Children take an active part in their own learning and are eager to continue formal school education. This leads to increased learning levels among children in
government primary and pre-primary schools in India.
Connecting with the Children
STRATEGIES AND PROCESSES
Mother Tongue Based Multi-lingual Education (MTB-MLE):
Mother tongue based multi-lingual education (MTB-MLE): This unique form of pedagogy finds its roots in the belief that a child going to either pre-primary or primary school should be first taught in his/her mother tongue/home language before they are introduced to the medium of instruction in schools, when different from their mother tongue. NEG-FIRE firmly believes that it is important for a child to acquire fluency in language that will then provide support in learning other subjects. A child starts schooling with knowledge of 'mother tongue or home language" and when teaching continues in the mother tongue they learn faster. We also believe that a child has the capacity to learn multiple languages and hence transition from mother-tongue to medium of instruction is possible.
We promote an integrated framework as follows:
- Teacher preparation
- Understanding curriculum in context
- Preparation of culturally responsive teaching & learning materials in
- mother tongue (MT) and medium of instruction (L2)
- Classroom transaction
- School-based assessment
Early Childhood Education (ECE):
Widely defined as the period from birth to age six (and often extended until eight to account for the transition into
primary school), early childhood serves as the foundation for a lifetime of growth and development.
We strongly believe that early childhood educational interventions have a strong remarkable impact on early
learners. Using the 11 step methodology, we ensure that children coming to the government anganwadi centres
in our intervention areas are taught in a language they understand, using resources and materials from their
immediate surroundings and culture and are eventually made primary school ready.
Through introducing concepts of inclusion and caste-sensitive classrooms we aim to reduce inequalities and
discrimination that children from marginalized communities (especially the Musahar community) suffer in
schools. We aim at fostering a school culture of respect and belonging which provides children the opportunities
to learn about and accept individual differences, lessening the impact of harassment and bullying.
This also helps the children in developing friendships with a wide variety of other children, each with their own
individual needs and abilities.
Bal Sansad or Child Parliament:
Bal Sansad is a group of 12 children (including a President, Vice President and ministers for different categories
such as Education, Protection, Environment etc.) who come together once a month to discuss prevalent issues in
and outside schools related to education, child protection, etc. and find solutions for the same. The Bal sansad
plays an essential role in ensuring that all child-related issues are brought forward and resolved and that the
children find ways to increase retention in schools by encouraging other children around them.
The Sansad also boosts confidence among the children and helps in developing leadership skills. The Sansad
works at 3 levels – the group of children come together in the first round along with an Edu-volunteer (to oversee
the smooth functioning of the parliament), for the second level the Edu-volunteer meets with the teacher
and discusses the issues brought up by the children regarding the school or the teachers and work towards
resolving the same, for the third level the community related issues are brought in and discussed with the School
Management Committee, along with the teacher and the Edu-volunteer.
Supplementary Education Centres:
These centres, established either in schools or in the community, are child-friendly spaces wherein additional
educational measures are provided to children to overcome deficiencies in the learning process. This supports
the children to be at pace with the teachings at school and at pace with the learning level of their peers. The
SECs are run by Edu-volunteers who ensure that any child who is not performing too well and needs extra
support and hand-holding is provided with the necessary initiatives to enhance their learning levels.
NEG-FIRE's Treasure House is an innovative, community-based intervention, which aims at ensuring that every
single child living in the remotest of locations across India has access to a safe, child-friendly place where
they can learn, be with other children, instill in themselves values of diversity and have immense self-belief. It
further supplements education, and stimulates not only local culture and tradition but also provides exposure to
mainstream education thus creating an interest to continue or pursue formal education.
While objects on display are kept on the space close to the wall and some are hung from the ceiling like
flash cards, chart sheets, playing material, musical instruments, local seeds, tribal/local artifacts, drawings,
paintings, crafts and paper mache made by children etc.; the middle of the room is used for organizing various
sessions on storytelling, painting, khel se mel activities, supplementary education and other activities. Some of
the Treasure House tools, library books, playing material etc. are also kept in steel or wooden boxes placed in
the Treasure House.
By appearance, the room looks like a multi-purpose space for children, which conveys a sense of childhood
exuberance. With so many objects on display and space for various activities, the Treasure House arouses
interests of children for activities that are mostly beyond their regular school curriculum.
Role Model Adolescent Girls:
This group contains a number of girls who are groomed as leaders to lead the girl-child education and lifeskill
education scenario in their respective villages and take lead in mentoring other adolescent girls through
Life Skill Education. They are proactive and support the adolescent girls in a number of ways be it providing
supplementary classes, awareness on life-skill education, organizing regular meetings to identify any issues
related to protection, violence, trafficking etc. and finding solutions for the same .
This group also, whenever necessary, approaches the concerned authorities to take necessary actions for
protection of girls in the area. They support Mothers Committees in conducting meetings and identifying issues
around pre-schools as well.
Arts and Aesthetics:
The introduction of Arts and Aesthetics in schools, especially in conflict and crisis areas, is an initiative towards
increasing the interest of the children in coming to school and ultimately to act as a psychosocial support
mechanism to help the children in coping with their emotions.
The arts and aesthetics also provides a way for these children to express their thoughts and feelings and to
connect their art, culture and formal school atmosphere with each other.
Camps (summer camps, sports camps etc.) are a simple way to keep children interested in coming to schools
and be involved in other extra-curricular activities such as skits, dance, singing, drawing, sports etc. Attending
these camps helps the children come closer to each other since sometimes they have to work in teams, invokes
feelings of togetherness, sharing and acceptance while also promoting creativity and leadership skills.