With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the world and changing the way we live our lives, a lot has been affected. A major change that children have to face is missing out on going to school and relying on online mediums for education. With schools closed, it gave Save the Children the perfect opportunity to ensure an improved physical, living and learning environment for children across 4 marginalized schools in Agra. This will ensure improved access to equitable quality learning and help aid teachers’ capacity enhancement to lead child-centric classrooms. This effort has been brought about by Save the Children in partnership with Oberoi Amar-Vilas.
The impact of the outcomes of this year-long project- “Back to Basics-Creating learning Friendly Environment in Schools”, was showcased during a dissemination and experience sharing event organized by Save the Children in Agra on March 24th 2021.
Presenting the impact of the activities carried out during the project, including improved school infrastructure, increased reading materials and children participation activities. At the event, officials from District Administration were also present. This project’s impact teaches the importance of focusing on education and creating a learner-friendly environment to check dropouts. Agra district is among the top 10 districts that are clocking in major dropout rates, according to the Annual Survey Education Report 2018. The report also mentioned that 70% of children attend private schools, and only 49% of children attending schools can read up to grade 2 text. The district also has a significantly distorted teacher ratio, with 200+ schools running without a permanent teacher.
Highlights of Impact Through the Project
The Project centred on building a learner-friendly environment in 4 government primary schools in Agra in block Barauli Aahir and catered to 390 children and 20 teachers. The outcomes achieved were:
- Repair renovation of four schools, including the construction of boundary to enhance the safety of students.
- Improving teachers’ capacity through training on inclusive pedagogy and age-grade appropriate development of contextual resources and mathematics learning enhancement.
- Capacity Building of School Management Committee (SMC) on their constitutional power and responsibility towards a quality educational environment in schools.
- SMC & Parent Teaching Meeting (PTM) Strengthening & formalizing regular meetings through a joint session held with SMC and PTM on their mutual support and teamwork towards quality and safe education for children.
- 4 Proactive Children’s Club formed and capacity building on protection, education, covid safety and health done of all children groups.
- “Reading Corner” developed in each school equipped with age-appropriate books.
- Sports and Gardening equipment provided to schools to inculcate softer skills in children, including interest in sports.
- Awareness campaigns within the community emphasizing the value of education, regular attendance, positive approach of the community towards schools etc