational techniques and to evolve new one as per the need and requirement of particular village society.  Ark believes that every society has its own social dimension, economic resource and cultural practice. So we need to plan our strategy keeping in mind the need of a particular village.

         

        Value

        Apart from helping young pupils acquire intellectual abilities and developing basic competence in them, the foundation  lays great stress on the values that they inculcate, the faith that they develop in their own self-making and range of human qualities. To enable a child to grow into healthy, capable and good individual is an aim Ark seeks to fulfill in respect of each of its students. Alongside the development of critical and rational faculties of a child, the school should contribute towards the blossoming of the creative potential of every child.

         

        Vocational Training

        Education of the mass of children requires enormous flexibility, acceptance of different paces of learning, adoption of a variety of methods rather than one uniform method, placing greater emphasis on skills and processes of the production of knowledge than on information memorising and processing, which would enable children to build upon their own experience, reflect upon it and articulate their experiences and visions.  When educational services are produced by the public sector, as they are at present, there will be no effort at trying to think about the customer and improving the quality of services from his perspective.

         

        Participatory Learning

        It is not possible to change so many ideas about the natural needs of children without mixing up a lot of parents.  We are planning to create ongoing relationships with parents and professionals who can give support and guidance. Written information can also help children. Ark Foundation will be happy to incorporate practical suggestion from concerned people.

         

        Community Mobilization and Participation

        Educational innovations of Ark Foundation are based on the strong foundation of community support and participation. This is based on the age-old tradition of Shramdaan- donation of labour. Ark heavily depends on volunteers in running schools and educational centres in slums and villages.

         

        Ark believes in grass root development, which is not possible without involving the affected people of the area.  This will give strong foundation to make a development programme sustainable and self reliant. Mobilising the village community to take responsibility to ensure quality education for every child is the core strategy of Village Development Circle and Slum Development programme of the Foundation in its efforts to universalize primary education and deliver quality education up to high school level in its action areas.

         


        Dr. Shaheen Ansari
        Programme Coordinator
        Ark Foundation
        www.arkindia.org.in
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arkitectindia/
        Phone: +919868740449,9899529790,9312838170


        Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your partner now.


        To help you stay safe and secure online, we've developed the all new Yahoo! Security Centre.

      • meher engineer
        Dear Dr Ansari, Thank you for the email. Here are some things that might be useful for the people engaged in the effort to think on: I. In my view the
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 21, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Dr Ansari,
           
          Thank you for the email. Here are some things that might be useful for the people engaged in the effort to think on:
           
          I. "In my view the imposing tower of misery which today rests on the heart of India has its sole foundation in the absence of education. Caste divisions, religious conflicts, aversion to work, precarious economic conditions - all centre on this single factor". - Tagore wrote that probably more than 75  years ago 
           
          2. Amartya Sen says, "I am partial to seeing Tagore as an educator, having myself been educated at Santiniketan. The school was unusual in many different ways, such as the oddity that classes, excepting those requiring a laboratory, were held outdoors (whenever the weather permitted). No matter what we thought of Rabindranath's belief that one gains from being in a natural setting while learning (some of us argued about this theory), we typically found the experience of outdoor schooling extremely attractive and pleasant. Academically, our school was not particularly exacting (often we did not have any examinations at all), and it could not, by the usual academic standards, compete with some of the better schools in Calcutta. But there was something remarkable about the ease with which class discussions could move from Indian traditional literature to contemporary as well as classical Western thought, and then to the culture of China or Japan or elsewhere. The school's celebration of variety was also in sharp contrast with the cultural conservatism and separatism that has tended to grip India from time to time."
          The cultural give and take of Tagore's vision of the contemporary world has close parallels with the vision of Satyajit Ray, also an alumnus of Santiniketan who made several films based on Tagore's stories.  Ray's words about Santiniketan in 1991 would have greatly pleased Rabindranath:
           
          I consider the three years I spent in Santiniketan as the most fruitful of my life…. Santiniketan opened my eyes for the first time to the splendours of Indian and Far Eastern art. Until then I was completely under the sway of Western art, music and literature. Santiniketan made me the combined product of East and West that I am".
           
          3. The writeup says somewhere that a school is like a temple. If so, let it not be like the Tirupati temple which deprives women the opportunity to earn money by being barbers and also inflicts much misery on the female devotees who fall into the hands of lecherous male barbers.
           
          Best of luck,  

           

          meher engineer 

           



          Ark Foundation <arkitect95@...> wrote:

          Friends,

          We have been working on the project "Education At Doorsteps" since 1995. Kataila school is the first experiment in this direction. After that we started similar programmes in Jamalpur, Dhapo slum, JJ Camp and Chandanhaula. Very soon we are going to start similar programme in Namkum village , Distt – Ranchi , Jharkhand.

           

          The Population of the Surveyed area (Namkum village ) is nearly 1050. Most of  the families fall under BPL (Below Poverty Line). Agriculture is the main occupation of people here. There is no High School as well as P.H.C. ( Primary Health Center ) within the 15 Km radius. Irrigation facilities are negligible and also all the Wells are out of order.

           

          Since we are planning to replicate this programme "Education At Doorsteps" in other village, it is better to discuss and develop a model. The following mail is an attempt in this direction. Please comment and criticize freely so that we can develop it properly. If any of the readers has any other model please do share it with us.

           

          Please read the article below.

           

          Regards,

          Dr. Shaheen Ansari

          Prgramme Coordinator

          Ark Foundation

          _____________________________________

          ----------------------------------------------------------

          _____________________________________

           

          EDUCATION AT DOORSTEP

          providing  urban  educational facilities to rural children

           

          Ark's Philosophy

          Spoon feeding creates dependency. It is always better to give, says a Chinese saying, a fishing technique to a hungry man than a fish. And above all,  right to live in dignity is a basic human right. The best way to help those who are disenfranchised live a dignified life is through creation of Social Capital. It includes formation of self help groups, vocational training and local resource management education, all of which form the backbone of Ark's programmes.

           

          Education at Doorstep

          Ark understands the difficulty many children have in travelling from one village to another to attain school lessons and is aware that for many children education is secondary to contributing to economic activities at home. It is with this in mind that Ark began its Education Centres with the idea that if children can't go to school, we'll bring school to them.

           

          Children's Need

          ·        One of the basic guiding principles is to find out   children's need and what they should be taught?

          ·        We know that:

          *      Children need love more than anything else. For this,

                 parents, guardians and employers of children need to be

                 educated about the importance of love for children.  This is a

                 big challenge before the Foundation.  Ark still does not have

                 any concrete programme for this.

          *     Children  work hard, all by themselves, to be more grown up

                and responsible.

          *     Many of them who get into the most trouble are suffering from a

                lack of affection rather than any form  of punishment.

          *     Children are eager to learn if they are instructed in ways that

                are right for their age and if they are taught by understanding

                teachers. That is why we are equally focusing on providing

                training to teachers from Ark's perspective of education.

          *     Children have a natural curiosity and capability of learning

                which needs to be preserved and  promoted.

           

          Significance Of Education

          The significance of education in modern society cannot be over estimated. Literate and educated people are a prerequisite both for maintaining and furthering developing societies. The crucial need of education for the people in various spheres of modern social life- economic, political, social, ethical, health and others- has been unanimously recognised.

           

          Understanding Issue

          More than fifty years into Independence, Indian children have little to celebrate: 6.3 crore of them are still out of school. This despite the constitutional directive (now a fundamental right) urging all states to provide "free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years". The Constitution envisaged fulfilling this promise by 1960. Yet, if present trends continue, India is still 50 years away from reaching the goal.

           

          There are two myths that are often invoked to explain the slow progress of elementary education: one, a supposed lack of parental motivation; two, that work keeps children away from school. Work does not keep children away from school: a myth is that children are unable to go to school because they have to work. It is true that some children -- for example, eldest daughters in poor families, work long hours, which makes it difficult for them to go to school. But the general pattern is surprisingly different: a majority of out-of- school children in rural India have plenty of time on their hands. Among out-of-school children, about half work less than three hours a day. Only 18 per cent work more than eight hours. One-third do not do any work at all during school hours. Girls tend to work more than boys (mainly at home), but even they usually have enough spare time to attend school. Indeed, school hours in rural India are effectively quite short -- say four to five hours a day for 120 days in the year. Only a small minority of children is so busy that they cannot make themselves available for such a limited period of time. Moreover, when children work rather than going to school, it does not necessarily mean that work requirements are to blame for their failure to attend school. In many cases, it is the other way round: children work because they are unable to go to school.  The right to education in India is one that is violated to such an extent that it often assumes the nature of common occurrences in everyday life. At an early stage, violations take the form of bare walls and classrooms without teachers. At later stages, the lack of adequate education often pushes the already impoverished into informal sectors of labour.

           

           

          Poor Are Too Backward To Invest In Education

          Why is education special? Why should Ark Foundation and other social action groups work  on providing quality education? A common reason that is supplied is that poor people are too backward to invest in education by themselves; hence the only way to ensure that their children grow up educated is through  government and social action groups' interventions. Indeed, the withdrawal of the State from other areas should help free up resources for education and health. Both the state and social action groups should work together to strengthen existing educational infrastructure by making them accountable to the village communities and creating new infrastructure in the area where there is no access to school within a walking distance of one kilometer in case of a  primary school and three kilometers in case of a high school.

           

          Great Equalizer

          Purpose of education should be to work in the direction of equalizer. Each child is an individual and should be allowed to be so. Reason, science and respect for humanity will form the educational curriculum of the foundation.  It will finally leads towards creating of just and equal society.

           

          There is a strong consensus today about the importance of education in Indian public policy. It is hard to imagine how productivity and income growth can come about for the 45 per cent of India, which is illiterate. It is high time serious attention be paid on educational questions as they go a long way in shaping the thinking of the people.

           

          Means And Ends

          It is not just important to have noble goals only. Nobel means are equally important. We don't believe in 'Peace at the gun point'. Let peace comes through  peaceful, noble, means. It is very simple. One does not have to remove darkness to bring light. Darkness is nothing but absence of light. Light a candle, the darkness will disappear.

           

          So we should focus more on process rather than product, though the later one is also not ignorable.

           

          Enhance Student Learning

          Ark Foundation will work towards enhancement of a student's learning and understanding ability through  innovative educational tools and proved traditional learning methods.  It will employ a student- centered curriculum that builds on student knowledge. The curriculum will be supported  with in-depth activity-based learning and   teach and reinforce it with instructional opportunities that celebrate the unique background and experience each student brings to the Ark Education Centre. Its programmes will take advantage of a new and emerging education technology that improves student achievement.

           

          Motivate Students for Education

          Students should be taught to learn from their surrounding. An issue- oriented rural education curriculum will be designed to help them understand and address major cultural and environmental issues. The education centres will encourage there critical thinking and problem- solving skills. Ark  looks at the cultural, economic, social and educational environment of a human being's universe, with education being at the forefront.

           

          Connect Education Centre And The Community

          Community participation is at the core of the foundation. Ark aims to work hand in hand with the disadvantaged sections of the society, specially children, so that they can learn to help themselves and look forward to a better and brighter future. Education programmes will be a collaborative effort that brings the community to the centre, and the centre to the community. Education Centre will tie the curriculum to the home culture of the students, and will present multiple points of view and diverse perspectives. The Programmes will link centre restoration or research projects with similar community projects.

           

          Build Future of India

          Children are future of a country. It is they who are going to be torch bearer of tomorrow. So in order to build strong and vibrant tomorrow we need to work in children. Is a nation's welfare possible without the welfare of its children?

           

          Educators and students will understand the philosophies, practices and strategies used by Ark Foundation  in the protection and preservation of the nation's natural and cultural heritage. Students will be introduced to careers in environmental advocacy, in general, and Ark Education Centre, in particular

           

          Equitable Education

          We understand the division of Indian society. We also know that the division is more prominent in the rural society. Ark Foundation will cultivate educational environment that encourages all students to learn to the best of their potential. The centre will make programmes accessible to students for whom English is a second language through the use of translated curriculum guides, bilingual volunteers and multiple styles of learning. The centre will establish and sustain relationships with  low-income group section of the society.

           

          Two-Way Process

          Education should always be two way process.  It is dynamic in a sense that both teachers and students are in a process of learning. Learning about the natural and cultural world takes place in the context of social relationships. Education programmes must involve the interaction of students with Ark staff, teachers and other students, not simply the actions of Ark staff and teachers on students. Students experience cooperative learning, see the curriculum applied in the real world, and have a moment to reflect on their own contributions.

           

          Other Objectives:

          ·        To provide all children in each Village Development Circle         with access to quality education up to high school. To check         differences in enrolment, dropout rates and learning achievement among gender and social groups.

          ·        To check overall dropout for all students in the Village         Development Circle.

          ·        To create an environment and capacity- we call it "social capital"- in a Village Development Circle  to run and manage its own educational institutions- school, library, computer centre and vocational training centre.

          ·        Create a responsive institutional base which includes enhanced community participation and strengthen the process of catering to special focus groups-marginalized sections.

          ·        Purpose of bringing about quantitative and qualitative         improvement in the Village Development Circle.

          ·        Establishing linkages between other individuals, institutions and group to achieve common goals.

           

          Ark Education Centre

          A Village Development Circle (VDC) in each village with a radius of approximately 3kms will be the basis for the implementation of Ark's activities. Each Development Circle will have:

           

          •        High School

          •        Computer Education Centre

          •        Cultural Activity Centre

          •        Vocational Training Centre

          •        Library

           

          High School

          Ark has been involved in its Kataila school project since 1995 but it was in 2002 that the school got recognition from the State Education Board of Uttar Pradesh Government. With the consistent efforts of Ark, Village Head (Graam Pradhan) and educated community of the village, the UP Government sanctioned funds for the school building for middle school (6th, 7th and 8th standard).

           

          This school is very much patterned on the mainstream schooling system, though with reliable teachers and consistent classes. From this semester Ark has introduced high school (9th and 10th standard) in the village school as we see a real need for this in the village.

           

          Library

          In the village, people are accustomed to making bowls or decorative items out of their old books! They do not know what to do with their old books. Ark Library is working as a hub where people deposit their old books so that these are available for student exchange. Ark volunteers and teachers of the school go from house to house collecting disused books, binding them if necessary and then arranging them in the library. The Library is open every Sunday to issue and collect books, and we are planning to extend the library, adding new books to the growing collection.

           

          Medium of Instruction

          Mother tongue is the medium of instruction at our all the education centers. However teaching of English language is compulsory at the schools and centres run by Ark Foundation

           

          Comprehensive Intervention

          Ark aims at a comprehensive intervention in the field of education in general and environmental education in particular.

           

          It will design strategies and an alternative curriculum which take a comprehensive overview of the current education system. The second important step in this direction will be to take an overview focus of teachers, students and the learning situation, with special emphasis given to the context and location specify of the learner. Textbooks can be the starting point only and classroom the first meeting place.  But to make them work properly learning should be made playful, adventurous and exciting; in whatever manner that suits the teachers and learners.

           

          Implementation and Accountability

          One of the important strategies before a social action group (SAG) should be to see local government official implement the  existing programmes and make them accountable to the institution they belong to in particular and to people of the area in general.

           

          There are a number of government schools in rural areas where teachers go to schools once a week and that too to fill their attendance register of the whole week. They are least botherd about their duty.  Similarly,  there are government Primary Health Cenres (PHCs) in villages where neither doctors nor nurse or even midwives visit. Medicines, which should be given free of cost, are being sold in open markets. Doctors are busy in minting money by  practicing in cities leaving poor villagers at the mercy of traditional healers and yamraaj- the god of death.

           

          A  SAG can educate people about their right to free health facilities at the local PHCs. It can also teach them strategy to make government servants accountable. People's acceptance and participation are very crucial for such kind of action. Villagers can also force teachers to attend school six days a week or face the wrath of their collective power. A  SAG can help them in making rational and sustainable strategy. It can draft applications to be given to higher authority to make them accountable.  SAG people can contact media to highlight the issue.

           

          Text Design

          Ark is following the text books of  state boards but at the same time it is also working on developing its own text books which will enable children to develop their environment. It is important to see the appropriateness of the use of teaching learning material and activities in their transaction

           

          Teachers Training

          A school is like a temple, teachers its priests and children its devotees. Ark is very sad to see corruption making dent in the most pious area of the society. It is here, future of a country is being trained to take the challenge of changing world. Ark team is working in this direction and at the same time also inviting people to share their information and experiences to provide for quality education. It will take the concern for our environment as a prime area of emphasis, especially in the larger content of quality education. It attempts to ingrain love for nature and environment into the children.

           

          Ark would like to create a group of committed teachers who can help us realise Ark's dream— the dream to see that each and every child has access to a quality education, a healthy life and a society free of exploitation and violence. The teachers have to rethink  about the traditional educational techniques and to evolve new one as per the need and requirement of particular village society.  Ark believes that every society has its own social dimension, economic resource and cultural practice. So we need to plan our strategy keeping in mind the need of a particular village.

           

          Value

          Apart from helping young pupils acquire intellectual abilities and developing basic competence in them, the foundation  lays great stress on the values that they inculcate, the faith that they develop in their own self-making and range of human qualities. To enable a child to grow into healthy, capable and good individual is an aim Ark seeks to fulfill in respect of each of its students. Alongside the development of critical and rational faculties of a child, the school should contribute towards the blossoming of the creative potential of every child.

           

          Vocational Training

          Education of the mass of children requires enormous flexibility, acceptance of different paces of learning, adoption of a variety of methods rather than one uniform method, placing greater emphasis on skills and processes of the production of knowledge than on information memorising and processing, which would enable children to build upon their own experience, reflect upon it and articulate their experiences and visions.  When educational services are produced by the public sector, as they are at present, there will be no effort at trying to think about the customer and improving the quality of services from his perspective.

           

          Participatory Learning

          It is not possible to change so many ideas about the natural needs of children without mixing up a lot of parents.  We are planning to create ongoing relationships with parents and professionals who can give support and guidance. Written information can also help children. Ark Foundation will be happy to incorporate practical suggestion from concerned people.

           

          Community Mobilization and Participation

          Educational innovations of Ark Foundation are based on the strong foundation of community support and participation. This is based on the age-old tradition of Shramdaan- donation of labour. Ark heavily depends on volunteers in running schools and educational centres in slums and villages.

           

          Ark believes in grass root development, which is not possible without involving the affected people of the area.  This will give strong foundation to make a development programme sustainable and self reliant. Mobilising the village community to take responsibility to ensure quality education for every child is the core strategy of Village Development Circle and Slum Development programme of the Foundation in its efforts to universalize primary education and deliver quality education up to high school level in its action areas.

           


          Dr. Shaheen Ansari
          Programme Coordinator
          Ark Foundation
          www.arkindia.org.in
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arkitectindia/
          Phone: +919868740449,9899529790,9312838170


          Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your partner now.


          Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

        • Muhammad Mukhtar Alam
          Dear Dr Ansari, I would like to share a resource for consider of ARK Foundation . I had mentioned this to Anup Pandey while travelling in a bus to Munirka. He
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 21, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Dr Ansari,

            I would like to share a resource for consider of ARK Foundation . I had
            mentioned this to Anup Pandey while travelling in a bus to Munirka. He
            referred to the work of ARK Foundation.

            Please view the services of World Computer Exchange at
            www.worldcomputerexchange.org and get in touch with me any clarification.
            Also u can get in touch with Timothy Andersen with the implementation
            plan.
            If needed I would be able to assist in editing the implmentation plan.
            There is a model implementation plan a the site that can be customised.

            I am associated with WCE as a member of the international advisory council
            and then as a programme officer.

            Sincerely


            Dr.Muhammad Mukhtar Alam
            tel< 011-27254250
            9868527244




            --- meher engineer <mengineer2003@...> wrote:

            > Dear Dr Ansari,
            >
            > Thank you for the email. Here are some things that might be useful for
            > the people engaged in the effort to think on:
            >
            > I. "In my view the imposing tower of misery which today rests on the
            > heart of India has its sole foundation in the absence of education.
            > Caste divisions, religious conflicts, aversion to work, precarious
            > economic conditions - all centre on this single factor". - Tagore wrote
            > that probably more than 75 years ago
            >
            > 2. Amartya Sen says, "I am partial to seeing Tagore as an educator,
            > having myself been educated at Santiniketan. The school was unusual in
            > many different ways, such as the oddity that classes, excepting those
            > requiring a laboratory, were held outdoors (whenever the weather
            > permitted). No matter what we thought of Rabindranath's belief that one
            > gains from being in a natural setting while learning (some of us argued
            > about this theory), we typically found the experience of outdoor
            > schooling extremely attractive and pleasant. Academically, our school
            > was not particularly exacting (often we did not have any examinations at
            > all), and it could not, by the usual academic standards, compete with
            > some of the better schools in Calcutta. But there was something
            > remarkable about the ease with which class discussions could move from
            > Indian traditional literature to contemporary as well as classical
            > Western thought, and then to the culture of China or Japan or elsewhere.
            > The school's celebration of
            > variety was also in sharp contrast with the cultural conservatism and
            > separatism that has tended to grip India from time to time."
            >
            > The cultural give and take of Tagore's vision of the contemporary world
            > has close parallels with the vision of Satyajit Ray, also an alumnus of
            > Santiniketan who made several films based on Tagore's stories. Ray's
            > words about Santiniketan in 1991 would have greatly pleased
            > Rabindranath:
            >
            > I consider the three years I spent in Santiniketan as the most fruitful
            > of my life…. Santiniketan opened my eyes for the first time to the
            > splendours of Indian and Far Eastern art. Until then I was completely
            > under the sway of Western art, music and literature. Santiniketan made
            > me the combined product of East and West that I am".
            >
            > 3. The writeup says somewhere that a school is like a temple. If so, let
            > it not be like the Tirupati temple which deprives women the opportunity
            > to earn money by being barbers and also inflicts much misery on the
            > female devotees who fall into the hands of lecherous male barbers.
            >
            > Best of luck,
            >
            >
            >
            > meher engineer
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Ark Foundation <arkitect95@...> wrote:
            >
            > Friends,
            >
            > We have been working on the project "Education At Doorsteps" since 1995.
            > Kataila school is the first experiment in this direction. After that we
            > started similar programmes in Jamalpur, Dhapo slum, JJ Camp and
            > Chandanhaula. Very soon we are going to start similar programme in
            > Namkum village , Distt – Ranchi, Jharkhand.
            >
            >
            >
            > The Population of the Surveyed area (Namkum village ) is nearly 1050.
            > Most of the families fall under BPL (Below Poverty Line). Agriculture
            > is the main occupation of people here. There is no High School as well
            > as P.H.C. (Primary Health Center) within the 15 Km radius. Irrigation
            > facilities are negligible and also all the Wells are out of order.
            >
            >
            >
            > Since we are planning to replicate this programme "Education At
            > Doorsteps" in other village, it is better to discuss and develop a
            > model. The following mail is an attempt in this direction. Please
            > comment and criticize freely so that we can develop it properly. If any
            > of the readers has any other model please do share it with us.
            >
            >
            >
            > Please read the article below.
            >
            >
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            > Dr. Shaheen Ansari
            >
            > Prgramme Coordinator
            >
            > Ark Foundation
            >
            > _____________________________________
            >
            > ----------------------------------------------------------
            >
            > _____________________________________
            >
            >
            >
            > EDUCATION AT DOORSTEP
            >
            > providing urban educational facilities to rural children
            >
            >
            >
            > Ark's Philosophy
            >
            > Spoon feeding creates dependency. It is always better to give, says a
            > Chinese saying, a fishing technique to a hungry man than a fish. And
            > above all, right to live in dignity is a basic human right. The best
            > way to help those who are disenfranchised live a dignified life is
            > through creation of Social Capital. It includes formation of self help
            > groups, vocational training and local resource management education, all
            > of which form the backbone of Ark's programmes.
            >
            >
            >
            > Education at Doorstep
            >
            > Ark understands the difficulty many children have in travelling from one
            > village to another to attain school lessons and is aware that for many
            > children education is secondary to contributing to economic activities
            > at home. It is with this in mind that Ark began its Education Centres
            > with the idea that if children can't go to school, we'll bring school to
            > them.
            >
            >
            >
            > Children's Need
            >
            > · One of the basic guiding principles is to find out children's
            > need and what they should be taught?
            >
            > · We know that:
            >
            > * Children need love more than anything else. For this,
            >
            > parents, guardians and employers of children need to be
            >
            > educated about the importance of love for children. This is a
            >
            > big challenge before the Foundation. Ark still does not have
            >
            > any concrete programme for this.
            >
            > * Children work hard, all by themselves, to be more grown up
            >
            > and responsible.
            >
            > * Many of them who get into the most trouble are suffering from a
            >
            > lack of affection rather than any form of punishment.
            >
            > * Children are eager to learn if they are instructed in ways that
            >
            > are right for their age and if they are taught by understanding
            >
            > teachers. That is why we are equally focusing on providing
            >
            > training to teachers from Ark's perspective of education.
            >
            > * Children have a natural curiosity and capability of learning
            >
            > which needs to be preserved and promoted.
            >
            >
            >
            > Significance Of Education
            >
            > The significance of education in modern society cannot be over
            > estimated. Literate and educated people are a prerequisite both for
            > maintaining and furthering developing societies. The crucial need of
            > education for the people in various spheres of modern social life-
            > economic, political, social, ethical, health and others- has been
            > unanimously recognised.
            >
            >
            >
            > Understanding Issue
            >
            > More than fifty years into Independence, Indian children have little to
            > celebrate: 6.3 crore of them are still out of school. This despite the
            > constitutional directive (now a fundamental right) urging all states to
            > provide "free and compulsory education for all children until they
            > complete the age of 14 years". The Constitution envisaged fulfilling
            > this promise by 1960. Yet, if present trends continue, India is still 50
            > years away from reaching the goal.
            >
            >
            >
            > There are two myths that are often invoked to explain the slow progress
            > of elementary education: one, a supposed lack of parental motivation;
            > two, that work keeps children away from school. Work does not keep
            > children away from school: a myth is that children are unable to go to
            > school because they have to work. It is true that some children -- for
            > example, eldest daughters in poor families, work long hours, which makes
            > it difficult for them to go to school. But the general pattern is
            > surprisingly different: a majority of out-of- school children in rural
            > India have plenty of time on their hands. Among out-of-school children,
            > about half work less than three hours a day. Only 18 per cent work more
            > than eight hours. One-third do not do any work at all during school
            > hours. Girls tend to work more than boys (mainly at home), but even they
            > usually have enough spare time to attend school. Indeed, school hours in
            > rural India are effectively quite short -- say four to five hours a day
            > for 120
            > days in the year. Only a small minority of children is so busy that
            > they cannot make themselves available for such a limited period of time.
            > Moreover, when children work rather than going to school, it does not
            > necessarily mean that work requirements are to blame for their failure
            > to attend school. In many cases, it is the other way round: children
            > work because they are unable to go to school. The right to education in
            > India is one that is violated to such an extent that it often assumes
            > the nature of common occurrences in everyday life. At an early stage,
            > violations take the form of bare walls and classrooms without teachers.
            > At later stages, the lack of adequate education often pushes the already
            > impoverished into informal sectors of labour.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Poor Are Too Backward To Invest In Education
            >
            > Why is education special? Why should Ark Foundation and other social
            > action groups work on providing quality education? A common reason that
            > is supplied is that poor people are too backward to invest in education
            > by themselves; hence the only way to ensure that their children grow up
            > educated is through government and social action groups' interventions.
            > Indeed, the withdrawal of the State from other areas should help free up
            > resources for education and health. Both the state and social action
            > groups should work together to strengthen existing educational
            > infrastructure by making them accountable to the village communities and
            > creating new infrastructure in the area where there is no access to
            > school within a walking distance of one kilometer in case of a primary
            > school and three kilometers in case of a high school.
            >
            >
            >
            > Great Equalizer
            >
            > Purpose of education should be to work in the direction of equalizer.
            > Each child is an individual and should be allowed to be so. Reason,
            > science and respect for humanity will form the educational curriculum of
            > the foundation. It will finally leads towards creating of just and
            > equal society.
            >
            >
            >
            > There is a strong consensus today about the importance of education in
            > Indian public policy. It is hard to imagine how productivity and income
            > growth can come about for the 45 per cent of India, which is illiterate.
            > It is high time serious attention be paid on educational questions as
            > they go a long way in shaping the thinking of the people.
            >
            >
            >
            > Means And Ends
            >
            > It is not just important to have noble goals only. Nobel means are
            > equally important. We don't believe in 'Peace at the gun point'. Let
            > peace comes through peaceful, noble, means. It is very simple. One does
            > not have to remove darkness to bring light. Darkness is nothing but
            > absence of light. Light a candle, the darkness will disappear.
            >
            >
            >
            > So we should focus more on process rather than product, though the later
            > one is also not ignorable.
            >
            >
            >
            > Enhance Student Learning
            >
            > Ark Foundation will work towards enhancement of a student's learning and
            > understanding ability through innovative educational tools and proved
            > traditional learning methods. It will employ a student- centered
            > curriculum that builds on student knowledge. The curriculum will be
            > supported with in-depth activity-based learning and teach and
            > reinforce it with instructional opportunities that celebrate the unique
            > background and experience each student brings to the Ark Education
            > Centre. Its programmes will take advantage of a new and emerging
            > education technology that improves student achievement.
            >
            >
            >
            > Motivate Students for Education
            >
            > Students should be taught to learn from their surrounding. An issue-
            > oriented rural education curriculum will be designed to help them
            > understand and address major cultural and environmental issues. The
            > education centres will encourage there critical thinking and problem-
            > solving skills. Ark looks at the cultural, economic, social and
            > educational environment of a human being's universe, with education
            > being at the forefront.
            >
            >
            >
            > Connect Education Centre And The Community
            >
            > Community participation is at the core of the foundation. Ark aims to
            > work hand in hand with the disadvantaged sections of the society,
            > specially children, so that they can learn to help themselves and look
            > forward to a better and brighter future. Education programmes will be a
            > collaborative effort that brings the community to the centre, and the
            > centre to the community. Education Centre will tie the curriculum to the
            > home culture of the students, and will present multiple points of view
            > and diverse perspectives. The Programmes will link centre restoration or
            > research projects with similar community projects.
            >
            >
            >
            > Build Future of India
            >
            > Children are future of a country. It is they who are going to be torch
            > bearer of tomorrow. So in order to build strong and vibrant tomorrow we
            > need to work in children. Is a nation's welfare possible without the
            > welfare of its children?
            >
            >
            >
            > Educators and students will understand the philosophies, practices and
            > strategies used by Ark Foundation in the protection and preservation of
            > the nation's natural and cultural heritage. Students will be introduced
            > to careers in environmental advocacy, in general, and Ark Education
            > Centre, in particular
            >
            >
            >
            > Equitable Education
            >
            > We understand the division of Indian society. We also know that the
            > division is more prominent in the rural society. Ark Foundation will
            > cultivate educational environment that encourages all students to learn
            > to the best of their potential. The centre will make programmes
            > accessible to students for whom English is a second language through the
            > use of translated curriculum guides, bilingual volunteers and multiple
            > styles of learning. The centre will establish and sustain relationships
            > with low-income group section of the society.
            >
            >
            >
            > Two-Way Process
            >
            > Education should always be two way process. It is dynamic in a sense
            > that both teachers and students are in a process of learning. Learning
            > about the natural and cultural world takes place in the context of
            > social relationships. Education programmes must involve the interaction
            > of students with Ark staff, teachers and other students, not simply the
            > actions of Ark staff and teachers on students. Students experience
            > cooperative learning, see the curriculum applied in the real world, and
            > have a moment to reflect on their own contributions.
            >
            >
            >
            > Other Objectives:
            >
            > · To provide all children in each Village Development Circle
            > with access to quality education up to high school. To check
            > differences in enrolment, dropout rates and learning achievement among
            > gender and social groups.
            >
            > · To check overall dropout for all students in the Village
            > Development Circle.
            >
            > · To create an environment and capacity- we call it "social
            > capital"- in a Village Development Circle to run and manage its own
            > educational institutions- school, library, computer centre and
            > vocational training centre.
            >
            > · Create a responsive institutional base which includes enhanced
            > community participation and strengthen the process of catering to
            > special focus groups-marginalized sections.
            >
            > · Purpose of bringing about quantitative and qualitative
            > improvement in the Village Development Circle.
            >
            > · Establishing linkages between other individuals, institutions
            > and group to achieve common goals.
            >
            >
            >
            > Ark Education Centre
            >
            > A Village Development Circle (VDC) in each village with a radius of
            > approximately 3kms will be the basis for the implementation of Ark's
            > activities. Each Development Circle will have:
            >
            >
            >
            > • High School
            >
            > • Computer Education Centre
            >
            > • Cultural Activity Centre
            >
            > • Vocational Training Centre
            >
            > • Library
            >
            >
            >
            > High School
            >
            > Ark has been involved in its Kataila school project since 1995 but it
            > was in 2002 that the school got recognition from the State Education
            > Board of Uttar Pradesh Government. With the consistent efforts of Ark,
            > Village Head (Graam Pradhan) and educated community of the village, the
            > UP Government sanctioned funds for the school building for middle school
            > (6th, 7th and 8th standard).
            >
            >
            >
            > This school is very much patterned on the mainstream schooling system,
            > though with reliable teachers and consistent classes. From this semester
            > Ark has introduced high school (9th and 10th standard) in the village
            > school as we see a real need for this in the village.
            >
            >
            >
            > Library
            >
            > In the village, people are accustomed to making bowls or decorative
            > items out of their old books! They do not know what to do with their old
            > books. Ark Library is working as a hub where people deposit their old
            > books so that these are available for student exchange. Ark volunteers
            > and teachers of the school go from house to house collecting disused
            > books, binding them if necessary and then arranging them in the library.
            > The Library is open every Sunday to issue and collect books, and we are
            > planning to extend the library, adding new books to the growing
            > collection.
            >
            >
            >
            > Medium of Instruction
            >
            > Mother tongue is the medium of instruction at our all the education
            > centers. However teaching of English language is compulsory at the
            > schools and centres run by Ark Foundation
            >
            >
            >
            > Comprehensive Intervention
            >
            > Ark aims at a comprehensive intervention in the field of education in
            > general and environmental education in particular.
            >
            >
            >
            > It will design strategies and an alternative curriculum which take a
            > comprehensive overview of the current education system. The second
            > important step in this direction will be to take an overview focus of
            > teachers, students and the learning situation, with special emphasis
            > given to the context and location specify of the learner. Textbooks can
            > be the starting point only and classroom the first meeting place. But
            > to make them work properly learning should be made playful, adventurous
            > and exciting; in whatever manner that suits the teachers and learners.
            >
            >
            >
            > Implementation and Accountability
            >
            > One of the important strategies before a social action group (SAG)
            > should be to see local government official implement the existing
            > programmes and make them accountable to the institution they belong to
            > in particular and to people of the area in general.
            >
            >
            >
            > There are a number of government schools in rural areas where teachers
            > go to schools once a week and that too to fill their attendance register
            > of the whole week. They are least botherd about their duty. Similarly,
            > there are government Primary Health Cenres (PHCs) in villages where
            > neither doctors nor nurse or even midwives visit. Medicines, which
            > should be given free of cost, are being sold in open markets. Doctors
            > are busy in minting money by practicing in cities leaving poor
            > villagers at the mercy of traditional healers and yamraaj- the god of
            > death.
            >
            >
            >
            > A SAG can educate people about their right to free health facilities at
            > the local PHCs. It can also teach them strategy to make government
            > servants accountable. People's acceptance and participation are very
            > crucial for such kind of action. Villagers can also force teachers to
            > attend school six days a week or face the wrath of their collective
            > power. A SAG can help them in making rational and sustainable strategy.
            > It can draft applications to be given to higher authority to make them
            > accountable. SAG people can contact media to highlight the issue.
            >
            >
            >
            > Text Design
            >
            > Ark is following the text books of state boards but at the same time it
            > is also working on developing its own text books which will enable
            > children to develop their environment. It is important to see the
            > appropriateness of the use of teaching learning material and activities
            > in their transaction
            >
            >
            >
            > Teachers Training
            >
            > A school is like a temple, teachers its priests and children its
            > devotees. Ark is very sad to see corruption making dent in the most
            > pious area of the society. It is here, future of a country is being
            > trained to take the challenge of changing world. Ark team is working in
            > this direction and at the same time also inviting people to share their
            > information and experiences to provide for quality education. It will
            > take the concern for our environment as a prime area of emphasis,
            > especially in the larger content of quality education. It attempts to
            > ingrain love for nature and environment into the children.
            >
            >
            >
            > Ark would like to create a group of committed teachers who can help us
            > realise Ark's dream— the dream to see that each and every child has
            > access to a quality education, a healthy life and a society free of
            > exploitation and violence. The teachers have to rethink about the
            > traditional educational techniques and to evolve new one as per the need
            > and requirement of particular village society. Ark believes that every
            > society has its own social dimension, economic resource and cultural
            > practice. So we need to plan our strategy keeping in mind the need of a
            > particular village.
            >
            >
            >
            > Value
            >
            > Apart from helping young pupils acquire intellectual abilities and
            > developing basic competence in them, the foundation lays great stress
            > on the values that they inculcate, the faith that they develop in their
            > own self-making and range of human qualities. To enable a child to grow
            > into healthy, capable and good individual is an aim Ark seeks to fulfill
            > in respect of each of its students. Alongside the development of
            > critical and rational faculties of a child, the school should contribute
            > towards the blossoming of the creative potential of every child.
            >
            >
            >
            > Vocational Training
            >
            > Education of the mass of children requires enormous flexibility,
            > acceptance of different paces of learning, adoption of a variety of
            > methods rather than one uniform method, placing greater emphasis on
            > skills and processes of the production of knowledge than on information
            > memorising and processing, which would enable children to build upon
            > their own experience, reflect upon it and articulate their experiences
            > and visions. When educational services are produced by the public
            > sector, as they are at present, there will be no effort at trying to
            > think about the customer and improving the quality of services from his
            > perspective.
            >
            >
            >
            > Participatory Learning
            >
            > It is not possible to change so many ideas about the natural needs of
            > children without mixing up a lot of parents. We are planning to create
            > ongoing relationships with parents and professionals who can give
            > support and guidance. Written information can also help children. Ark
            > Foundation will be happy to incorporate practical suggestion from
            > concerned people.
            >
            >
            >
            > Community Mobilization and Participation
            >
            > Educational innovations of Ark Foundation are based on the strong
            > foundation of community support and participation. This is based on the
            > age-old tradition of Shramdaan- donation of labour. Ark heavily depends
            > on volunteers in running schools and educational centres in slums and
            > villages.
            >
            >
            >
            > Ark believes in grass root development, which is not possible without
            > involving the affected people of the area. This will give strong
            > foundation to make a development programme sustainable and self reliant.
            > Mobilising the village community to take responsibility to ensure
            > quality education for every child is the core strategy of Village
            > Development Circle and Slum Development programme of the Foundation in
            > its efforts to universalize primary education and deliver quality
            > education up to high school level in its action areas.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Dr. Shaheen Ansari
            > Programme Coordinator
            > Ark Foundation
            > www.arkindia.org.in
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arkitectindia/
            > Phone: +919868740449,9899529790,9312838170
            >
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            __________________________________
            Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
            http://mail.yahoo.com
          • Manish Jain
            dear friends- i am honored to share with you the latest issue of swapathgami - the magazine of the walkouts-walkon network.
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 24, 2005
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              dear friends-
              i am honored to share with you the latest issue of swapathgami - the magazine of the walkouts-walkon network.
               
               
              hope you will make time to have a look at it and share your thoughts on it with us.
              love,
              manish
               


              Shikshantar: The Peoples' Institute for Rethinking Education and Development
              21 Fatehpura
              Udaipur, Rajasthan, INDIA
              Tel:91-294-245-1303
              Fax:91-294-245-1949
              www.swaraj.org/shikshantar


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            • Avanish kumar
              Dear Manish, Great to recive your mail. I am in Delhi n working with EngenderHealth. how are you and Shikshanter? plz let me know about Salina, Ajay, Panna Lal
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 25, 2005
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                Dear Manish,
                                 Great to recive your mail. I am in Delhi n working with EngenderHealth. how are you and Shikshanter? plz let me know about Salina, Ajay, Panna Lal and Manav. I always remember those days when i was there in Shikshanter. Haapy Diwali to you and to everyone in Shishanter pariwar.
                 
                 
                 
                Dear Shaheen plz send this mail to one of my best friend Manish.
                 
                thanks
                 
                regards
                Avanish
                 
                 


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