Project Overview

Abhiyan - Bring children back to school
  • Project Name: Bringing Out-Of-School children back to school
  • NGO Partner: Abhiyan
  • Location: Jehanabad District, Bihar
  • Target Area: 10 Villages of Kako Block
  • Target Area Population: 3,715 people, 723 Households
  • No of Beneficiaries: 1,8260 children (0 to 14 years)
  • Start/End Year:  2011/TBD
  • Funding Plan (Current Year): $11,500 [2012/2013]
  • Past Funding: $11,202 (2011/2012)

Despite a 17% improvement in the last decade, the state of Bihar has the lowest literacy rate (64%) in India (74%). The literacy rate of Kako block is 41% while that in the project area is an abysmal 2%! This area faces several challenges like:

Extensive impoverishment, entrenched hierarchical social divisions and the lack of correlation between educational level and job opportunities.

Even in areas where there is no discrimination, children often cannot afford textbooks and stationery. Bihar's government schools have high teacher absenteeism and use of unauthorized/unqualified substitute teachers.

Children from backward/lower castes are frequently denied school attendance and harassed when they do attend. Schools are not child friendly or accessible, especially for the backward caste children. Teachers and fellow students from other communities also beat these children in the schools.

The situation may be grimmer than portrayed by the Census. An example was seen during an ILP visit in March 2011 when almost all the children in a Mushar community were seen outside the school on a weekday.

The project will have multi-pronged strategies to ensure success. 

Work with 6 existing Anganwadis to deliver early childcare and development services as appropriate. Currently there are no Anganwadis in 4 of the village hamlets.  A high priority will be to ensure that new Anganwadis are started and existing Anganwadis are supervised for effectiveness. 

Run Learning Centers in each Mushar hamlet to induce parents to send their children to school regularly. 

Work on a convergence strategy with the nearest Government schools to start RE-ENROLLING the children from bridge schools after 6 months. The Siksha Mitra (Para-teacher) appointed in each village will take all children who are part of the Bridge School to the Primary school and also serve in the Government school. This will help to improve the functioning of the government schools as well.  

Work with communities, parents, Village Education Committees, School Management Committees, Panchayaths and other stakeholders to bring in collectivism to improve education standards in these villages.  

Success will be measured through the following quantitative indicators for the year 2011/2012:

1.Pre-schools (Anganwadi Centers)
Enroll 200 children aged 3-6 years in 6 Anganwadis of the 10 target villages.
Train the 10 Anganwadi teachers (2-day training).
Activate mothers committees in all the 6 Anganwadis with at least 6 meetings at every center.
2.Schools
Cover all drop out children through 10 bridge schools.
Enroll 400 such dropout children in Government schools.
Organize 6 School Management Committee meetings at every Government school.
Train 10 para-teachers (5-day training).
Formed 10 Child Rights Clubs in all the Government schools.
3.Community Awareness/Empowerment
Make 80% of villagers aware of RTE Act and associated entitlements.
Make 90% of community based organization members aware of RTE act & associated entitlements.
4.Capacity Building (NGO)
Training completed for NGO staff on project specific and related topics.

  • The NGO Abhiyan, ILP’s partner was founded in 1991 and has 63 staff members and over 1,000 volunteers.
  • The organization works in about 600 villages in Bihar and Jharkhand across all marginalized communities with a special focus on the children, youth, women and small farmers through interventions in health and sanitation, education, women empowerment and creation of livelihood for the unemployed.
  • Abhiyan's efforts have been funded by international organizations (Ex: UNICEF, Cordaid and DFID) and several government departments (Ex: Women Development Corporation, Bihar Social Welfare Department and CAPART).
  • Abhiyan is focused on a rights-based model, as well as forming and expanding existing community organizations like self help groups and peace committees.
  • Abhiyan’s efforts have resulted in 200 women now being elected representatives in their Panchayaths.  This is a huge win in the struggle for women-empowerment in these male-dominated societies.
Project Progress (2011/2012)

 

Area Situation before Project Project Impact
  Intervention with pre schools (Anganwadi Centers-AWCs)
  •  Poor enrolment and attendance at the AWCs.
  • Poor motivation and lack of skills among Anganwadi workers
  • Poor community participation in AWC management
  • 50% attendance at AWCs improved.
  • All AWW with better understanding on their role and functioning delivering  satisfactory  services. They remain open from 9 AM.
  • AWC workers attendance improved to 75% from 50%.
    School level intervention  
  • High Dropout rate i.e. Only 20% of Dalit and Mahadalit children go to School for Primary education.
  • Poor attendance at the school
  • Lack of children participation in School management.
     
    • 94% of enrolled children with Bridge Centre mainstreamed.
    • Attendance in Schools have improved  65 to 70%.
    • 30 – 35 % increasing enrollment and decrease school dropout.
    • 80% schools have Child Right Clubs which are addressing problems in school.
    • School teachers attendance has increased to 75 to 80% from 60%.
     

    Community Awareness/Empowerment

     
    • Poor participation of parents in School /management committee(SMC).
    • Majority of villagers are unaware on Right To Education act (RTE).
    • Poor awareness among community members on need for education and child development.
     
    • 60% SMC members are actively participating in meeting and caring for Mid Day Meals (MDM), water and sanitation availability and enrollment.
    • 33- 37% villagers awarded on RTE and importance of education.
    • Education officials being contacted and informed about the problems confronted at School and AWCs by ABHIYAN , SMC, Matri Samiti etc.

    #

    Budget Line Item

    Amount ($)

    1

    Baseline Survey in the 10 villages

    109

    2

    Pre-School Intervention

    ·         Anganwadi Workers Training

    ·         Learning materials for the Anganwadis

    533

    3

    School Intervention

    ·         Teaching materials in bridge schools (10 schools)

    ·         Learning materials in bridge schools (400 children)

    ·         Learning materials for Girl Children (10 Schools)

    ·         Teaching materials in Govt. schools (10 schools)

    ·         Teacher Training (12 teachers)

    ·         Salary for Para-teachers in bridge schools (10 teachers)

    6480

    4

    Community Awareness/Empowerment

    ·         Orientation for School Management Committees

    ·         Street plays in the 10 villages

    ·         Posters etc.

    815

    5

    Networking/Advocacy

    • Block Level Consultation with Education Department Officials, Village Education Committees, Self Help Groups etc.

    196

    6

    Program Support

    ·         Project Coordinator Salary

    ·         Project Coordinator Travel

    ·         Project Staff monthly meetings

    2087

    7

    Administrative Costs

    (A)    Accountant Salary

    (B)     Chief Executive Coordination Charges

    (C)     Stationary/postage etc.

    (D)    Audit fees

    983

     

    Grand Total

     $11,202

     

    Issues raised by Child Club of Utkarmit Middle School, Deorath

    Substandard quality Midday meals provided to the children of Utkarmit Middle School in Deorath, were of substandard quality.  Members of the Child Club members submitted a memorandum highlighting this issue to the School Monitoring Committee. The Headmaster intervened promptly and now the children are served better quality and sufficiently-portioned meals as per guidelines.

    Mid Day Meals at Utkramit Middle school, Pali Bazar

    Children from the Utkramit Middle School found insects in their mid-day meal. Members of the  Child Club immediately raised a memorandum to the School Monitoring Committee (SMC). The SMC initiated an enquiry to check the quality of  food.  Finding the complaints to be valid, the SMC informed the Headmistress and took actions to address the situation. 

    Mothers’ Committee at Makhdumpur Pali Anganwadi

    The Makhdumpur Pali Anganwadi Centre did not have its own building.  The Mother’s committee discussed the issue and submitted a Memorandum to CDPO, Kako.  CDPO showed prompt initiative by approving the funds for constructing a building for the AWC on earmarked land in the village.  The construction work is in progress.

    Mothers’ Commitee at Bhelubigha

    The Bhelubigha Mothers’ Committee reviewed complaints from parents alleging discrimination in distributing midday meals at the Rajkiye Utkramit Middle school in Satanpur. Representatives from the Mothers’ Committee visited the school to investigate the compliant and verified them to be valid. They subsequently submitted a memorandum to the Headmaster and BEO, Kako.  Following prompt action by the officials, the midday meals are now equitably distributed amongst the children.