Bhadrak: 19 hit India – Anganwadis (government-run childcare centres), government schools and different community learning centres of Dhamra area went into lockdown. We have realized that children in these under-resourced communities are not getting access to quality education due to the on-going crisis. The penetration rate of smartphones in India is around 20-25% and in villages across Dhamra it is even less. Most of the education support interventions during this crisis at present are online/app-based and unfortunately are out of reach for the majority of the population who don’t have access to smartphones/computers and internet.
As a direct response to this crisis, Adani Foundation’s Project LEAP in collaboration with ThinkZone & MO School Abhiyaan, Govt. of Odisha for Anganwadi and Primary Schools is using accessible technology to implement ‘home-based education programs’ for children aged 3-10 years. We use ‘voice call & SMS-based’ learning platforms to reach out to parents so that they can engage children in activity-based learning content. The parents receive daily 1-2 minutes voice calls and SMS on their mobile phones regarding DIY (do-it-yourself) learning modules. Based on the age level and class of the child the content is scheduled. Access to the content is free of cost for the families.
The objectives of the ‘home-based’ education program under Project LEAP are to develop positive parent-child relationships and enable parents to work towards developing learning skills of kids from an early age. The content, in general, is focused on developing foundational skills of children and is geographic agnostic. As a result parents from any community can understand the content.
The activities for early childhood education have been built on themes and activities as specified in the National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) curriculum. The primary grade education (Grade 1-5) activities have been designed for developing language and arithmetic skills and are based on the school syllabus (chapter wise activities) as well NCERT’s (national) alternative learning calendar.
The students directly enrolled in the Project LEAP across Dosinga & Karanajimal cluster of Dhamra area are not devoid of quality education during this crisis. So in the communities where we have a direct presence and where we have the demographic information of families of the enrolled students, we are implementing our push-based voice call learning program. For our push-based voice calling program parents receive daily learning modules. Through this initiative we will be reaching out 2291 children of 16 Anganwadis and 30 primary schools.