on the details of
11 villages of Kotra block of Udaipur District, Rajasthan, India
Thematic Intervention: Education
Kotra Adivasi Sansthan (KAS) is registered under Societies Registration Act and is working since 1998. KAS was formed to support the Adivasi Vikas Manch (AVM), a people’s movement instituted in 1993 to works on rights and entitlements of the tribal communities. It is one of the very few organisations which are based in Kotra itself and operate in the areas in and around Kotra block of Udaipur. KAS is primarily a people-centric organization. The key element of its working strategy is operating through people's institutions at the village level and taking up village level development issues. Community mobilization and facilitating the process of making village level organizations proactive, has been as well as continues to be done through instituting issue based organizations.
KAS is going to implement CRY project in 11 villages of Kotra block of Udaipur district in Rajasthan. Largely, the communities such as Bhils and Garasiyas residing across the Kotra block in Udaipur district of Rajasthan are lagging in terms of overall development, and surviving in extreme difficulty due to poverty, lack adequate knowledge and sensitivity towards education. There is lack of livelihood opportunities and inadequacy of food, coupled with habituated alcoholism which induces large scale migration. Poor quality of education imparted in the schools due to lack of teachers and basic facilities, hilly and tough terrain, and lack of transportation facilities leads to high dropout amongst children in the area. The children, being first generation learners, normally drop in their early years of schooling itself. High drop outs are observed in transitions from class 5th to 6th due to lack of easy access to schools in short distance, absence of transportation facilities, and the poor learning levels and comprehension amongst children. Also, the lack of understanding of the benefit of education works as deterrent for the parents to send their children to schools. There is lack of basic facilities like ICDS (supplementary nutrition support) centre in the area which further aggravates the situation since the children are even devoid of early stimulations which are very important for the overall development of the child. Overall, education status is abysmally low and accorded low priority by the communities and administration which leads to a complex situation where child rights as a whole get low priority and is often not an agenda for the authorities. The vision of the organisation is to create a self-reliant community for supporting the tribal people’s struggle for the attainment of overall development of the tribal community of Kotra Block.
- To strengthen community monitoring mechanisms for child rights through effective implementation of PESA (The Provisions of the Panchayats - Extension to Scheduled Areas) in Gram Sabha.
- To provide quality education to children within the government schools by ensuring enhancement in learning levels and retention of children in schools.
- To provide access and quality education opportunities to out of school children in the remote and far flung areas.
- To provide career counselling and enhance confidence among children in 15-18 age group so as to empower them to achieve their goals.
- To take up networking, liaising and advocacy efforts for rightful educational entitlements for children.
Achievements & Impact
- KAS works on migrant labour issues to create mechanisms for migrant workers to create safer working conditions and get paid fair wages. It works at both source (Kotra block) and destination (Small towns of Western Rajasthan) of migrant labour. KAS facilitates convergence and sensitization of various depts. At the source, it is working on orientation and awareness of the youth, life skills, legal awareness and occupational / vocational skill development. KAS is extensively working on elimination of the use of children in the migrant labour fields and return them to school or other vocations.
- KAS works on governance issue in Kotra. Kotra falls under 5th schedule (tribal) area and thereby PESA Act provisions need to be ensured in the area. Through PESA (The Provisions of the Panchayats -Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, Gram Sabha strengthening and empowering of Gram Sabhas is undertaken in 148 villages by KAS. In this context the present work of KAS is in natural resource management, resolving village level disputes, facilitating development of village action plan by the villagers themselves, community monitoring of village level social institutions such as schools, Anganwadi centres, Health Sub Centres, Shops of Public Distribution System for essential supplies etc.
- Women's Empowerment: KAS created Self Help Groups (SHGs) in most of the villages surrounding Kotra, in order to create a sense of togetherness and responsibility among the women to address issues that affect them and the community as well. Leadership workshops are held to improve the effectiveness of SHGs as well as in the Gram Panchayats and have a yearly women's convention to increase their understanding of issues within the community.
- Education – the major work that KAS took up to improve education are –
- Shiksha Chetna Drive (10 days) was organized for sensitization of people towards education and streamlining of educational systems in the area along with local groups and organizations. The drive culminated in a public hearing on the issue amongst the administration and concerned stakeholders.
- Residential Girls Camp (7 months) to improve the educational levels of girl children was undertaken from the year 2002 till 2008 in the area. Along with likeminded organizations KAS organized camps in the area to provide access and opportunity of education to drop out and never been to school girl children and enable them to attain the class 5 learning levels. Around 650 girl children were benefitted through this and thereby mainstreaming was facilitated through linkages with education department and administration. Most of the girls of these camps are now either in government service, or doing studying in universities.
- KAS has been monitoring the functioning of schools through PESA Gram Sabha to act as alert, vigilant monitoring groups for the effective functioning of the school.
- Work on Quality Education - In association with Astha and Axis Foundation, KAS worked to enhance quality of education in 15 single teacher schools in Kotra block. Young educators were placed in the schools wherein the Activity Based Learning techniques were used for the children as also the development of TLM was taken. Regular teacher was also capacitated on the techniques to enable the teacher to translate them in their regular school teaching. Also, work was done on threat free schools environment for the children to nurture their creativity and expression.
- KAS representation in different committees - Block level and district level RTE committee; Child Labour Eradication/Prevention Committee at the sub divisional level.
Focus 1- To strengthen community monitoring mechanisms for child rights through effective implementation of PESA Gram Sabha.
- Education to be established as a focus issue in the Gram Sabhas in 11 revenue villages of the intervention area through the mandate of Section 11 of the PESA (The Provisions of the Panchayats -Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act. This will be contributed through meeting with Gram Sabha every month; Community meeting and specific one-to-one interaction will be done with parents and children.
- Enhance understanding of the School Management Committee (SMC) members and initiation of preparation of school development plan. Activities planned are –
- Regular interface meeting with School Management Committee (SMC) members, and workshop with School Management Committee (SMC) members for their orientation on their roles and responsibilities.
- Preparation of annual school development plan for the schools in a transparent and democratic manner in five schools.
- Initiate the tracking of child labourers in the intervening villages.
- Sensitized community on the issues of education and child labour through awareness drive on education and child labour.
Focus 2- To provide quality education to children within the government schools by ensuring enhancement in learning levels and retention of children in schools.
- Enhanced understanding of educators on the content and methodology of teaching. This will be done through training of educators by expert organizations such as Vidya Bhawan. The 1st training will be for 6 days, and two more rounds of trainings of three days each over next two quarter periods.
- Enhanced understanding of the educators on the concepts and the methodologies. This will be done through training wherein activity based learning will be deliberated. Also, teachers will be oriented on the subject based concepts for transaction with children. The practical demonstration in the actual classroom space will also be provided to the educators during the training.
- A library corner will be set up in the school for the children. Reading is a pleasure, a tool for self exploration, innovation and imagination.
- The learning levels of the children will be assessed. The activities planned are -
- Baseline assessment of children will be taken up and further gradual formative assessments, worksheets will be transacted basis the learning levels of children.
- Continuous assessment transactions for children will be developed and planned on weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Regular meetings will be conducted for the educators for the planning.
- Educators will be guided in transacting continuous assessments with children within the school system from class 1st to 5th.
Focus 3- To provide access and quality education opportunities to out-of-school children in the remote and far flung areas.
- Develop clear understanding of the status of drop-out, never been to school etc. in the project area will be developed. The activities planned for this are –
- Child wise tracking to be done in the intervening villages and list out the drop-out, never- been-to-school children.
- Establish and operate 5 learning centre to provide access to education for children who primarily do not have access to school due to distance, terrain etc.
- Enhance understanding of the educators by providing training to the educators about the objectives and transactions in the learning centres; transact with children basis of their competency level in a multi-grade multi-level environment.
- Innovative, joyful methodology transaction for the concepts by creating and developing innovative teaching learning material and transact for teaching hard spots of the children.
Focus 4- To provide career counselling and enhance confidence among children in 15-18 age groups so as to enable them to achieve their goals.
- Out-of-school children will develop clarity on their objective in life. Planned activities for this are -
- Identifying out-of-school children in age group of 15-18 years.
- Identifying a set of 30 children who are vulnerable and have readiness to go through the process.
- Develop detailed plan for these identified set of children, to help them realize their goals in life.
Focus 5- To take up networking, liaising and advocacy efforts for rightful educational entitlements for children
- Assessment of the status of educational institutions in the project area will be carried out, to begin with, to initiate advocacy on the same.
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