By Kishan Naik [ Alumni – MA Education 2015-17]
After two years of Masters in Education from Azim Premji University, I understood the core values of education from different perspectives with the help of multiple courses being offered during the program. It was not just about conceptual frameworks made me to understand but along with weekly practicums, field immersions and Internships kind of field exposures helped me a lot for better understanding as Learning by Doing. Not only the above factors but class room discussions, presentations and assignments really give us space where we usually share and put our individual/collective ideas and thoughts of a particular issues/ challenges and solutions of schools education etc. And it provides a space to visit and understand different set of schools during the program itself. After APU I got an opportunity to work with a Non-Governmental Organization called Bal Utsav-which has been engaging in the field of education to support government schools in Karnataka and I have been assigned and closely working with rural government schools.
The reason I am bring all the above factors simply because these platforms helped me with deeper understanding of school education and supports to look in to a certain issues/challenges through multiple lenses. In brief, for me, APU is a place where one could explore their maximum potentials and makes the individual as a creative, critical and independent thinker.
Let me explain about my recent initiative and what factors motivated me to gear up. During APU days we often discuss with our faculty and amongst friends that government schools are not up to the mark and some are under abysmal conditions like does not have basic amenities and infrastructure, low enrollment, lack of SDMC members engagement with school and so on. Indeed there are challenges in government schools and side by side some are running well with proper facilities and good learning out comes. I questioned myself what can be done then? Since then I realize myself and often share my ideas with couple of our faculty and friends that, instead blaming the system that something is not going well in school education then why do not we take a chance to make the possible difference from our end by being in or out of the system.
Couple of weeks ago I did basic assessment of the school and had conversation with teachers and SDMC members and they are really looking for the people who can aid the possible ways to strengthening the schools. After all, with a lot of hope and deep commitments and support from the likeminded people, finally I started an initiative on 15th August 2018 to support two rural government schools in my native place-Chinthala Thanda village of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. This initiative has a clear purpose and vision to revitalize rural government schools and provide quality education with impactful and meaningful teaching-learning outcomes.
Followings are the main objectives:
- Increase student enrollments
- Decrease attrition rate amongst students
- Read and share friendly environment by setting up school library
- Workshops for teachers on school leadership and management and teacher professional development etc. (may take little time to start)
- Strengthening of SDMC members for active involvement in school development.
I often respect and consider that teachers are most powerful resource in education that could bring the actual transform in school education. I must share with you that; here we have highly motivated and dedicated teachers in both the schools who put their maximum of interest and efforts to make the difference in schools. I am sure with their wish we would bring some meaningful transformation to achieve our vision.
With the help of some contributions from likeminded people and request made by the school management, on the day of inauguration we distributed some materials for the schools:
- One pair of white dress and belt as uniform to wear once in a week (for 46 students)
- Teaching-learning Aids
- Safe filtered drinking water facility for both schools
For coming days, our focus would be more on emphasizing teaching-learning aids which helps to bring more impactful outcomes. This is just a start up and many more things need to be done further step by step. Proper follow ups and documentations of activities and interventions will be maintained.
Basic School details
- Government Model Primary school (grade 1-5)- No of students (180), Teachers (06)
- Government Primary School (grade 1-5)- No of students (46) Teachers (02)
Location: Chinthala Thanda (village), Macherla (Block), Guntur (dist) Andhra Pradesh, Pin-522439.