Back to Basics – CULP reaches out to children from Scheduled Castes (SC), backward castes, and tribal and marginalised communities with emphasis on female children. Through this project Aide et Action International South Asia (AEAI-SA) covers 10,000 children from 100 schools of the Niwai block in the Tonk district of Rajasthan. The project aims at identifying and improving the quality of education. This is considered an important strategic goal
to enhance overall education development of children. Back to Basics thus became an important intervention in the field that addresses quality aspects of learning.
The project has the following objectives:
• To help children in primary schools achieve acceptable competency levels in school.
• To enable teachers to practice competency-based teaching methodologies that provide basic competencies to students.
• To enable effective and quality mentoring, monitoring and supervision mechanisms within the education system that sustains quality teaching processes.
• To develop an ambitious combination of decentralised, participatory planning and decision making to ensure that no child will be left without reading and writing abilities.
NEED FOR INTERVENTION
India has made substantial progress in education in terms of enrollment of children into schools. But there are growing concerns regarding the poor quality of education, minimum competency levels of children, retention of children in schools and even children who are entirely left out of the process. Though economic factors play a critical role in the dropout rate, there is also a host of other systemic issues responsible for the continuing poor quality of in-school processes leading to low levels of competency, dropouts and low accountability amongst the teachers and other critical stakeholders. Relevance of education to life and livelihoods, child-friendly processes and positive learning environments, inclusion, and commitment and motivation of teachers are some of the significant factors that would attract children to schooling and enable them to enjoy quality education.
The public report on basic education has identified several aspects related to quality of education and infrastructure, which are also critical for learning. When it comes to the achievement of children, several micro- level studies report a dismal picture. Given this context, AEAI-SA identifies improving the quality of education as an important strategic goal to enhance the overall education development of children. Back to Basics has thus become an important intervention in the field that addresses quality aspects of learning. The project is implemented through our operational partner, CULP, which has been working for the education of out-of-school children in Rajasthan since 2002.
The project carries out the following activities:
• Appointing and training of volunteers.
• Sharing of Children Competency Assessment (CCA) results.
• Building in-house capacities for training within partners.
• School-based planning.
• Improving learning skills (ILS) among Children.
• Training and capacity building of teachers.
• Building teachers’ resource teams in the project areas.
• Teacher training on difficult to teach concepts.
• Regular assessment and monitoring.
• Developing low-cost, innovative child-centered learning modules for the 3 Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic).
The Back 2 Basics project of AEAI-SA aims to achieve the following outcomes:
• Improvement in the basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills among 10,000 children.
• A total of 500 teachers competently trained on quality education methodologies.
• Proactive involvement of community members and stakeholders to promote quality education.
• Partner organization staff and government officials oriented and capacitated on the model of Back 2 Basics.
• A status report elaborating on the Children Competency Assessment studies.