Hope. A simple 4 letter word which has immense power, power to change lives, power to change the future of our communities and our nation, power to make someone smile! What is hope for us?

A 15 year old girl from the Musahar Community in Bihar fighting through odds to continue going to school.

A Mothers Committee member displaying commendable courage and strength by taking the lead in improving the educational scenario for children in her village.

An Edu-volunteer taking the initiative to stop child-trafficking in his village and inspiring many others around him to prevent wrong from happening.

A young woman, ex-student of NEG-FIRE supported Supplementary Education Centre, giving back to her community years later by becoming a member of the School Management Committee and ensuring proper functioning of schools in her village.

This is what keeps us at New Education Group – Foundation for Innovation and Research in Education going. This is what inspires us and our partners to do what we do, reach out to an increased number of children from the marginalized communities, guide them and support them in their journey to access quality education, learn and grow…grow into not just independent individuals but into pillars of strength and support for their entire community!

Times are changing. The way we teach our children has to change too. In the past year, we continued promoting - mother tongue based contextual pedagogy based on joyful and child-friendly learning theories, the importance of inclusion and acceptance in classrooms, leadership and creativity among children, learning through art, games and aesthetics and the 11 step methodology for early childhood education. We also laid the foundation for our teachers training programme through which we aim at creating a cadre of motivated and skilled government school teachers who promote inclusive, child-friendly and joyful classrooms/schools that will help the children to achieve appropriate age and grade-specific learning outcomes. We continued empowering families, formal institutions and other community based groups to invest their time and resources towards education of children. We supported them to facilitate school governance, making education a central component of their development agenda and influencing relevant government structures for effective delivery of educational services. We work with the government in bringing about transformation. Therefore engagement and collaboration with government education departments have underlined all our programmes and strategies in the past year. We, together with our various stakeholders, through a participative and reflective approach, developed our strategy for 2018-2023 which will be an essential catalyst in achieving our goal of ensuring that children from the marginalised communities acquire early learning skills that enable them to pursue and complete formal school education.

I would like to thank our Chairperson, Fr. Raymond Ambroise, the members of the Governing Board, General Body and the Advisory Committee who have provided strategic guidance, motivation and support to us and our partners in realizing our mission. I would also like to thank our partners without whose support our journey would not be complete and our donors – Misereor, Kindermissionswerk and Tata Trusts for their timely and generous support that has assisted us in implementation of our programmes. My special thanks to each of my colleagues here at NEG-FIRE who despite many challenges have strived to do their best in pursuit of our mission.

We are on the cusp of a new paradigm in the education of children from the marginalized communities, one that is easily accessible, equitable, inclusive and serves the needs of all children. It is a path that leads to more children reading, writing, discovering, and more joyful learning. These are truly interesting and crucial times, and we at NEG-FIRE thank you for being an important part of this journey. With your support, we look forward to a brighter tomorrow where every child has an equal opportunity to learn and to have their chance at a better future.

Vengatesh Krishna

Executive Director, New Education Group – Foundation for Innovation and Research in Education