Tribal Schools

Grijana Vidya Vikasa Kendra (Tribal Schools)

BCT’s foray into education started in 1984 with the start of non-formal education (NFE) centres. Ever since, it has been innovating as per the situation. After the closure of NFE centres, it was the Innovative and Experimental Schools (IES) that were run in 50 centres and in 2005, with the support of MHRD, New Delhi, they were increased to 160 centres
After 2009, when the IES program was closed with 10 village committees agreeing to run the schools by themselves. BCT saw to that these schools get recognition and that they continue and as on date only 2 schools (Teruvupalli and MJ. Puram) but as “English Medium” schools.

Tribal Schools

In the tribal sub plan regions of Visakhapatnam, BCT in collaboration with VIBHA has been running seven schools in villages wherein there are no government schools. These schools were being run so that the tribal children without any access to school are given education up to standard 3 so that they can join the Ashram Schools run by the state government in the region.
However, the tribal schools program still being run. The concept for the schools was that these tribal villages are school-less habitations and that these children’s support is required in their homes. Therefore the schools were being run from 6-8 AM and also from 6-8 PM while supplying books, stationery, uniforms, and slippers. However, in 2011, the processes of education quality enhancers from the IES schools were introduced here concept of CDPT & OM – Copy writing, Dictation, Poems, Tables and Oral Mathematics. Later performance indicators were introduced to track progress in a systematic manner.
After having introduced these, realised that the children are also enrolled in local schools and one question that was to be answered is how long are we going to run a parallel schools system? The government school teachers come and go whenever they want with impunity. The quality of the students in government schools is much desired.
GVVK1

However, in order to test the ‘quality’ of BCT run schools, in May 2015, we have conducted a standardized tests that Pratham conducts across the country in the 6 tribal schools. The results between Government schools in Visakhapatnam vis-à-vis BCT Tribal Schools is shown herr:

Changed Scenario

With the government getting serious about implementation of the Right To Education Act, the Education Department is now being forced to start schools in villages/hamlets with at least 15 students with a teacher. This is a great welcome change. As always, the government is first concerned about starting schools to cover some number of students little focus of quality of education. With wide area of implementation, it is well-nigh difficult for tracking the teachers’ time in schools. Given that many tribal schools are remote, the teachers’ attendance is anything but abysmal. With shortage of teachers in government and increased number of schools, it is even more strain on quality of education. Compounding this, the Education Volunteer post has been abolished.

Modus Operandi:

In the abovementioned changed scenario, it would be prudent to change the current working style of BCT – VIBHA tribal schools so that we do not run parallel schooling system and more importantly, duplicate efforts.
Given that the methodology being used is effective and therefore can be scaled up. Hence a leaner structure is being proposed i.e., run “tuition/coaching centres” in the villages with government primary schools in tribal areas. Now instead of running a school giving all ‘provisions’ to the students, the children in the government schools can be taken.

The government does provide with text books etc. however, for improving the standards of these students, Mathematics and Telugu can be concentrated upon so that these two are the foundation as the children pursue higher studies. Now with ‘tuition’ centre concept where the students come to the centre at 4. 30 PM i.e., after their schools close at 3.30PM so that the children get some time to get refreshed. The centres operate between 4.30 – 7.30 PM.
The curious case of Valasampeta, where there is government school on records while teacher is hardly seen. So what little education this village has been getting has been though our school only. Therefore, our school teacher is being pressurized by the villagers to teach there as well.

Impact:
GVVK2

Over the past one year that these centres are being, run, we measured the improvement of standards as per the evaluation that BCT has designed. The easy learning methodology that BCT has developed has three levels. So by the time a student completes level 3, it would be equivalent Std. 5 in government schools.

Table below shows the movement of the children

Changing to a leaner model of operations enables us to increase the coverage of students and villages. Now that a model that could be scaled up has emerged, would like to also experiment in increasing the coverage and if the model starts to work in these areas, would also like to take this up in the plain areas of the district so that larger number of rural children can also have the benefit of quality education.