Monday, October 8, 2007

Sikshana and its Approach

Sikshana:

Sikshana is a unique effort at improving learning levels in the public education system at the primary level

Sikshana's Core Focus

Provide mid-day meals
Provide additional class rooms where space is critical
Improve the environment in the existing class rooms
Ensure power, water supply and sanitation
Post additional teachers wherever required
Supply teaching aids, notebooks etc,
Provide incentives for kids to excel through prizes and scholarships
Re-orient and re-train the staff
Set quantified targets and measure performance at each stage and in each school
Organize a strong library movement
Provide PC’s and multimedia content

FAQ

What is Sikshana all about?

Sikshana is all about improving the Quality of education in the State- run schools so as to provide an opportunity for children from the lower strata of the society to raise their living standards. In the process, we expect to make a dent on the negative image of the Public school system. The exercise is also aimed at developing a sustainable model which lends itself to replication at higher levels

Who are the people behind the program?

We are a set of individuals committed to the cause of primary education in the Public Schools of the State of Karnataka. Our Program is being managed by Sivasri Foundation, a Trust formed for this purpose which raises the necessary resources through networking among like -minded persons and Organizations. It is being implemented in close co-ordination with the State Government and its agencies

What is its field of operation now?

Presently Sikshana is concentrating on schools in the Bangalore South zone, mainly in the Jayanagar/ Banshankari area and beyond. We have plans to expand the area of operations to other parts of Karnataka during next year.

What are the unique features of Sikshana?

Our program is built around a few core concepts, which distinguishes it from various other attempts in the field. Our attempt is just not towards improving the state of a few schools or a few children studying therein. Rather it is aimed at evolving a sustainable model, which will lend itself to replication on a larger scale. The program is run on a "zero overheads" basis. It focuses on the child as the sole beneficiary of all efforts; in cases where its interests clash with those of others around it, the former prevails. We believe that the interest of the child can and should be served even if the Community and / or the parents are not adequately motivated towards this objective. Mobilization and deployment of resources under our program is solely for the enhancement of the learning levels of the children. All proposals for expenditure are strictly judged against this criterion.

How can individuals participate in Sikshana?

If you happen to live in Bangalore City, you can visit one of our schools for a few hours in a week end
- Assist in regular teaching / Conduct special classes - Help in the development /deployment of advanced teaching aids
- Assist teachers in developing teaching skills
- Organize / assist in PC based education - Have counseling sessions with children and parents - Assist in improvement of the environment in schools
- Motivate kids, parents and teachers
- Organize co-curricular activities and extra-curricular events
- Involve in community efforts to improve the school
- Assist Sikshana in promoting specific causes and programs

If you have more to time to spare for the cause and would like to take up a challenging responsibility, you can even adopt a school under this program on your own in your neighborhood; Sikshana will lend all support to your efforts and help it grow.

How can corporates help the program?

Corporate Organizations can donate funds to go to the various schemes in general under Sikshana. They can donate funds for specific causes such as - to support a meritorious child - to sponsor prizes and scholarships for good performance - to sponsor c-curricular and extra-curricular events - to buy PC's and Multimedia content - to build class rooms or to improve infrastructure - to provide learning materials and teaching aids and - to support appointment of teachers.

[In such cases, Sikshana has built-in mechanisms to ensure that the funds are used only for the purposes for which they are intended] A corporate entity can also help us in our efforts to promote specific public causes and programs. A typical instance is the development of suitable multimedia content in Kannada for use with the PC's being deployed in the Public School System.

Methodologies: Concepts and Approach

Sikshana is built around a few core concepts, which distinguishes it from various other attempts in the field.

Our attempt is just not towards improving the state of a few schools or a few children studying therein. Rather it is aimed at evolving a sustainable model, which will lend itself to replication on a larger scale.

It focuses on the child as the sole beneficiary of all efforts; in cases where its interests clash with those of others around it, the former prevails. We believe that the interest of the child can and should be served even if the Community and / or the parents are not adequately motivated towards this objective.

Mobilization and deployment of resources under our program is solely for the enhancement of the learning levels of the children. All proposals for expenditure are strictly judged against this criterion. The program is run on a “zero overheads” basis.

A well run nutritional program is a must for the success of any effort to improve the academic performance of the children. Hence we ensure that in all our schools, an adequate mid-day meal is provided to each child. According to our studies, the child needs two other vital resources for its advancement: adequate space – physical and notional – around it to be able to concentrate on the inputs and a ‘dedicated’ teacher exclusively available for the benefit of the group, to which it belongs. As a first step, the Trust is taking up with the Govt of Karnataka the issue of allotting and registering sufficient land for each primary school, initially at our Block and then at the State levels. Regarding the latter, additional teachers are being deployed, wherever required, by the Trust to augment the existing staff.

We believe that most of the management concepts that are applicable to other sectors such as Industry are equally valid for the educational sector as well. It should be possible to set quantifiable and measurable targets and deploy resources commensurate with them. Accordingly the use of the “return on investment” index is encouraged.

Enhancement of performance is often related to non-fiscal/ quasi-fiscal measures such as motivation, training and low cost environmental upgrades. Co-curricular activities such as library sessions, fine arts meets, educational tours, etc., are encouraged, as they are considered to be significant factors in enhancing the receptivity of the children to academic inputs.

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