Working closely with the community, we recognise that a major factor that plays a role into curtailing developmental activities is the lack of quality education.
In most of the Araku Valley region, there is no dearth of schools. Student enrolment rates in these areas are very promising at almost 100%, yet only a small fraction of the students (less than 20%) complete their basic education.
In a survey conducted in the villages in the region, we found that while a majority of kids enrol into schools, a major portion of them drop out in subsequent years.
The Aksharalaya pre-schools are creative learning spaces for young children of the age group 2- 6 years. It is well established that the first 2000 days of a child’s life are when 85% of the brain’s pathways are developed. It is this time when the child particularly needs high quality personal care and learning experience.
The Aksharalaya Project aims cause a positive intervention in this aspect by providing an opportunity to children of the ages 2-6 to learn through fun, music , dance and play. The program is designed to align itself with the tribal way of life. The schools are highly adept at helping village children – who normally have a difficult time adapting to a formal education system and, therefore, drop out -- adjust to, stay in and enjoy school. When students enjoy their school, they become more confident and involved, which makes them more school ready and causes a smooth transition into the formal education system.
Our teachers are selected from enthusiastic, creative and proactive villagers who have an immense potential to accept the challenges and reject limitations of the poverty struck life. The teachers undergo a formal training prior to employment.
Nutritious mid-day meals are provided to all the students of the Centres along with a healthy snack in the evening. The meal is specially designed taking into consideration food that is locally produced, easily available and nutritious in value. A weekly meal schedule is provided which includes rice, millets, lentils, veggies, fruits, milk and egg.
Desired impact and outcome of the project
The school purports to make education stress free and fun for the village kids who otherwise hesitate to attend school and in general contribute to their overall wellbeing. On a long term, we believe this would add value to the children and families of the villages. The projected outcomes of the project are –
- Make children more confident, friendly and environmentally conscious at an impressionable age that can help them to become good citizens of the country.
- Make the kids more school-ready and motivate them to continue schooling rather than dropping out.
- Provide stress free education to the children through novel teaching methodologies.
- Provide employment opportunities to educated and skilled villagers as teachers, coordinators and helpers
- Provide increased opportunities of social interactions between villages thereby building a strong community.