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Location

20 villages in Ram Nagar block of West Champaran district, Bihar
Thematic Focus: Education, Protection


Project Background

DEEP was registered in the year 1991 under Society Registration Act, with an objective of mobilizing marginalized communities for issue based movement for their rights. It started working on education as an entry point in the Gaunaha block with Tharu community. Many projects were initiated later working on children’s education, child labor, successfully ran non-formal education (NFE) centers, strengthened the organization of Tharu community, supporting their cause for Scheduled Tribe status and rights over forest etc. DEEP is currently working in 20 villages in Ram Nagar block of West Champaran, which is situated in the lap of Himalayan mountain range and is predominantly inhabited by Tharu & Oraon tribe, with very nominal presence of minorities and dalit communities. The project has been focusing on education and protection issues for the last three years.

Problem Statement:


A secure future for children starts with a good beginning of pre-school education (PSE). However, all the children in the project area do not have access to Anganwadi centers, which are supposed to deliver pre-school education. There are only 24 operational ICDS Anganwadi centers and project efforts were able to secure approval for 5 more such centers over the last year. An assessment during the last year found that 583 children in the 3- 6 years age group are not attending the ICDS centers due to non-availability of the centers in their proximity, and there are five hamlets which don’t have any ICDS Anganwadi centers. And, among the ICDS Anganwadi centers available, the focus is restricted to providing supplementary nutrition services only, which was hardly monitored by supervisors and CDPO due to difficulties associated with mountainous terrain in the region. Pre-school education was not among services in almost all the centers till two years back. The advocacy liaison with the government officials by the project have ensured that initiatives are taken towards making the pre-school education curriculum becoming part of the ICDS center management. In the last one year, Govt. of Bihar has conducted training for the CDPO and Supervisors on implementing the NAYEE PAHAL (Early Childhood Care and Education curriculum). But the process is yet to reach the frontline Anganwadi Workers and they are hardly aware of the PSE curriculum, processes and usages of the TLM (teaching learning materials). In 6 ICDS centers DEEP provided TLM and mobilized the community for infrastructural support, which is another critical deficit area along with regularity of Anganwadi Workers. The weak demand of pre-school education services due to poor understanding of its needs is another major concern. The job of making the pre-school education services functional and visible is facing difficulties as most of the personnel employed have been recruited from locally powerful families, whose primary interests is salary.
The 20 odd project villages have just 14 Primary Schools, 07 Middle Schools and 2 High Schools and 1 Higher Secondary schools for the school education. These are short of requirements across age groups, when considered against population and access challenges in forested and hilly terrain. The middle schools were recently upgraded without commensurate facility and infrastructure improvements to ensure delivery of respective levels of services. The access to senior secondary schooling (11th & 12th year) has remained a big challenge for many children in the project as there is only one school in the area serving up to 15 kilometers. However, the big challenges for the tribal community has remained shortage of trained teachers from own mother tongue i.e. Tharu and Oraon, which is restricting class transactions even at the primary level. A recent assessment of staffing in the schools in the project area found that 50 out of 68 teachers employed are non-natives who prefer to stay in rented accommodations in nearby towns only, except for two teachers. This is affecting the regularity of teachers’ attendance. This, coupled with a high student to teacher ratio of 50 to 80, and upward of 130 in a single teacher school has badly affected the teaching-learning process in the schools. While a section of economically well off parents can afford the private coaching support for school going children, which is mushrooming in absence of quality education in schools, this is not securing a bright future for a large section of tribe children in the project area. DEEP has initiated efforts to strengthen the community and school management committee to work on these, also approval has been availed for a scheduled tribe residential school, however, more efforts are needed to see results.

The poor access to higher education right from secondary schooling has continued to assist the pre-existing social practices and norms which included engagement of children in labor of various forms and child marriage, including their justifications. The engagement of children from the project area into child labor range from daily wage work in the locality for Rs. 50/- for a day to migration to work in agricultural farms in the state of Punjab and shop floors in cities like Bangalore & Delhi, which is putting a whole life in peril for the children. Thus, ensuring access to quality preschool and school education for children in this project area to safeguard their future, will involve herculean task of intervening across all aspects of the services and facilities of pre-school and school education, and improving the community's dream for their children.

Achievements & Impact


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Result Area: 100% children in the 3 - 6 years age group are enrolled in ICDS Anganwadis.

* Track Children and enroll yet to be enrolled children in ICDS Anganwadis.
* Conduct assessment of 100 children to analyze and map their progress.
* Organize village level awareness campaigns on the importance of pre-school education through mother’s group meeting.
* Sensitization workshop with the ICDS workers in collaboration with Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) on pre-school education, Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), joyful method etc.

* DEEP workers collected data of all SMC, ICDS management committee and CPC members. This data collection was done for mobilizing them and ensuring their participation in the meeting.
* 13 ICDS centers were activated throughout the year.
* 73% of children between ages 3-6 years are attending school.
* 22 Anganwadi workers were provided training during the year.


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Result Area: 100% children among 6-14 years are retained in schools.

* Track children in age group (6-14 years), identification of the drop out and irregular children and sensitizing them.
* Continuing operating the 3 coaching centers for girls in class 9th and 10th, along with providing study materials to them.
* Identify and enroll eligible girls for Residential Bridge Course (RBC) Center and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) in the area run by the department of education, Bihar.
* Engagement with the education officials by the local Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and DEEP, and placing demands for infrastructure, teachers’ regularity, and timely book distribution.

* 100% children attended at least 75% classes during the academic year.
* 512 children have been transited from grade 5 to grade 6, 556 children from grade 8 to grade 9, and 365 children from grade 10 to 11.
* 89% children cleared board exams of class 10th this year.
* 10 school teachers were given training.
* 10 schools have been activated during the year through sensitizing stakeholders at different levels.
* 100% schools are functional in their own buildings.


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Result Area: Reduction in child labor (among 6-18 years).

* Track children under 18 years age who have migrated to other states and conducting community level sensitization sessions on impact of child labor.
* Mobilize community members to take part in the Gram Panchayat level and ward level Child Protection Committee (CPC) formation process.
* Conduct capacity building and engagement with local Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Panchayat Raj Institutes (PRI) members, and identified parents whose children have migrated to other cities for work.

* 514 child labors in the age group of 6-18 years were rescued during the period and all were mainstreamed into formal education.
* 394 CBO members have been sensitized on the issue of child labor.
* 136 children from 3 centers have been enrolled in remedial classes or additional education support.
* 24 meetings were organised with village level stakeholders (including Panchayat members, Teachers, Anganwadi Workers) on Child Protection issues.
* 6 phase meetings were organized with CPC members with 330 members to discuss amendment of CLPRA / PCMA and other child protection acts and policies.


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Result Area: Implement a comprehensive preventive program for addressing child marriage.

* Conduct community level sensitization sessions on child marriage using different learning materials, wall writing, cultural program, video shows etc.
* Organize Panchayat level workshop with the local youth, parents, elected leaders of PRIs, ward level CPC member, and local police station on child marriage and importance of girl child education issue.

* 15 out of 24 villages/hamlets have not reported any child marriage in last one year.
* 24 cases of child marriage are stopped during the reporting period.


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Result Area: Children's views are represented in significant policy engagements at different levels (village, block, district)

* Conduct capacity building of the children collective members on different issues like child labor, child marriage, migration, early marriages, education etc.

* 384 members of children collective sensitized during the year on the different issues.
* 32 meetings were organized by these children collectives during the year.

* Sensitize parents to mobilize their children for active participation in the children collective’s processes.
* Develop Girl Child Football Team. ( 2 groups in 2 Panchayat)

* 84 adolescents from 7 adolescent groups have been sensitized through 7 meetings on issues of adolescents.
* The organization has given impetus towards working with the adolescent girls’ team formation. Field workers had closely worked with the girls and they had formed a girls' team for badminton, football, volleyball etc. These sports are mainly dominated by the boys in this area. These girls groups were provided space during the cultural event.

Highlight of community action and government interface:


Admission of children in residential school was an important agenda of the project this year. Thus, DEEP took up two fold strategies. One is directly liaising and advocating with the school authorities in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGVB) and Adivasi Awasiya Valika Vidyalaya (Residential school for tribal girls). They have also looped in local CBOs to spearhead the dialogue process. The team was also successful in sensitizing parents to send their children in the residential schools. As result of sustained focus the project was able to ensure:
* Admission of 16 girls in Kasturba Gandhi Valika Vidyalaya ( KGVB) in Bakhri village;
* Admission of 68 Girls in Adivasi Awasiya Valika Uchha Vidyalaya (residential school for tribe girls teaching Class I to X); and
* Admission of24 boys into Adivasi Awasiya Valak Vidyalaya (residential school for tribal boys).

Plans


Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Education
1) In 20 villages, 100% children aged 3-6 years are enrolled in ICDS Anganwadis.
2) In 20 villages, 100% children aged 6-14 years are retained in schools.

* Organize one Block level SMC consultation to highlight issues of textbook shortage, and teachers’ availability & regularity.
* Organize one quarterly meeting every quarter with Tharu Kalyan Sangh to raise the issues of residential schools, teacher’s availability, teacher’s regularity, and schemes to assist access to education.
* Make ECCE assessment card operational in 7 ICDS centers, analyze the findings to strengthen the services.
* Mobilizing members of 22 SMCs to participate in the meeting and empower children’s groups to voice out their requirements in appropriate forums.
* Continuing the coaching center in 3 villages (Pipra, Naurangia, Sitalwari Semrahani (IX & X) for girls.
* Conduct follow-ups with the ICDS workers to implement the learning of training and use the teaching and learning methodology (TLM) as prescribed.
* Rapid assessment of 22 schools which comes under RTE act and develop a school wise plan.
* Mobilization of community resources and CBOs to ensure 4 teachers deployed in Gobrahiya High School are able to continue teaching.
* Motivating the children who are qualifying 10th exam to take admission in +2 Schools (Gobhariya schools).

Protection: 1) Reduction in child labor in 20 project areas.
2) Prevention of child marriage in 20 villages.

* Organize 144 meetings with children collective on protection issues like child marriage, child labor, and unsafe migration.
* Organize capacity building program in 2 phases in 2 Gram Panchayats level Child Protection Committee (CPC) and sensitizing on issues of child marriage and unsafe migration.
* Organizing a block level CPC consultation involving local CPC members, Govt. officials and District Child Protection Unit (DCPU).
* Conduct capacity building of CBOs leaders in six phases on child protection issues and available systems.
* Organizing anti-child marriage week campaign in all villages in collaboration with CPC and DCPU.
* Facilitate negotiation with local child labor employers to ensure children who are removed from workforce are enrolled in schools.
* Linking the families with MNREGS, PDS and pension schemes through interface with Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI).

Financial Summary: January to December 2020


Budget Breakup 2020

Education

8,893

39%

Protection

8,893

39%

Administration

5,225

22%

Total Grant Approved

23,011

100%