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Bihar Education Project in Darbhanga

Block Resource Centre, Jale - Started from 2-10-1997 under DPEP

 

"In the World of Action, Hope is of the Essence"
JOHN W. GARDNER
(The Recovery of Confidence, Scientific Book Agency, Ind. Ed. 1971)

 

Seeking the fund of goodwill and cooperation, we hope we will be able to awaken the stumbling mind of the teeming thousands of the districts to realize their hidden potential to the full and open up new vistas for meaningful existence.
The problem of illiteracy whether rural or urban, gender related or focused on groups can only be resolved through long term measures. It requires structural and functional changes in the primary education system. It also requires targeting the most disadvantaged sections with emphasis upon catching them young. Attainment of the goal of universal primary education (UPE) is possible only in a responsive and active civil society, a society where democracy flourishes and collective action thrives. We need community participation at every level if we wish to realize the goal of UPE.

Under the auspices of BEP a massive programme of primary education was launched in Oct. 97 in Darbhanga. Its focus is sharper in that it aims at making available quality primary education to all the children in the age of 6 to 11 years.
However, the emphasis is on the disadvantaged sections of the society which include SC, ST and girl children. The three basic objectives of this programme, known as DPEP III are:

The main guiding principles as contained in DPEP objectives are to:

(a) Reduce differentials due to gender or social group origin enrolment, drop-out and achievement to less than 5%.
(b) Reduce the overall drop out rate for all categories of children to less than 10%
(c) Raise achievement level of learners by at least 25% over the base line level.
(d) Provide according to national norms access for all children to primary education through formal or non formal streams.
(e) Strengthen the capacity of National, State and District level institutions and organisations for planning, management and evaluation of primary education.

 

Taking into account the poor rather dismal literacy records of the district, Bihar Education Project, Darbhanga has made an appreciable intervention for Universalisation of Primary Education here.

Alternative Schooling (AS)

Goal of the DPEP Program in universalisation of primary education i.e. all children should be provided education facilities.
The foremost challenge in universalisation of primary education is to ensure participation of all children. Despite a budge expansion in the formal primary education system there are large number of children out of school due to poor social economic circumstances and various geographical and psychological constraints.

Among the out of school children are such children who have never been enrolled at schools due to lack of schooling facilities in their small remote habitations. There are also many small such children who simply don't join school for a verity of region including household work, migration of familial, religions beliefs and customs that prevent enrolment of girls in certain, communities, engagements in economic activities, extreme proverty, living on the street etc.
Clearly, no single strategy could address the problems of such diverse groups of children.

There are two types of Alternative School being organised in Darbhanga district for ensuring participation of children of such marginalised and deprived groups.

Angana Vidyalayas for elder girls in the age group 9-14 year and Apna Vidyalaya for both boys and girls in the age group of 6-11 years

Cluster Resource Centre (CRC)

Cluster Resource Centre is envisaged as an institution for in service academic support to teachers. CRC has to coordinate the teaching and other activities at school level among the schools of the locality. It is the place where all the concerned teachers meet every month to share academic experience of last month, chalk out programmes for coming month, experiences of training inputs identifying the hard spots in learning and make its solution. CRC has a Coordinator who is responsible for conducting and managing the entire training meeting and cultural activities at the cluster level. Indeed CRCs are the seat of academic pursuits among the teachers of clusters. Monthly meeting of teachers, training of VEC members, bal melas/TLM melas and cultural activities are organised at CRCs.

Civil Works

For successfully implementation of DPEP programme Civil Works plays a vital role. Civil works under DPEP includes construction of attractive school building, construction of additional class rooms, construction Cluster Resource Centre (CRC) and Block Resource Centre (BRC) . Apart from these to fulfil the basic need of urinal/ toilet and hand pump in our schools so that retention and access rate of students especially girl students can be increased. The attractive atmosphere of school and proper physical facilities help in maximising enrolment and retaining the enrolled children so that the immediate goal of universal achievement can be realized.

In Bihar Education Project, Civil Works does not mean for merely construction but it has a vital thinking to change the society through constructions. For this purpose all of our construction work done by the beneficiaries itself to felt them as honourship.

BEP tries to use latest cost effective technology as far as practicable. It seeks to make optimum utilisation of scare material resources. There are various technologies which have been used by Bihar Education Project successfully in its civil works.

We are adopting following techniques:

By adopting these techniques we are able to save 30% material and labour. In addition to this Bihar Education Project is going to use Ferro-cement roof, various types of arches and corbel roof.

Text Book Distribution

Books are an essential need for proper education. In Bihar, particularly in the district of Darbhanga poverty is the most striking factor behind illiteracy. In order to achieve its goal of universalisation of Primary Education particularly enrolment and retention, BEP has been supplying text books to focus group children.

Due to assembly election in February and six days Pulse-polio campaign in the district we could have start text book distribution from the first week of March 2000 and we have succeeded in distributing 24988 text books.
We are sure that we will achieve the target by 15th May 2000.

Teaching/Learning Process in Schools, Class-Room Practices

In the beginning we have not made specific and concerted efforts under DPEP towards class room practices, but now in the 3rd year of DPEP planning a strong need is being felt to made a concerted effort to bring about changes in the teaching / learning process in schools and class room practices, especially through different interventions.

Mahila Samakhya

Mahila Samakhya is an important component of Bihar Education Project. The main objective of Mahila Samakhya (M.S.) is to make the women aware in the field of economy, politics and social responsibly. In addition to this, the aim of M.S. is to insure the participation of women in the main stream of education.

In Darbhanga Distt. M.S. pogrammes are being implemented in only two blocks have been taken 1 - Darbhanga rural.
2 - Jale. In Darbhanga district followings activities :

Media

The main goal of DPEP is universalisation of primary formal education. Media plays an important role in sensitising the focus group and ensures its role in socio-cultural development of society. The goal of DPEP is only possible after making the community aware of primary formal education. To ensure the attitudinal & emotional change of society and its participation in process of universalisation of primary education is only possible if Media creates an environment to make the community conscious. The activities under Media are detailed below :

Early Child Education (ECE)

In the total spectrum of human development, Early Childhood learning which begins at birth and continues till six years of age represents one of the most critical period dooming which the foundations for intellectual, cognitive, socio-emotional, linguistic and physical competence are laid. The child exposure to positive and culture specific stimulus during these early years has a bearing on her/ his future life attainments including these in the educational field.
In Darbhanga project is seeking to provide comprehensive childhood care and educational facilities for the holistic development of the child mentally, cognitively, socially and physically. This includes early childhood education facilities for the 3 to 6 years age group which would also facilitate the preparation of young children for primary schooling. With ECE facility we are trying to promote the participation of the girls in the primary schooling by releasing them from child/sibling care responsibilities, and, provide the much needed support service for the working women from the lowest socio-economic groups.

ICDS has been recognised as the largest out race programme, having a most comprehensive package of service for meeting the total development needs of the children in 3-6 age group children. The target group of ICDS, focusing on the most underprivileged and vulnerable sections of the rural and urban population. Therefore, we, in Darbhanga, have tried to make linkages and Co-ordinating mechanism with the ICDS system at the block and district levels. In this regard our interventions are as follow:

1. Opening of Bal Sanskar Kendras in blocks which have not been covered under ICDS Programme.
2. Strengthening of ICDS centres by training of supervisors and Savikas.

In this district 8 blocks have already been covered under ICDS. BEP, has started opening of Early Child Education centres in some of the blocks of the district.

Management Information System ( MIS)

"IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE POLICY CONCEPT THAT THERE BE GOAL, OBJECTIVE OR PURPOSE."
KARL FRIEDRICH

A Management Information system (MIS) has been set up at district level office which provides linkages with MIS section of State Level Office,Patna and different officials of the district which include Commissioner, DM, DDC, DEO, DSE, CDPO, DMEO, DPO, AEOs and BEEOs etc.

In order to realise the significance and need for timely availability of school data for planning, management, monitoring and evaluation, Educational Management Information System (EMIS) has been successfully implemented in the district. The data collected at school level by BRCCs, CRCCs and other sources are compiled and analysed by this system. The Enrolment figure seems to incomplete unless we include enrolments of private schools, Sanskrit schools, Madrasas, Special Education centres, Apna/ Angana Schools and Jagjagy centres. Keeping in mind this facts, we have been collecting enrolment figures from all these schools/ centres so that total real enrolment figures can be emerged. Consequently we will be able to know the actual figure of children not attending any schools/ centres in age group 6-11 years.

Monthly physical and Financial progress reports are also prepared by MIS section and sent to State Unit. In addition to this, monthly, quarter and annual reports, generated in MIS section, are sent to State Level Office Patna.
In preparation of Annual work plan & Budget( AWP&B) MIS section plays a key role by providing support to all components particularly in budgetary portion.

MIS section has proposed to implement a new information system known as (SAMIS) Students Attendance Management Information System, in the current budget year. The purpose of Implementation of this system is to analyse the attendance of students in schools against their enrolment.

After successful implementation of this system it will be easier to find the month in which drop out of students increase at most.

Village Education Committee (VEC)

Village Education Committee is an important intervention in community mobilisation. DPEP III views primary education as 'an integral part of social transformation'. The aim behind formation of Village Education Committee is to entrust the community the responsibility to 'own' and 'share' the schools & build a bridge of trust and confidence between the community, schools, teachers and the project. Community participation as well as environment building are main features of Village Education Committee in the direction of achieving the goal of universalisation of primary formal education.

In order to involve the community in the execution, management and administration of educational programmes of the BEP under DPEP III so as to make the community 'owner' or 'stake holder' of its processes and programmes, the VEC has been evolved in the catchment area/ feeder area of the primary schools. The democratically elected VECs will be involved in the catchment area/ feeder area of the primary schools. The democratically elected VECs will be involved in the construction, maintenance and support of schools and CRCs through a process of capacity building exercise in such a way that the VECs perceive the responsibility of school development.

Under this programme, we have been able to identify Utpreraks/Abhipreraks and VEC trainers for execution of different work plans of community mobilisation. These work involve VEC formation, carry out awareness campaigns, one day orientation of VEC members, 5 day training to VEC mebers and micro-level planning at the village level. However, we have not been able to carry our micro-level planning at the village level as proposed in AWP&B 2001-2002.