Summer Camp In West Bengal


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Summer Camp, July 2008, conducted by Pratham Bengal.

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Summer Camp In West Bengal

  1. 1. Page 1 of 6 Chalo Padhi. Read India in West Bengal. A Report The Beginning In June 2006, Pratham started a chapter in West Bengal with a support from Calcutta Foundation. On a pilot basies, 25 libraries were started in 5 districts of Darjeeling, Dakshin Dinajpur, Bakura, North 24 Parganas and Howrah. These libraries were based in 5 villages of a gram panchayat. Each library was run by two local youth- suggested by the Gram Pradhan under the leadership of a district coordinator. The main aim was to build up a lead team well experienced in bringing a change in the learning levels of the children through the help of local community. This team would then scale up the program to the whole district. To achieve this each of these librarians had to do two main things-  Generate interest in the learning levels of the children in the village through by generating and discussing a village report card on the learning and schooling status of the all the children in the village.  Demonstrate improvement in the learning levels by active community participation. To do so, these libraries took a daily reading improvement class with children who could not read. They ran a library with graded material for all children. In the weekend, when football fever runs high in the village, several competitions of drawing, quiz and book reading were organized for young children. The librarians also had to talk to old people in the community and collect popular stories and information about the local history of the village. The library program was a huge success with some libraries having 80-100 children everyday, soon the local panchayats had to make provisions for space and extra material. In the district and block level West Bengal has strong elected representatives, who head the district SSA committee along with district magistrate. Along with the work in the field a strong advocacy was done with these people regarding the need and ways to improve the learning levels. ASER 2005 had just been released and it was a widely disseminated. Following all this the district magistrate of bankura – Mr. P.K Mishra invited Pratham to participate in the district SSA planning to draw up plans to improve learning. However soon he was transferred to the district of North 24 parganas and included the plans in the SSA budget of this district under the innovations. C:SANJIBBENGALDATA AND REPORTREPORTChalo_padhi_-Feb_2008[1].docCHALO PADHI- Read India West Bengal 2007-08. A Report 1 2/1/2010
  2. 2. Page 2 of 6 Chalo padhi- A basic learning improvement program for 5-8 year old children.From July 2007, Pratham along with the district administration of North 24 Praganas rana basic learning improvement in the block of sandeshkhali-II. The aim of the programwere two fold-  Improvement in the basic learning of 5-8 year year old children to ensure that they do not drop out due to possible lag in expected learning goals in later classes.  Enabling children who are out of school or attend irregularly and lag behind academically to catch up with rests of their age.Learning Goals of Chalo padhiThe campaign focused on developing reading fluency and basic skills in arithmetic. Std Reading goals Arithmetic goals STD 1 or 5 All children recognize, All children recognize numbers upto 100. &6 year read and write all letters. oldsSTD 2 or 6-8 All children read All children recognize numbers upto 100 year olds paragraphs and can do simple addition and subtraction.CHALO PADHI- Read India West Bengal 2007-08. A Report 2 2/1/2010
  3. 3. Page 3 of 6Location- The campaign ran in all the Gram Panchayats of Sandeshkhali –II. The blockwas selected because it had the highest number of out of school children in the districtaccording to the recent child census conducted by the district administrationDuration-The program was run in two phases-Phase 1: Preparatory phase and pilot from may to October 2007Phase2: District wise implementation from December 2007In the preparatory phase after the selection of the block, an initial assessment of thelearning levels were done and shared with each each Panchayat Pradhan andPanchayat members and many school teachers. Key objectives were:Understanding context (covered 24 sansads. All GPs visited) • Talk to panchayat pradhan about proposed campaign. Get views. • Ask Pradhan which 3 sansads to visitCHALO PADHI- Read India West Bengal 2007-08. A Report 3 2/1/2010
  4. 4. Page 4 of 6 • Visit schools/SSK in 3 sansads – understanding their situation • Collect data on enrollment, infrastructure from school & SSk • Understand problems of access and school functioning.Understanding children: In each sansad, following was done • Gather children in a place and play with them • Talk to parents about the proposed campaign. Get their views • Testing a sample of 30 children in each sansad in the age group 5-8 to understand their current levels of reading and arithmeticLaunch of the program in July 2007About 500 village volunteers chosed by the Gram Panchyats were trained during athree days training held in each Gram Panchayat. The most important component ofthe training sessions was practice classes with children. This allowed the volunteers topractice under the guidance of the trainer, understand the difficulties of the ground aswell as observe the initial success at the ground. This was extremely valuable toenergize the volunteers to take up the campaign.The training is conducted at regular intervals rather than at a stretch. This allowed thevolunteers to discuss their difficulties with each other and the block resource group.Regular interaction also helped the resource group to academically support thevolunteers in relation to the actual progress made by the children in the classes. In eachof the trainings a new set of materials and activities around them was shared with thevolunteers.Implementation teamsBlock Resource- A 10 member resource team led the program implementation. Thisincluded two members of Pratham and one member from each of the GramPanchayats. This team was responsible for conducting training effectively, ensuring thattimely assessments are done and lead the monitoring team at GP levels.Gram Panchyat Resource Group: This comprised of volunteers chosen for each maujaof the Gram Panchayats. This team was responsible for monitoring and supportingclasses during the period.The program was reviewed regularly by District Magistrate at the district level andSabhapati at the block level. This was very helpful to keep it at high priority in the GramPanchyats.CHALO PADHI- Read India West Bengal 2007-08. A Report 4 2/1/2010
  5. 5. Page 5 of 6Materials-A key feature of the campaign was the material packs distributed in each village. Thematerial consisted of teachers manual, assessment and attendance recording sheetand material for children. Pratham provided the material for the entire block since thetendering process of the administration was delaying the launch. Providing material atthe time of the training allowed the volunteers to practice with them under guidance. Ithelped to sustain the momentum created during the training as classes could startimmediately after the training. The variety of, materials allowed the resource team tophase the distribution of the material according to the trends of progress seen in theground. The arrival of new and colorful material also caused excitement among theparents and children.CHALO PADHI- Read India West Bengal 2007-08. A Report 5 2/1/2010
  6. 6. Page 6 of 6Results of the block piloting CHALO PADHI REPORT NORTH 24 PARGANAS 40.0 35.0 DATA FROM OF SANDESHKHALI-II BLOCK 30.0ARITHMETI (5-8 years) 25.0C: BaselineChildren BASELINE MIDTEST FINALTEST 20.0 Midtest Finaltestwho can 15.0 Percent Percent Percentdo: 10.0Subtraction 7.2 11.1 21.7 5.0Addition 16.1 20.4 24.8 0.0Num recog (21-100) 16.0 25.5 26.1 Subtraction Addition Num recog (21- Num recog (1- Nothing 100) 20)Num recog (1-20) 23.6 27.9 20.0 children who can doNothing 37.1 15.1 7.2 % 100% 100% 100% 35.0 30.0 baselineREADING: (5-8 years) midtest 25.0 finaltestChildren BASELINE MIDTEST FINALTESTwho can 20.0read: Percent Percent Percent 15.0Para 7.5 9.8 20.8 10.0Sentence 14.8 19.5 24.3 5.0Word 19.4 26.2 27.2Letter 30.6 32.7 22.8 0.0 Paragraph Sentence Word Letter NothingNothing 27.6 11.8 4.7 children who can read % 100% 100% 100%Scaling up of the program-After the initial experiences of Read India in one block, the campaign has scaled up toall blocks in the district of North 24 Parganas and Dakshin Dinajpur. For this the districtadministrations recruited nearly 200 shiksha bandhus to effectively support and monitorthe campaign. We are also launching a pilot campaign along similar lines in districts ofBurdwan and Purulia.Simultaneously we have also launched a similar pilot in one block of Darjeeling- TukdahHere the challenges are different. Within a single block the terrain is difficult to easilymove around; also the entire learning material kit has to be created in the locallanguage. The advocacy also has to be different because primary education hasrecently moved under jurisdiction of Darjeeling Hill council and the Panchayats are yetto strengthened.CHALO PADHI- Read India West Bengal 2007-08. A Report 6 2/1/2010