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OXFAM India Education Project: Making Rights to Education Work in Tribal Areas and Improving Access to Quality Education for Tribal Students in Sundargarh District

Introduction: The Education Project supported by Oxfam India has been implemented in 32 tribal dominated villages of Kuarmunda Block in Sundargarh District since April 2013. The project has two Stages and each stage has a period of 18 months. Stage 1 started from 1st April 2013 and ended on 30th September 2014 and the 2nd Stage which is in operation has started from 1st October 2014 and will continue till 31st March 2016. The period under report has last 6 months of 1st stage and initial 6 months of 2nd stage of the project. The focus of first stage of the project was Making Right to Education Work in 32 tribal villages in Kuarmunda block of Sundargarh district especially mainstreaming the education of tribal children and the 2nd stage of the project basically contributing for improving access to quality education among tribal students with focus on tribal girls in elementary schools. The project covered around 3500 Tribal, Dalit and Girl Children in 32 Elementary Schools of 32 Villages in 7 GP of Kuarmunda Block in Sundargarh District. The Population of the project villages is around 25000 with 84% tribal. The Target Groups of the project are Children of 6 to 14 years old, their parents/guardians, communities, PRIs, teachers, concern government officials / departments etc. The project has been managed by 1 Program Coordinator, 1 M & E Coordinator, 6 Field Animators and 32 Remedial Class Teachers with active involvement of the students, parents, school teachers, SMC members, CRCCs, BRCC, ABEO, BEO, BDO and other government officials and many village volunteers, media, CSOs, networks / forums, activists, retired educationists, researchers, resource persons / organizations, intellectuals and concern citizens and institutions. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act) was passed by Indian Parliament in 2009 and came into force on April 1, 2010. Although elementary education is now a fundamental right of every child in India, the reality for tribal children is that they are deprived of their educational right along with other child rights. The basic objectives of the project are to ensure effective implementation of RTE norms in schools and improving access to quality primary education for tribal students with focus on tribal girl children coming under Project villages.

Activities and Achievements

Creative Workshops for Children:

We have organized 2 Creative Workshops for Children on 29.06.2014 at Tangarani School with 117 children and other participants and on 14.09.2014 at San Kalosihiria UP School with163 participants including children, few parents and school teachers of host and other project schools. The creative activities for children included Mathematics Game, Patterns Development, Spell Checks, Jhoti Competition, Essay and Story Writing, Drawing and Painting, Paper Models Making, Story Telling, Various Local Games, Dance, Song, Speech and Group Discussion on Importance of Education. The School and Remedial Teachers and Project Staffs facilitated the creative activities done by the children. As a token of encouragement, the project awarded prizes to the children participated in various creative activities. The ABEO, CRCCs, Head Masters / Mistress, Teachers, SMCs Chairmen and Members, Media Persons and other local dignitaries joined in the occasions as honorable guests and encouraged the children for pursuing their dreams through education and nurturing and improving their talents and creativity.

Children Festival

One Children Festival was held on 07.09.2014 at Karlabud Primary School. 139 children, parents and school teachers from 10 schools / villages participated in the Program. The children enjoyed various sports activities, local games, singing songs, dance and drama performance, model preparation and presentation and sharing their experiences and views and got an opportunity to build up friendship with children of other schools. The activities were facilitated by the school teachers, remedial teachers and project staffs and children participated in the programs were awarded with learning materials as gifts. The children enjoyed the programs in the festival very much and freely spent time with the duty bearers including their parents, teachers, elected representatives, government officials, NGOs functionaries and others. It has contributed a lot in motivating the children to regularly attend the schools and improve their learning level and continue in their education. The children had been treated with equal respect and their rights, dignity, emotion, worries, safety, security, food, drinking water, safe transport, rest, needs and enjoyment had been taken well care of. They had been allowed to participate in programs in proper child friendly environment and the best interest of the children had been the priority.

Provision and Use of School Health and Hygienic Corners

The project has set up Health & Hygiene Corners in 10 Schools for improving health, hygiene and sanitation, cleanliness and well manners practices. The corners have health tip posters, Mirrors with Adjustable Self, Combs, Nail Cutters, and Buckets with Lids, Steel Jugs, Mugs, Soap Cases, Soaps, Steel Glasses, First Aid Boxes, Dettol Bottles, Scissors, Cotton Bundles, Turkish / Towels, Neosporin, Borolin, Tin Boxes, Water Containers and Weighing Machines etc. These arrangements have created interest among the children for positive change in attitudes and behavior and attracted them regularly attending the schools and use the health and hygienic corners. The team headed by child health minister is managing the health and hygienic corners. During this period the project supplied additional items for the health and hygienic corner like - Dettol, Neosporin, Boroline, Cotton Bundles, Vicks, Move, Scissors, Glucose – D, Soaps, Liquid Hand Wash, Dustbins and Waste / Dirt Lifters etc. The project staffs regular observed that the schools are making best use of the materials supplied earlier to the School Health and Hygiene Corners. In every such school, the children have elected a Child Health Minister to look after the health and hygienic corners with the support of the teachers and project staffs / remedial class teachers. The parents, teachers, children and SMCs members have appreciated this initiative which has remarkably improved hygienic practices in these10 schools and contributed for better child friendly environment for accessing quality education in remote villages for tribal and girl children. We have plan to expand this unique endeavor to another 10 new schools

Remedial Classes

We have been successfully running 32 remedial classes for working children / child laborers, dropouts, irregular school goers, never enrolled, victims of poverty and violence and slow learners in project area. At present the remedial classes are accommodating a total number of 1095 students. 214 no students from class I, 257 from class II, 200 from class III, 182 from class IV, 175 from class V, 32 student from VI, 19 student from VII, 16 student from VIII have been accommodated in remedial classes run by the project. They have got age and class appropriate education and mainstreamed into school education by checking dropouts and increasing regular attendance and retention in schools. The Remdial Class Teachers have been informally and formally oriented and trained on the project components and Quality Education. They have been supported by Vikramshila Resource Persons for adopting joyful and child friendly teaching – learning methodologies. They have been properly oriented for effective teaching of different subjects by developing / preparing and using relevant TLMs and innovative methodologies. 32 remedial teachers with the support of 6 field animators and under the guidance of the program coordinator and M & E coordinator have been engaged for improving the learning competencies of the children through remedial classes. The monitoring, record keeping, quality teaching & learning processes, TLMs provisions and progress tracking system are being standardized. The remedial classes are taking places for around two and half hours in the morning or evening and on holidays as per the convenience of the children, parents and the communities. The learning level of each child has been recorded and progress tracked regularly in order to help them achieve their age and class appropriate desirable learning levels.

Capacity building of School Monitoring Committees

Two numbers of Capacity Building Training of School Monitoring Committees have been organized during this year at Baniguni UP School and Kuarmunda Block Conference Hall. 90 members of GP Level Education Watch Groups got trained on RTE provisions and Role of Stakeholders in raising the education / school issues with appropriate authorities for their early solution, ensuring proper implementation of RTE norms and constantly improving the quality in primary education. Seven Education Watch Groups formed under this project with 15 to 20 members in each group, have been closely monitoring the functioning of schools and their consistency with the provisions of RTE – Act. They have been identifying gaps as independent citizens’ collective for raising education related problems and suggesting best possible solutions to the concerned SMCs, headmasters, teachers, parents and authorities. Through the Capacity Building program, the School Monitoring Committees (7 GP Level Education Watch Groups) have been enabled to take initiative in bringing the pertinent problems to the officials and regularly monitoring the functioning of the schools and activating the School Management Committees in looking after the problems of the children and addressing the infrastructure, teachers and TLMs requirements of the schools. They are making communities aware about school and education situation and ensure active participation for better management of schools and addressing the problems.

Orientation to SMCs, PRIs and Community Members on RTE

We have organized six orientation programs for 309 members of SMCs, PRIs CBOs and NGOs representatives. They have been oriented on RTE provisions, details of SMCs formation, roles and responsibilities of SMCs as per new guidelines, school development plan and monitoring of schools by the community. The concern CRCCs and Project Staffs had facilitated orientation programs. The participants discussed about the problems of schools of their respective villages and suggested ways for improving school situation and quality education. They also made their own assessment of the present quality of teaching, performances of teachers and learning level of students, infrastructure, text books and other school provisions in the light of the RTE norms, and presented an action plan to address the gaps. We also conducted 25 follow up meetings for SMC members in the operational area. 248 female and 136 male members participated in the follow up meetings and shared their difficulties in sustaining regular function of SMCs and improving school environment. The SMCs, PRIs and CBOs members understood their key roles in formation of new SMCs and took responsibilities for making the parents aware about the new guidelines on SMC and take active role in solving the school problems one after another.

Exposure Visit on Quality Education, Children Friendly Teaching – Learning Methodologies and TLMs Preparation and Uses for Making Learning Enjoyable

A team of 8 persons comprising 3 field animators, 1 project coordinator, 1 M & E Coordinator, 1 remedial class teacher, 1 community level remedial class monitor and 1 senior staff of Chale Chalo participated in a learning exposure visit to Vikramashila Education Resource Society, Bigha (West Bengal, India) from 25th to 30th September 2014. The exposure team members left for Kolkata / Bigha on 25th September and reached ITDA – Kolkata on 26th September 2014. They had interacted of ITDA – Kolkata, visited the school run by ITDA and interacted with the teachers. On the same day the team made plan for visit to Vikramsila, Bigha and spent sometimes in national museum and national library etc for observation and learning. On 27th morning the team left Kolkata for Vikramsila, Bigha. On arrival, the visiting team had a brief meeting with the Vikramashila Education Resource Society’s staff and gathered information about the organization, its past and current activities at Bigha and finalized the 3 days exposure visit on various aspects on quality education. The team proceeded to observe various processes / activities in Vikramashila Schools from pre-school to Class 4 in groups. The curricular and co-curricular activities were well knitted and coordinated for improving learning ability of each child. The children’s assembly for 30 minutes has number of interesting activities for inculcating values, exploring to learn more and taking care of improving the life skills with proper balance of physical, mental and intellectual development of the children. The team then visited various classes and observed the teaching – learning processes, methodologies and quality aspects in class room transactions. The team learned the use of TLMs for conceptual clarity and making the learning process easier. The team observed various methods in teaching mathematics, science, literature and social studies including environment. The team had series of effective interactions with teachers, students, staffs and local communities on quality aspects in education and got replies to their various queries about the ways for ensuring quality education and continuous improvement in the academic performance of the children etc.

In the second day of the exposure visit the team got an opportunity to undergo refresher training on Quality Aspects in Education as per the provisions under Right to Education Act – 2009 and National Curriculum Framework – 2005, current situation of elementary education in India and best practices for ensuring quality education in Vikramsila School etc. The training program was facilitated by Mr. Atanu Sain, Director and Mr. Arun Kumar, Coordinator, VERS and was very effective in learning various issues associated with quality education. In the 3rd day the team members got properly oriented with practical demonstration of appropriate teaching – learning methodologies and how those were developed, tasted and followed. The team also learned in details all about CCE and took note of how the learning progress of each child is tracked through CCE. The team spent time with the TLMs making group of Vikramshila and learned how to develop appropriate TLMs based on the prescribed syllabus for making the children able to understand the subject without much difficulties. The team had learned a wide range of useful skills and gained knowledge on quality education through outdoor and class room activities and undergoing intensive training.

Teachers’ Sensitization and Training

Teachers’ sensitization & Training program was organized jointly by Chale Chalo and B.E.O, Kuarmunda at Block Conference Hall, Kuarmunda on 21st Aug, 2014 with an objective to sensitize the teachers on better implementation of RTE provisions and Quality education in child friendly environment through using of appropriate methodologies and TLMs. 49 Teachers and CRCCs of Government Elementary Schools, Remedial Class Teachers and project staffs participated in the program. The program was facilitated by Mr. Rudra Madhav Barik, Principal of Deolpada College and Chairman of Chale Chalo. Mr. Debendra Kumar Bishi, Block Resource Person for Teachers’ Training in Nuapara district explained all the important provisions in RTE and specifically highlighted the section 29 of the act on quality parameters in education. He also stressed on child friendly and activity based learning processes and informed about the National Curriculum Framework – 2005. There was interactive session about the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation and the RP sensitized the teachers on tracking the progress of learning ability of the children and helping each child to achieve the learning level. The Head Master of San Kalosoria UP School shared his experiences on use of TLMs provided by Chale Chalo and the role of remedial classes run by Chale Chalo for bringing the irregular / dropouts and never enrolled children into school and providing them quality education and making education interesting for the deficient learners. Head Mistress of Baniguni UP School shared her experiences of developing appropriate TLMs with the support of Chale Chalo Project Staffs, Remedial Teacher, Other School Teachers and Students by using local materials and her efforts to bring and retain all the children in school through creating child centered and joyful learning environment and support for the late / deficient learners through the remedial classes run by Chale Chalo. The teachers were made sensitized on importance of community and parents involvement in school development and management and strengthening of SMCs and how to work effectively with various stakeholders for the best interest of the schools and children. M & E Coordinator Mr. Sudhansu Sekhar Barik had presented the project activities of Chale Chalo and how these have contributed in creating remarkable interest among the children towards better education and boosted their self – confidence to pursue their goal through education. The teachers have been immensely benefited through provision of TLMs and Teachers’ guidebooks in consonance with the school syllabus under this project.

Use of Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs)

Last year the project had supplied with 1100 Chhabila Ganita Khela (Pictorial Mathematics Games) books for class 2nd and 3rd students for helping the children to learn mathematics with funs, interest and enjoyment. The project has also made provision for subject wise visibility study materials, pictorial explanation / exercise sheets, maps, picture cards, charts, alphabet and number cards and boards for 32 schools for class 1st to 7th. Besides, a multi-color informative and pictorial book as Ama Pakshi Jagat (Our Birds’ World) had been developed for 4th and 5th class students for developing their knowledge on different birds life and also improve their skills on facts and picture and paragraph reading, birds observation, information collection, recording, self and collective learning. 1100 Chhabila Madhu Barnabodha books had been provided to primary school children for correctly learning alphabets, words, sentences, paragraphs and understanding, writing, reading and speaking Odia language. Globes, models on solar system, skeleton, heart and brain etc had been provided in remedial classes and schools for stimulating and joyful learning. Besides, the field staffs, remedial class teachers, children and teachers have been developing TLMs by using locally available resources for helping the children in understanding various subjects through learning by doing. This year the organization has procured few additional varieties of TLMs from Kanika Book Distributors, Cuttack. They include picture cards and word charts, coloring books and handwriting notebooks, pencils, erasers, chalks, color boxes and drawing sheets etc. The TLMs have been distributed across all 32 schools of the project area. The stock and use of TLMs increase as per the needs of the students and teachers as the project progresses. All the TLMs provided by the project have been very much useful for the teachers to teach on different subjects as per syllabus. The remedial class teachers and children have used the local resources and prepared different sizes of balls, sticks, shapes, patterns, pictures, charts, drawings and models like – Mud House, Cow, Goat, Birds, Forest / Plants, Pond, Canal, Pots, Bricks, Agriculture Equipments, Traditional Household Articles, Fruits, Flowers and modern items like - Television, Radio, Fan, Comb, Snake, Mango, Solider, Chair, Table, Elephant, Clock, Building, Jug, Mobile, etc for mutual learning and sharing. The project has the plan to support remedial and school teachers for continuous preparation and use of TLMs for quality teaching – learning practices by using locally available materials and involving the children, teachers and local artists.

Use of IEC Materials

We have prepared IEC materials in form of leaflets and folders to sensitize the target population on various provisions of RTE. The material has been prepared in consultation with RTE specialist, language expert and NGOs working on education. IEC materials contain RTE provisions for quality education and roles & responsibilities of the SMCs. We have been distributing IEC materials to people during workshops, meetings, trainings, media campaign, school and home visits. The effort has succeeded in spreading knowledge on RTE act and various aspects of quality education.

SMC & Teachers’ Convention

Teaches & School Management Committee Members’ Convention on School Development & Quality Education was held at PA-ITDA, Panposh - Rourkela on 21st September 2014. The main objective of the convention was to bring the SMCs members and Teachers together and evolve strategies for smooth management of school affairs, ensure continuous development of school environment and improving quality education at elementary level. The convention had given an opportunity to bring the experiences / practices, views and understanding, concerns and perspectives of concern government officials, PRIs representatives, SMCs members, teachers, parents and CSOs on school development and quality education for girl and tribal children in remote tribal villages. Mr.Rudra Madhab Barik Chairman of CHALE CHALO welcomed the participants and guests. Sri Pitrus Toppo Chairperson, Zilla Parisad was the Honorable Chief Guest, Mr. Ram Chandra Soren, Block Development Officer, Mr. Ajay Ekka, Block Education Officer, Kuarmunda Block, Mr.Sanjay Kumar Samal, District Teachers’ Association Secretary, Ms. Kadamtolla Choudhuri, Head Mistress, Baniguni UP School and Mr. Uma Sankar Sahu, Secretary, AHDAR – Bolangir, participated in the programs as Honorable Guests and Resource Persons. The staffs and Remedial Teachers of Chale Chalo greeted the guests and participants by offering flowers and the Cultural Team recited awareness songs on Quality Education and Provisions in RTE Act. The Director of Chale Chalo, Mr. Ranjit Kumar Swain had explained the objectives of the Convention and presented the details of activities undertaken by the projects and results achieved so far. Ms. Kadamtolla Choudhuri, Head mistress Baniguni UP School, shared about the changes that the project had brought in her school for improving quality education, school environment, management and development. Mr. Ajay Ekka, Block Education Officer, Kuarmunda explained the government’s initiatives and plans to implement the provisions of RTE Act and highlighted the role of CSOs, community, parents and SMCs for ensuring school development and quality education in all aspects. He also presented the New Guidelines on Formation and Function of Education Standing Committees at GP Level and SMCs at School Level.

Mr. Rama Chandra Soren, Block Development Officer, Kuarmunda in his address focused on collective efforts of teachers and SMCs for bringing positive changes in school and quality education. Mr.Pitrush Toppo Chairman Zilla Parishad, Sundargarh District, appealed to the SMCs and Teachers to work together with commitment and dedication for building the bright future of the tribal and girls’ children through giving them opportunity to access quality education in government primary schools. He also urged all the PRIs members to make Quality Education and School Development as one of their priorities while discharging their duties in GPs, PSs and ZP. Mr.Sanjay Kumar Samal, District Teachers Association Secretary, Sundargarh and Mr. Uma Sankar Sahu, Secretary, ADHAR, Bolangir, facilitated the technical session on School Development and Quality Education: Role of Teachers and SMCs. Both of them along with the president of District Journalist Association presented the current situation in schools and quality education and also highlighted the initiatives undertaken by NGOs, Government, Teachers and Communities for bringing positive changes. They highlighted the indicators for a better / fully developed school environment and parameters for quality education with focus on improvement of learning competencies of each child. The teachers and SMCs members shared their opinions, ideas, works, experiences, observations, problems, concerns, suggestions and dreams for building their ideal schools and quality education for their children during the open discussions facilitated by Mr. Samal and Mr. Sahu. The post lunch session was dedicated for developing collective action plan for school development and quality education not only in 32 project schools but also for replicating in other schools in the block and district.

Capacity Building of Staffs and Remedial Teachers on Quality Education

We have conducted a residential Capacity Building Training for Project Staffs and Remedial Teachers on Quality Education and How to achieve it through Oxfam India/BPCL Supported Project from 18th to 20th October 2014 at Chale Chalo Resource Centre, Madanpur, Dist – Kendrapara, Odisha. The project coordinator, M & E Coordinator, 6 Field Animators, 2 selected Remedial Teachers and 1 Community Level Remedial Class Monitor participated in this Residential Capacity Building Training. Mr. Bijay Kumar Sahoo, Development Project Consultant, Mr. Ghanshyam Baral, Teacher of Government UP School - Pentha and one of the Pioneers of Quality Education in Kendrapara District, Mr. Pradeep Nayak, Teacher – Madanpur High School, Mr. Hemanta Kumar Rout – Teacher, Barahapur High School, Mr. Rudra Madhab Barik and Mr. Ranjit Kumar Swain, Director – Chale Chalo facilitated different sessions on quality education aspects at primary school level and details of the project for improving quality education in Kuarmunda block of Sundargarh district. The participants reflected the learning of their visit on Quality Education to Vikramsila, West Bengal, identified action points for the project for 18 months and pondered on quality parameters for tracking learning outcomes in mathematics, language and general knowledge from class I to Class V. They identified the TLMs needs and how to develop and use them effectively for improving quality teaching and learning methods. The staffs also learned participatory planning, implementation, coordination, management, monitoring, assessment of learning outcomes, reporting and documentation, MIS, accountability and transparency in project and organization. They visited a model Government UP School at Pentha. The headmaster of the school Mr. Ghanshyam Baral has been working relentlessly in improving quality education in government primary school and set up a model school, explained and shown the participants with evidences about child centered learning environment and quality teaching methodologies with active participation of children. The staffs and remedial teachers observed the school campus, class room transactions, use of TLMs, library, sports materials, outdoor activities, and practical education on environment, community involvement and tracking of learning level of the children. The staffs surprised to see such a positive simulative learning environment for rural primary school children, got inspiration from the practical experiences explained by Mr. Baral and built up their confidence to make quality education possible in Oxfam India / BPCL supported Project. Mr. Bijay Sahoo, explained in details about the role of self learning and effective communication for improving quality education. The staffs made an outline of MIS for tracking the learning progress of children in 32 schools and prepared the draft annual action.

Orientation on Quality Education for Remedial Class Teachers

One day Remedial Class Teachers’ Orientation on Quality Education for Primary School Children was held on dated 31-Ocober 2014 at Jamuna Naki, Kuarmunda project office. 32 remedial class teachers attend the orientation program. The M & E Coordinator and Field Animators facilitated the program and shared the learning on various aspects of quality education through exposure visit to Vikramsila and the Residential Training held at Madanpur. They explained about the appropriate methodologies for teaching – learning sessions in remedial classes, how to prepare and use most interesting and appropriate TLMs, prepare baseline on learning level of students from class I to Class V and tracking regular progress of learning outcomes etc. He also informed that there would be further in-depth training on quality aspects of education to be facilitated by Resource Persons from Vikramsila and Sikshyasandhan for further capacity building of staffs and remedial teachers.

Preparatory Meeting for Baseline Learning Assessment among Targeted Students

We conducted a Baseline preparatory meeting on 31st January 2015 at Baniguni UP School. Around 50 participants including Remedial Class Teachers, Project Staffs, School Teachers, SMCs Members and Parents & Students attended the meeting. Mr. Ranjit Swain, Director, Chale Chalo facilitated the meeting. He explained the link of improving access to quality education with students enrolment, regular attendance and retention, proper functioning of SMCs, availability and use of TLMs, quality school infrastructure including class rooms, library, Toilet, Teachers regularity, relationship with teachers, students and parents and School development plan etc. He urged the project staffs and remedial class teachers to get ready for doing a baseline study for learning assessment of the students. Mr. Jitendera Kumar Rath, Programme Officer, Oxfam India, BBSR, spoke about the objectives, outcomes and activities of the project. He stressed on the importance of the baseline for improving quality education among tribal students and regularly assessing their learning competencies and support for achieving desirable learning level through remedial class. The remedial class teachers, staffs and others discussed about how to carry on the baseline and agreed to discuss the matter with the teachers and SMCs members of the respective schools regarding the plan for a baseline for mapping and tracking learning competencies of Class II to V Students.

Training on Quality Education for Staffs and Remedial Teachers and Developing Baseline Tools

We conducted a Capacity Building Training on Quality Education for Project Staffs and Remedial Class Teachers from 24th to 26th March 2015 at Gurukul Vedic Ashram, Vedvyas - Rourkela. 50 participants including staffs, remedial teachers and few education volunteers attended the training. Mr. Atanu Sain, Program Manager and Ms. Shinjini Sanyal, Training Coordinator, Vikramshila, West Bengal and Mr. Ranjit Kumar Swain, Director, Chale Chalo facilitated the training. Two objectives of the training program were to improve skills and knowledge of staffs, remedial teachers and education volunteers on various aspects of quality education in primary school and develop baseline tools and orient participants for conducting baseline to assess learning levels of students from class II to class V and tracking the improvement of learning outcomes in Odia Language, Mathematics and GK and adopt CCE.

Oxfam India & BPCL Team Visits

The Program Officer of Oxfam India had regularly visited Chale Chalo Bhubaneswar and Kuarmunda office and project villages for reviewing the system and project works, helping in planning, baseline study, capacity building and proper implementation, monitoring and assessing project impacts. On 31-07-2014, a staff meeting was held at Jamunanaki project office, Kuarmunda. The Program Officer of OXFAM India interacted with the project staff and remedial class teachers. He reviewed the current school situation, children’s access to education, remedial classes, other project activities and issues related to children enrolment, attendance, teachers’ positions, school infrastructures. He also reviewed the progress of planed actions and helped in shaping future action plans. He visited Bijubandh, Karichhapal primary School on 01.08.2014 and looked into the progress of project works at ground zero and expressed his satisfaction on the changes that the project has brought in school education in remote tribal villages.

On 12.08.2014 Mr. Vivek Kandaya from BPCL and Mr. Tushar and Mr. Jitendra Rath from Oxfam India visited the project. The team visited remedial classes, schools and villages to assess the progress of project actions and their impacts on tribal and girls’ children. They observed students and teachers’ attendance, activities in remedial classes and the learning environment in schools created by the project through child friendly teaching and learning methodologies, Health & Hygiene Kits, Trainings, Class Rooms’ facilities and display and use of TLMs and involvement of teachers, parents, SMCs and communities. They interacted with the head master / head mistress, teachers, SMCs members, parents, communities, PRIs members, remedial class teachers, field animators and other project staffs and volunteers and assessed school situation, children’s enrolment, attendance, retention, teachers’ position, infrastructure, problems / issues and efforts of the project staffs for brining positive changes in schools and improving learning competencies among tribal and girl children. After field visit, they shared their observations / feedbacks with project staffs and suggested some improvements in conducting remedial classes, capacity building and other interventions. The team had been provided with all the required information / data, reports, news clippings and photos for better understanding of the activities undertaken and results achieved through the project. On 30th and 31st January the Program Officer visited the project areas, reviewed the progress of project works, facilitated for next 5 months planning and facilitated the preparatory meeting for Baseline Study for mapping the learning competencies of students of 2nd to 5th standard in 32 schools.

Monthly Review & Planning Meetings

The project team held regular monthly review and planning meetings where briefly discussed about the school situation, children’s study, Remedial Classes, project activities and different issues on children enrolment, reviewed the project progress and made future plan. Monthly meetings are facilitated by Project Coordinator / M & E coordinator and attended by all project staff, including field animators, remedial class teachers who sit together and share their experiences and best practices. The staffs hold discussions on challenges, stakeholders’ inputs, successes and failures in the course of project implementation. The staff report about progress in implementation in respective project schools / villages and the achievements are compared against the targets. On the basis of these discussions, an action plan is drawn up for the next month and distributed among the individual staff and the proceedings are recorded in a register. The review and planning meetings helped in sharing of learning, updating the related project data and assessing and documenting the level of learning, preparing quality parameters and initiating the process for developing road map for improving the quality education in 32 government primary schools and tracking the progress / learning outcomes of each targeted child regularly.

Children’s Clubs – Enjoying Childhood

The children’s clubs help promote collective actions of children in the project area. There are 32 children’s clubs, one for every village across the project area. We have organized 128 child club meeting in 32 villages of the project area. 960 children including 512 girls attended the meeting. The main objective of the meetings was to make a platform for children for sharing ideas, problems learning, and contribute to create a joyful and child friendly environment across the project area. The club also meant to apply peer for enrolment, re-enrolment and retention of children in schools and achieving desirable learning level through support and cooperation. The children’s clubs organized various games, sports, quizzes, debates, discussions, experience sharing, story – telling, singing songs, dancing, cracking jokes, drawings, village and forest visits and model making for enjoying their childhood and nurture their talents.

Community Mobilization, Capacity Building and Coordination with Stakeholders

The project has conducted hundreds of meetings at groups, hamlets, villages, schools, PRIs, CSOs and government offices to sensitize stakeholders on RTE, Quality Education and of the project actions. Over the year, the project has involved members of village level institutions, children, parents, villagers, teachers, PRI members, CSO representatives and government officials in its plan and programs. The people have come to know about various provisions of the RTE act and supporting for quality education in schools. Capacity building and positive engagement of stakeholders have always been the priority.

Awareness on New SMC Guidelines and Formation of SMCs and Education Standing Committees

The new guidelines of the Government of Odisha for formation and functioning of SMCs has given an opportunity for bringing dynamic leadership in school management and developing community ownership. Chale Chalo has made all efforts to create awareness about the new guidelines on SMCs. It has translated the English version of the guidelines into Odia, discussed it in details in Teachers and SMCs Convention held in September 2014 and distributed the Odia guidelines among teachers, old SMCs members, CSOs, PRIs and parents. It has also organized meetings, group discussions, presentations and individual interaction to make the key stakeholders aware about different aspects of the new guidelines. During this period we have facilitated in formation of 32 New School Management Committees and 6 GP Level Standing Committees on Education. We have been holding regular meetings with SMCs members, teachers and parents and sensitizing them to support for proper functioning of school and imparting of quality education in government elementary schools.

Village Level Meetings and Home Visits

We have conducted 10 to 12 numbers of meetings in each project village for sensitizing communities on quality education. The meetings at village level have created a community based platform for sharing of ideas and understanding on quality education and its importance, identifying bottlenecks on the way for introducing and sustaining child centered learning environment, resolving emerging issues and ensuring enrolment / re-enrolment and retention of children in schools, ensuring regular attendance of children and teachers in schools and quality class room transactions and learning outcomes. Home visits are being regularly made to ensure school attendance, informing the parents on their children’s learning level and tracking the progress of learning competencies of each child.

SMCs, PRIs and Community Members meeting on RTE Act– 2009

We have organized 82 SMCs, PRIs and CBOs meetings where 358 SMCs, 45 PRI members of 7 GPs and 83 CBOs’ representatives participated, They have been oriented on RTE provisions, details of new SMCs guideline, roles and responsibilities of SMCs as per new guidelines, school development plan and monitoring of schools by the community. The participants discussed about the problems of schools of their respective villages and took actions for improving school situation. They also made their own assessment of the present quality of teaching, performances of teachers and students, infrastructure, text books and other school provisions in the light of the RTE norms, and presented an action plan to address the gaps, both at individual and collective levels.

Participation in Annual Oxfam India Partners’ Meeting

Oxfam India, Bhubaneswar had conducted the Annual Partners’ Meet from 17-February -2015 to 19th February 2015 at Yatri Niwas – Konark. The Director Chale Chalo & M & E Coordinator had attended the program and actively participated in different learning, strategies formulation and action plan sessions.

Participation in Agent of Change (AOC) Event

Oxfam India had organized the Agent of Change Event on 20.02.2015 at Idcol Bhawan; Bhubaneswar. 12 participants from the project attended the program. Sri Braja Mohan Singh, Champion for Education of Tribal Children in Kacharu GP of Kuarmunda Block, received the AOC Award from Ex-Finance Minister Sri Panchanan Kanungo & MLA Sri Akash Das, who inaugurated the program as Honorable Guests.

Participation in Training on Transformative Leadership for Women's Rights (TLWR)

The Director and M & E Coordinator had attended the TLWR from 11th to 13th March 2015 organized by Oxfam India – Bhubaneswar at Hotel Sheetal, Bhubaneswar

Participation in Workshop on Inequality Issues

On behalf of CHALE CHALO Mr.Sudhansu Sekhar Barik, Mary Margret Lakra and Prava Purty attended workshop on Inequality organized by Oxfam India on 12.11.2014 at Institute of Engineers, Bhubaneswar.

Participation in State Level Learning Conclave on “Innovation in Tribal Education”

16 persons from our project attended State level Learning Conclave on “Innovation in Tribal Education” on 22 November 2014 at Panthaniwas, Bhubaneswar. We had displayed our TLMs and learned from others’ education resource materials. Mrs. Kadamtola Choudhuri, Headmistress of Baniguni UP School was awarded for preparing and using appropriate TLMs in schools dominated by tribal students.

Participation in Grassroots Communication Workshop on Inequality and ECCE

Mary Margret Lakra & Rasalia Baru of Chale Chalo attended “Grassroots Communication Workshop on Inequality” on 27-10-2014 to 30-10-14 organized by Oxfam India at Hotel Suryansh, Bhubaneswar. Program staffs attended Early Childhood Care and Education workshop at Sundargarh District Headquarters organized by Sundargarh Education Society (SES).

Observation of Independence Day for Further Strengthening Support Base of the Project

CHALE CHALO has observed the Independence Day at the Project Office – Kuarmunda. More than 150 college and school students, community members, remedial teachers, project staffs, PRIs and Government Officials celebrated the National Festival in dignified manner. Mr. Sudhansu Sekhar Barik of Chale Chalo welcomed the guests and participants. Mr. Mohan Kumar, Additional Block Education Officer of Kuarmunda Block hoisted the National Flag and people present recited National Anthem. ABEO, KUARMUNDA highlighted the project and urged the audience to take oath to work together to improve quality in education in tribal areas for a better inclusive society. He promised all the support to the project and children of disadvantageous groups for improving quality education. Block Program Manager (Odisha Livelihood) Mr. Pradeep Singh spoke about how livelihood of a family is intrinsically linked with Right to Education of the Children and other child rights and he stressed on proper implementation of RTE for improving quality education. All participants took oath to support the project works and make efforts for proper implementation on RTE provision in Kuarmunda Block and bringing visible changes in the quality education in the schools. Mr.Sudhansu Sekhar Barik gave vote of thanks and the program was ended with patriotic and awareness songs on Education. A meeting of remedial class teachers and staffs was held with ABEO. Remedial Teachers and Staffs briefed the project progress, achievements and challenges especially running remedial classes. The ABEO gave his feedbacks, shared the focus of government and encouraged remedial teachers and staffs for focusing on quality aspects in education. He urged the project staffs and remedial class teachers to work with SMCs and teachers for improving school situation and ensure good class room and outside learning environment for children.

Credibility Alliance Visit for Accreditation

Credibility Alliance initiated the processes for giving Accreditation to Chale Chalo. After submission of documents, Mr. Mukhesh Pali, assessor of Credibility Alliance had visited Chale Chalo – Bhubaneswar Office and Khariar Field Area on 13th and 14th February 2015. He had verified all the original documents and held series of meetings with staffs, functionaries, trustees, beneficiaries, villagers, volunteers, PRIs, CBOs, Service Providers and finance person and visited Khariar and Boden offices and collected information about ongoing projects and governance system. M & E Coordinator and Accountant of Oxfam India – Education Project provided related documents of the project and responded the querie