The status and conditions of children, their growth and socialization in Rajasthan are significantly determined by familial contexts, cultural practices, belief systems, community linkages, and social forces. The attitudes to children and experiences of childhood vary significantly by caste, class, religion, gender, ethnicity and regional locations. While the lives of children born into poverty can be exceptionally vulnerable as they face further inequalities in access to crucial resources, leading to exclusion and marginalization. Also, the state of Rajasthan has certain distinct features, which have to bear on the conditions, status and well being of children. Its feudal-historicity, strong patriarchy, cultural heritage, diverse ecology, relative isolation, and typical institutional practices like child marriage; female infanticide; and purdah challenge the issues and strategies for children in a big way. Providing education is the possible solution to effective efforts of addressing these issues. Enhancing the quality of education is inextricably linked to children’s learning achievements. Focusing on what children have acquired from the learning process has emerged as a critical challenge as well as a priority. Getting children to school without focusing on their completion and achievements unravels the efficiency and effectiveness of resources and efforts devoted to ensuring children’s access to schools. As we sharpen efforts towards ensuring that children master the skills and values that enable them to address the challenges and choices in their lives, there has been an increasing demand for information and resources on how best to do it. In particular, it sheds light on how learning opportunities and resources can be translated into meaningful and effective learning experiences and outcomes for children. In particular, it calls for the alignment of curriculum goals, content, teaching-learning methodology, assessment measures, and teacher support to meet the learning needs of the individual learner – girl and boy. VANI has played a critical role in curriculum development, development of training modules for teachers & teacher educators, the capacity of building teachers in education pedagogy, conducting studies and organization of workshops for quality inputs. VANI has worked on these issues with the support of UNICEF, Save the Children (Bal Raksha Bharat), World Vision, and SmSA.VANI as a technical partner to UNICEF carried projects: Provide technical support to District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) in 2014-15, Support to block and district education department and DIET district on effective teacher education and piloting pedagogy package that impact learning outcomes of children in 2015-16, Improving learning outcomes through teacher education in 2016-17, Technical support to State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) in developing exampler multilevel teaching plan for teachers in 2018. By engaging in various projects VANI SANSTHA provided support to SCERT, DIETs in academic module writing, academic support in Cluster workshops, District Academic Group (DAG) Meetings, formation and management of School Management Committees, Supporting directorate in the formulation of guidelines, preparation of data collection formats, analytical reports and developing teaching-learning material: lesson plans, activities, worksheets, handbooks, manuals facilitating capacity building programs, organizing workshops. After providing various interventions in the field we could see some positive changes in various aspects of school education.
“Technical Support to teachers and teacher educators to create a learning environment” Currently, We are working on the project titled “Technical Support to teachers and teacher educators to create a learning environment”. As part of this project, VANI has been supporting to Government of Rajasthan in implantation of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)/ State Initiative for Quality Education (SIQE) and Integration of Life Skill in the regular curriculum of school education.
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 has emphasized constructive learning experiences, and on the development of an inquiry-based approach, work-related knowledge and broader life skills. Many of these efforts take a general approach to ‘life skills information delivery’ (sometimes more as moral/values education) without a particular context. There are certain difficulties in successfully integrating life skills in Indian school education without systemic reform:
Life skills education in schools needs to take place in the context of broader education system reforms. To be effective, life skills ultimately need to be age-aligned and inculcated in schools that are inclusive, with trained and motivated teachers who can employ participatory and experiential teaching practices.
The education department of Rajasthan has taken the initiative of incorporating life skills in the transaction of the existing school curriculum. Integration of life skills in curriculum and their transaction will give the child to improve interpersonal relations. The life skills approach should not be add on approach but it should be integrated into the transaction of various teaching subjects. However, the development of life skills would need to take into account the different social-cultural and regional variations and the specific situation of each child. VANI is supporting the education department as a technical partner of UNICEF in piloting in two districts Udaipur and Dungarpur. Apart from this initiative, VANI is providing support to DIETs of Dungarpur and Barmer in the area of Teacher education.To see the detailed list of projects completed in Education and Child Rights click here.