Foundational Literacy and Numeracy programs help children in Govt. schools to recognise, read, write letters and basic arithmetic suitable to their class. Usually, these programs are started from 1st to 7th standard. To track the progress of the child, continuous assessment is done and the teacher is made aware of the same. This enables the implementation of grade appropriate material. Avaya and Rotary have been sponsoring such programs which have helped lakhs of children in rural Karnataka, covering not only Math and Kannada, but also English and Science.
AVAYA Bala Vidya Project:
Our partnership with AVAYA started in the year 2015 AVAYA is one of the world’s leading telecommunication companies. Thanks to their concern, the government schools located in the rural communities in Anekal have access to remedial education and digital literacy. Tablets provided to the Pratham teachers have made learning more accessible and visual.
The project also covers science, done by teachers known as Vigyan Mitras. Vans have been provided which serves to reach more schools and the communities which are located around Anekal. The number of children covered in the project is, the communities being benefitted are and the number of teachers being employed is 25. The different programs covered under AVAYA are Balavachan, Science, Math and Kannada.
The methodology implemented in the project is TaRL (Teaching at the Right Level). The children in the classes are grouped based on an assessment test, which categorizes them based on the understanding level of the child, and not on age. This approach, called remedial education, not only gives supporting staff and teaching aids to the schools, support the curriculum given by the government, but also enables the child to study grade appropriate material by the end of the term.
This approach is given for Kannada and Math, two subjects which are crucial to improving the learning levels of the children. These programs are run from grades 3 to 7.There are also science programs, taught by using low-cost materials and experiments which engage the children in the classrooms.
Rotary Global Grant Project:
Under its humanitarian projects, with education being an important category, Rotary is sponsoring Pratham Mysore’s programs from 2014 related to foundational literacy and numeracy. What started as a project covering a few thousand children for implementing programs in Kannada, expanded to Math and currently covering English and has reached more than 150000 children.
Currently, there are two Global Grants being run in the following districts Tumkur, Banglore, Ramagara, Mandya, Mysore, Chamrajagara and Kodagu. Both the projects have libraries as an important part of the program, being run in the classrooms and communities. Currently, the number of children being covered are around 15000.
After working on Math and Kannada, the English program was taken up as a need from and to the community. Using the methodology of TaRL, the camp model was adopted where the remedial classes run for 30-40 days. Every school involved in the project is given a kit, which has various teaching aids for different learning levels of children. Special activities on Saturday are organised on Saturdays to motivate the children towards learning and to encourage their hobbies and skills. Rotarians and the community are invited to participate in these activities.
By the time a child completes class 3, it is expected that she/he will have a concept of numbers, understand the logic behind and perform simple calculations, read and comprehend simple words and sentences. Given its importance in the holistic development of a child in the early stages of academic development, it occupies precedence given the school lockdowns that have taken place for a long time. FLN programs are crucial that children understand the basics of language and arithmetic, thus preparing them for the curriculum.
The ASER report of 2021 states the following:
81% Percentage in grades 3 cannot read Std 2 level text
26% percentage in grade 3 cannot do 2 digit subtraction
Supporting Pratham Mysore in its endeavour to bring about FLN programs are AVAYA and Rotary. Since its inception, the programs have covered a total of 2 lakhs Children.