While the school preparedness programme made use of joyful methods of learning and play in a healthy environment for their overall mental, physical, cognitive and social development, Quality Experimentation added to the number of children attending schools as well as to retention.
The quality experimentation process incorporated a series of steps to reach at the desired results starting with the development of primers in tribal languages. This was followed by the formulation of a Quality Index. The Quality Index was then incorporated in the school situation; the quality package was experimented in the identified schools. A cadre of teachers was trained to run the quality-experimentation process. Finally a need-based Quality Package was developed that aided in intensifying the Quality Education Process. Quality Index and Package were developed to measure the status of primary education in selected schools in project areas, to improve the schools’ quality of education, the participation of teachers, students, parents and the community in schools; teaching learning materials; teaching methods and infrastructure; and the management and monitoring of the schools. The Index is graded against the quality package that comes with it. The quality index has been developed to measure the impact, and findings are used to further upgrade guidelines of the quality package. The final guidelines are shared with various stakeholders including the government for ensuring quality education.
The Quality Package has been designed to address the key areas of concern and is basically a collection of nine varied modules designed for different stakeholders. Each module can be used as an exclusive training guideline. Three of the modules are of two days duration whereas six are of one-day duration. The trainers, keeping in mind the needs and priorities of their area, select one of the enlisted modules and use it with necessary modifications, if required. The package also provides specific activities to deal with various issues in quality primary education and includes training modules, suggested assessment formats, monitoring and evaluation packages, observation schedules, check lists, guideline for use of teaching-learning materials, and most importantly a vision document. Training programmes are being undertaken to create a band of trainers to use the quality package. CYSD has conducted Quality Index study in selected schools to assess the existing quality situation in those schools.
After a series of consultations with community members on the effective outcome of the identified “appropriate” materials (local-specific and subject-specific teaching learning materials from their surroundings), laboratories were set for quality experimentation in selected schools. Collaborative exhibitions on science were organised at the Block level. Joyful methods of learning and play in a healthy environment for overall mental, physical, cognitive and social development were made use of under the school preparedness programme, to ensure regularity of school-goers between 3-6 years of age. This was endorsed through setting up of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Centres in villages with noAnganwadi or Sub-Centres for children for children under six years of age.
The schools are managed and monitored jointly by CYSD and the community, with CYSD playing intermediary role between the villagers and line department for ensuring quality education, monitoring of the school by the SMC and active participation of parents, providing additional teacher and TLM support. The community and other stakeholders help create the atmosphere by checking the engagement of children in domestic work (collection of fire wood, sibling care, cow herding, fetching water etc.), providing accommodation to the school teacher and look after her/his security, hence ensuring regular attendance of the teachers and students in the school and the regular monthly meetings of the SMC.
CYSD developed Context-Specific Primers in tribal languages, tri-lingual text books, curricular materials, teachinh-learning materials, a compedium of activities on ECE, and supplementary materials, to help the tribal children get absorbed in the mainstream. Added to this ECE Melas were organised to develop interest in education, while tapping talents and boosting childrens' confidence.