Updates from Uttar Pradesh (Bahraich and Chitrakoot districts)

Prajayatna provides inclusive learning materials in 75 schools

Education can be challenging in a classroom, especially for children with special needs. To make such classrooms more inclusive, Prajayatna has introduced new digital learning tools designed by Tactopus Learning Solutions, in the 75 government schools that Prajayatna is engaging with.

The inclusive learning tools have helped many children to overcome their learning disabilities and progress in school. Here’s a case study on how a teacher was able to support Shani, a second-standard student in U.P., in his learning path with the help of the learning materials.

Shani was a boy with hearing impairment. Like all children, Shani’s learning was greatly affected due to the closure of the school for two years, which was further compounded due to his disability. When the school reopened, the teacher wanted to understand Shani's  current educational

to make an effective educational plan for Shani. For Shani, the teacher did a number matching activity in which the same number was to be matched with the number card. Since the number cards were both colour matched as well as tactile sensitive it helped Shani to first identify by matching colors and then through actually counting the objects on the flashcards. This helped him to learn the numbers and it also helped the teacher to understand the level of the child. The tool helped in understanding Shani's learning needs and drafting a learning plan for him accordingly.

With the help of the learning material, the teacher was able to know not only the present mathematical ability of Shani but also the mathematical ability of the whole class. In this way, Prajayatna is making learning fun and inclusive in schools, impacting thousands of children including children with disabilities. It also advocates for inclusive quality education in all government schools.

Capacity building of Anganwadi teachers in Chitrakoot and Bahraich

In a bid to strengthen the anganwadis, an Anganwadi teachers’ training was held in Chitrakoot and Bahraich districts. The total number of teachers who participated from the two districts was 22 and 26 respectively. Additionally, 1 supervisor and CDPO from Chitrakoot and 4 supervisors from Bahraich participated. The aspects that were discussed were how small children learn, what the different learning stages are and how to look at ECCE in the context of Anganwadis. In the training, the teachers have engaged in lots of activities and group discussions. They also planned for ways of making their centres more child-friendly and to conduct different types of learning activities to be done with children over the next month.

Did you know?

Anganwadi is a rural mother and childcare centre. Anganwadi is a Hindi word that when translated to English means a ‘courtyard shelter’. Anganwadi centres were started by the Government of India in 1975 as a part of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme to combat the problem of child hunger and malnutrition. The services provided by the Anganwadi centres are supplementary nutrition, non-formal pre-school education, growth monitoring, immunization monitoring, health check-ups, and health and nutrition education classes. The main beneficiaries of the programme are children below six years of age, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. According to government data, the country has 13.77 lakh AWCs. They play a pivotal role in anchoring community development and are core to the development of the children. With the changing needs and aspirations of the community, there is a need to redefine the role of the anganwadi and make them centres for the holistic development of the children.

Workshop on Disability Rights

For the past few years, Prajayatna has been working relentlessly in improving the education system along with all stakeholders. Our sincere attempt has been to empower each child to reach his/her potential and provide them with a conducive learning environment.

 As an organisation, we have been trying to create awareness among the community about children with disabilities and their rights. The aim is to make everyone think about the overall development of a child and prevent activities that are harmful to them. A workshop to this end to discuss the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 in the context of children in Chitrakoot, U.P was organized in collaboration with the Department for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. for the members of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and staff of CHILDLINE and Bachpan Day Care Centre (special school run by the department.)

Prajayatna’s e-therapy videos help CWD children learn while at home

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the closure of schools disrupting learning. It was all the more difficult for children with disabilities who were unable to get even the basic services required for rehabilitation, learning, and development. Keeping in mind the needs of the children, Prajayatna developed e-therapy videos on various topics such as toilet training, bathing, and feeding and shared them with parents in Bahraich and Chitrakoot districts. Prajayatna team members did home visits and guided the parents on what activities to do with the child after watching the video. The videos were specially devised to help children with disabilities continue to learn new skills even when at home.

Mohalla class teacher Vibha Devi ensures learning continues unabated during the pandemic

School closures owing to the global pandemic led to social and economic repercussions for people across communities. The disruptions added to the existing disparities within the education system, especially for the disadvantaged population.

Prajayatna began Mohalla classes after holding discussions with small community groups in villages and local educated youths were identified by SMC members to work as the learning facilitators in the Mohalla classes. Prajayatna conducted Mohalla classes in 28 centers reaching out to 668 children in UP and Jharkhand. Mohalla classes have helped students continue their engagement with studies, despite the lockdowns and lack of smartphones.

Mohalla class youth facilitator in Chitrakoot Vibha Devi talks about her experience as a Mohalla class volunteer for a brief period of three months.

"As a Mohalla class teacher, it gave me immense satisfaction to be able to fill the learning gaps and make parents realize the importance of education.

 When children learnt something new, I felt very satisfied as a teacher,” she says with a smile.

Initially, parents were reluctant to send their children to the Mohalla classes during the pandemic. But Vibha Devi counselled the parents and explained to them the importance of Mohalla classes.

Vibha Devi first used games and activities to engage the children and then eventually engage with foundational literacy and numeracy.

She feels that the Mohalla classes have helped children in continuing their studies and have instilled a sense of discipline in them. The fun-filled activities replete with poems and rhymes helped to evoke children's interest in studies and they all enjoyed the Mohalla class sessions. Vibha Devi created various innovative activities with the help of local materials making the Mohalla classes all the more interesting and enjoyable.

The District Magistrate of Chitrakoot has also taken notice of her good work and has awarded her with an appreciation certificate for her exemplary work in conducting the classes and keeping the learning going for children even when the schools were closed during difficult Covid times.

Updates from Jharkhand

GP meetings held in Jharkhand to discuss the future of children’s education

The education system of Jharkhand state was greatly impacted due to Covid. Primary schools remained closed for a long time disrupting children’s education. Apart from the e-content that was being sent by the Department of education, to which majority of the children had no or little access, resulted in further deepening the learning crisis.

During these challenging times, Prajayatna conducted 23 Mohalla classes with the help of volunteers in his Ghaghra block. However, after a time Prajayatna realized that there was a need for the Gram Panchayat President and community members to take charge of the children’s education.

When the school is closed during the lockdown, what can be the role of Gram Panchayat and how can the Gram Panchayat and the youth of the village help the children to learn were some of the key issues that needed to be discussed. To this end, a meeting was held in which the mukhiya (president), members of the school management committee, the youth of the village, didis of self-help groups, and teachers of schools participated. The meeting also discussed the role of the Panchayat. During these meetings, the Gram Panchayat President took responsibility for the continuance of education of the children, and the selection of volunteers and initiated the mohalla classes When the school reopened for the children, the children studying in these Mohalla classes. did not face any problems in attending the regular school as they had been attending the mohalla classes in their village.

Prajayatna participates in 100-day reading campaign

Going by statistics, over 600 million children and adolescents worldwide are unable to attain minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, even though two-thirds of them are in school. The gaps in learning were further widened after the Covid-19 pandemic hit, leading to the closure of schools.

Even though several initiatives were taken by the government and civil society organisations to continue the learning pace of children, the learning levels of the children had decreased. Against this backdrop, the 100-day Reading Campaign or ‘Padhe Bharat’ was introduced by the Jharkhand government. The campaign aimed at improving the learning levels of students in foundational literacy and numeracy.

In Ghagra block in Gumla district, Prajayatna played a key role in collaboration with the district administration in spreading awareness about the campaign by conducting community meetings with parents and engaging in various activities with school-going children. The objective was to reiterate the importance of education so that parents send their children to school regularly and create a conducive learning environment for children at home. A sense of togetherness was inculcated so that a child feels inspired to bring his classmate along, study together and develop their leadership qualities. An oath was taken by children where they pledged to bring their classmates along to school, and help each other in their studies.

Motivated and inspired by the campaign, Chandni Kumari, a student in one of the government schools in the Gumla district said, ‘‘हम जब भी विद्यालय आएँगे अपने साथी को भी साथ लेकर आएँगे | " (Whenever we come to school, we will also bring our friend/classmate along.)

Celebration of World Water Day in CLCC, Raidih

World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis, in support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

It was felt that children in Community Learning Centre too must know the significance of fresh water and how the currently available sources of freshwater are getting contaminated as a result of global warming.

A discussion was held on the sources of water, uses of water at home and community environment (agriculture), the importance of water, what happens to life on earth if water gets over at once etc. was discussed with children. Through the discussion, children were able to learn how important water is in day-to-day life, life on earth especially forest, animals. Overall they could understand that water is a life source on earth and it is important to protect and conserve water. Children were also made to draw pictures connected to the theme ‘Water’. This was a completely new activity for children in the centres. Children were taught what is slogan and how to write them. With the help of a volunteer facilitator, children created the following slogans.

“Save water and save your tomorrow.”
“Water is the real gold, don't forget to lose it.”
“We all have to save water for a wonderful tomorrow.” “Save water, because it doesn't grow on trees.”

“If you save water today, you will be called wise man for tomorrow.”
“Water is the real gold, don’t lose it.”  

Later, these slogans were written on placards and a small rally of children holding placards in the village was held.

Pyarimuni Bai, who works in a CLCC Karanjkur village and has been associated with Prajayatna since July 2021, feels the centers promote a questioning culture where children are encouraged to ask questions and indulge in joyful and meaningful learning.

“Every month different days are celebrated through different activities. The intent is to inculcate leadership skills and encourage children to be curious about their surroundings,” Pyarimuni Bai explains.

Updates from Karnataka, Yadgiri district

Teachers’ Collective meetings

With the schools re-opening after a long gap, teachers needed a complete orientation about the learning method as almost 85% of the teachers were new to this approach as they either had recently been appointed or were transferred from other schools.

This collective helped sensitize the teachers about the condition of the children in the pandemic hit situation and also the impact on the learning of children due to the prolonged closure of schools. The Block Resource Person, who was present in the meeting, provided detailed information about the Quality Leaning Programme approach that is being implemented in Arakera and Kandakur clusters of the block. He also called on the guest teachers to use their academic knowledge gained during their courses towards implementing the classroom process with a better understanding of the approach. He also shared about learning outcomes that children needed to achieve as per their class.  

The impact of the collectives is visible in the teacher’s interaction with children and implementation of classroom activities. Teachers have been equipped to make a plan based on the theme, and use locally available and appropriate resources in making learning more interactive, and constructive in the classroom.

SDMC and parents meetings

To strengthen the existing School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMCs) and enhance the parents’ participation at the school level, two rounds of SDMC and parents’ meetings have been held in 8 schools.

The meetings focussed on developing an understanding of a range of aspects including the importance of education, the need for schools, loss of learning during COVID, the importance of community involvement with the school for its development, NEP 2020 and Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, and other programmes of the department.

Key Outcomes:

  • These processes helped community-level stakeholders have a better understanding and reaffirm their roles and responsibilities and various aspects of school and children's development.
  • The long-pending reformation of SDMCs was made possible in the villages where doing this was almost impossible due to various factors.
  • The dysfunctional SDMCs began to function after the reformation of 18 schools, SDMCs have drafted School Development Plan (SDP)s based on the needs assessment of the school.

In the Spotlight: Meet our Anganwadi supervisor Ms. Geetha Kachur

Name: Ms. Geetha Kachur
Place: Yelahanka Circle Anganwadi Supervisor

Anganwadi supervisors are the key person for the implementation of the ICDS programme at the ground level. Anganwadi supervisor Ms. Geetha shares with us the many impediments that she faces in her role as a supervisor and how she overcomes them with sheer grit and determination.

Q1. Since how long have you been associated with Prajayatna?

I have been working as a supervisor in the Yelahanka circle for the past one year.

Q2. What are your work responsibilities as a supervisor?

As an Anganwadi supervisor, we are supposed to make regular visits to the Anganwadis, check the registers, inspect the premises, provide necessary guidance to the Anganwadi worker and inquire about any problems that she might be facing. Besides these responsibilities, we also have to do home visits, ensure the implementation of different schemes such as Bhagyalaxmi scheme, update records and attend Panchayat meetings.

Q3. What do you like most about your work?

I feel as an Anganwadi supervisor, all the different roles and responsibilities are equally important. However, if I have to choose one particular thing that I like the most about my job that would be working in the rural areas and imparting quality education to the children of the age group 3-6 years.

Q4. Any challenges that you face in your job?

One of the key challenges that I encounter in my job relates to achieving 100 percent immunization. Also, even though Anganwadi teachers have been provided with mobiles they face network issues in the rural areas and many of them also cannot operate the mobiles properly. Also, many children are affected by moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and consequently, they have to be referred to hospitals for treatment where they are generally advised to stay for 15 days. However, in most cases, parents do not want to stay in hospitals for such a long duration leaving their families behind. I have also faced a lot of hurdles in preventing child marriages. 

Q5. How has your association with Prajayatna helped  you in your work?

When I first started work in Yelahanka circle there was a lockdown due to Covid and children were not coming to schools and were at home which is why children's education and learning also suffered. We spoke with parents to understand how important pre-school education is and how important it is to keep children engaged in different activities. Through frequent interactions, I developed an understanding from Prajayatna on how to convince the parents. Prajayatna also arranged training for Bal Vikas Samitis in different places. After getting regular training from Prajayatna on ECCE, I now know how to make ECCE more effective in the Anganwadis. The regular training opportunities from Prajayatna helped as from the WCD we get training only once in 2 years.

Geetha is one of the many frontline workers who are playing a crucial role in providing quality education to children. Prajayatna's work on the ground is made possible by their relentless efforts.Their zeal and enthusiasm remains unfaded and inspires us to battle the many adversities that come our way with a smile.


Prajayatna - Head Office

No. 331, 1st ‘A’ Main, 7th Block,
Jayanagar (West), Bengaluru 560 070
P: (+91) 080-26769676  www.prajayatna.in