Pratham began operations in Delhi in 1999 and the Pratham Delhi Education Initiative was established in 2000. In the initial years, PDEI provided pre-school education to children in some areas of East Delhi and Bridge classes to mainstream out-of school children aged 6-14 years. Over the years the program has expanded to cover 6 out of the 12 MCD zones of the city and several new interventions have been introduced. In the last 4 years, PDEI has been working closely with the MCD and has started libraries in over 850 schools. The libraries are used both to improve the basic reading and writing skills of the children as well as to provide them access to colorful books.
School Based Programme
In 2009-10, Pratham’s programme was spread across 260 Bastis in Delhi situated in North Shahdara, South Shahdara and Zakhira (Karolbagh) and 650 Municipal schools spread across 5 zones of Delhi.
LIBRARY PROGRAMME IN MCD SCHOOLS: 2010-11
Background-Pratham Delhi has been working with the Municipal Schools since 2001 initially through its Balsakhi programme and subsequently through its Library programme. Since 2008-09, Pratham has set up library programme in almost all the schools of the five municipal zones- Shahdara South, Shahdara North, Karol bagh, Civil lines and Rohini. In 2009-10, Pratham operationalised its Library programme in 650 Municipal schools of the same 5 zones. The key components of the programme, implemented through one trained volunteer of Pratham, are:
1. Distribution of Story books and related activities
2. Basic literacy with children who need additional learning support
Key outcomes and issues in implementation during 2009-10
Since the approval of MCD was to place only one library volunteer in each school irrespective of its enrollment, Pratham had to revise its programme implementation strategy in order to make sure that children who are covered under the programme really benefit from the intervention. This included:
- Working with School HMs to get at least 2 periods with the same section of children per week.
- Working with only Std III-V children in case there were more than 12 sections in the schools
With this strategy, we impacted reading level of 7837 children of Std I & II from 168 Schools. Similarly, the reading level of 96056 children (Std III-V) was impacted from 379 Schools. We also used Urdu reading material in 18 Urdu medium schools. Besides, during the year more than 1.6 lacs children borrowed books regularly.
Community based interventions were designed to address two key issues :
• Bring more children in 3-5 years in the preschool education net.
• Learning support to underprivileged children in community setting through learning centers.
Balwadi- It is one of the oldest programmes of Pratham Delhi which has benefited more than 80,000 children in last one decade. This programme is for 3-5 years old community children who are not in any pre-school. Each class having about 20 children is organised for 3 hours a day for about 10 months during the year. The objective is to enable children to become better-adjusted, happier learners enabling better retention and achievement at later stage. Activities are based on the 5- developmental needs of children - Language development, Physical Development, Cognitive development, Social Development and Emotional Development. In 2009-10, Pratham Delhi enrolled 5035 children in its community based Balwadi.
Collaboration with Anganwadis - As part of the agreement with Department of Women and Child Development, Government of NCT of Delhi, Pratham Delhi is working in 264 Anganwadi centers to help the Anganwadi centers in providing preschool education to the community children. This model helped Pratham Delhi to reach out to about 6300 additional children in 3-5 year old age group and provide about 90 minutes of daily preschool activities.
The existing twin approach and strategy will continue in 2010-11 as well.
Pratham Delhi piloted the concept of learning center- to provide learning support to underprivileged children by setting up 34 centers across Delhi. The objective of the center is to provide supplementary learning support to children whose parents cannot directly help them in studies and at the same time cannot afford paid external support. In 2009-10, Pratham Delhi set up 34 centers in the 5 municipal zone and enrolled about 5000 children. In 20010-11, apart from the existing centers, which operates from rented space, there would be additional centers operating from the premises of 50 single shift schools for which Pratham Delhi has received an approval from MCD.
The programme starts at identification of such children in communities who are enrolled in Std III-V of the Municipal school but due to lack of additional learning support in school and home are likely to drop out. These children come to the Learning center for 2 hours everyday to learn the concepts related to their respective curriculum. The subjects proposed to be covered in 2010-11 are Science, Maths and English.
The curricular activities in these centers are for 5 days a week, the Saturdays is for library where any child from the neighborhood community can come to the center, borrow books and read it.
Apart from the monthly feedback and discussions on the academic progress of children, the centers will also engage parents more regularly to discharge their responsibilities as expected in the Rights of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.
Pratham Delhi has developed grade specific assessment indicators for children and is administered as baseline, mid-test and final assessment during the year.