Seeking to help more tribal children with its fun and creative learning approach, Agragamee has taken up interventions in Government Primary schools in the three districts of Rayagada, Nabrangpur, and Koraput. Working with Government teachers, and officials, the programme has been widely appreciated and created a demand for books and other material in the Government Primary schools.
The Creative Language Development Efforts (CLDE) is a collaboration for improving reading and language abilities in tribal districts of Odisha, where the community has no history of literacy or school education. Government primary schools in these pockets have poorly qualified and under-motivated teachers, resulting in a the majority of students completing elementary school with almost no reading skills. This is a serious shortcoming, as reading fluency is fundamental to all school education, and affects learning and proficiency in every subject. The problem is compounded, as these first generation school goers receive little or no support for class room learning at home. The CLDE seeks to address the complex set of problems which affect reading, and consequently almost the entire education of a very large number proportion of children through the very timely and valuable opportunity offered by Read Alliance
The program has been taken up in will be taken up in Government primary schools in 18 villages in 3 tribal districts, which have some of the lowest literacy rates in the country through youth who have at least completed matriculation. These young persons will be provided orientation, training and supportive Teaching, Language Material (TLM) to work as “ Shiksha Sathies ” or Support Teachers.
The CLDE approach has several unique features. While most innovations in education in India, have remained confined to the authors, or at best gone marginally beyond, the current effort takes on the challenge of addressing issues of scale and quality simultaneously. It seeks to make literacy learning as intuitive as language learning for the child by reversing the alphabet-centric method. It will equip children to comprehend the phonetics of reading through exposure and immersion in the written language through meaningful words, sentences, and ideas, beginning with the family and home, familiar objects, rhymes, and stories. Connections between the sound of the word or sentences and their letter phonemes are established by encouraging the child to write. Thus writing and literacy development go hand-in-hand. The effort seeks to scale-up the impact through teacher training, and development of supportive material, facilitating a method which is efficient and fun at the same time.
The program is thus a key intervention that facilitates demonstration of a unique constructivist model of literacy and reading development that can be subsequently replicated to benefit the entire tribal region in Odisha. The demonstration on a scale of impact that positively affects education and literacy across 4 districts can be leveraged for support for a larger pilot from the Government and other funding agencies covering the entire KBK regions. In addition, the project can also be scaled up to other tribal districts in Northern Odisha. This pilot thus also provides an opportunity to better comprehend the problems and concerns in scaling up.
If the material can be translated into other state languages, the potential is there for scaling to all under-literate tribal pockets of the country. Several surveys indicate that there are problems of reading and comprehension across the country. This model has the potential to tackle this problem across the country.
The work under the programme began with teacher selection, and orientation. In addition, appropriate books and other material have been produced, and followed up by supportive teacher training, to help them follow the book. A total of 1700 tribal girls and boys have been reached. Already, there is a remarkable improvement in the learning atmosphere in the schools, as also in the villages, as songs, games and nursery rhymes have made the school a lively and interesting place.
Agragamee is happy to say that the intensive training programmes with fresh +2 pass outs has borne fruit, and the Shiksha Sathies are now doing more than the Government School teachers in most cases.