IIT Kharagpur reaches out to the rural schools to enhance self-confidence and develop the personality of students

Kharagpur: In one of the many social initiatives undertaken by IIT Kharagpur, the Institute has launched an study model that equips students, especially those belonging to rural schools, to grow into confident, knowledgable, competent individuals. The project is called “Innovative ‘C-4’ Model for High School Students”.
Under the ‘C-4’ model, middle or high school students are trained and mentored so that they can teach students who are four classes (that is, minus 4) junior to them. The research project has been undertaken by Prof T.K. Bandyopadhyay, Prof Pulak Mishra, Prof R.K. Pradhan, and Prof P.K. Bhowmick of IIT Kharagpur and Prof Pijush Ghosh of IIT Madras.
“The ‘C- 4’ education model was conceived to enhance the education experience of school going children in order to develop their personalities during the formative years. With the aim of bridging the gap between qualified and employable graduates, this model strives to make the current generation of students confident and knowledgeable, with effective communication and working skills,” says Professor Mishra.
The research is primarily pursued through four steps: i) Building general awareness among school teachers about the models ii) Training C students at IIT Kharagpur iii) Implementing the model in the schools including mentoring and iv) Collecting field data and do performance analysis.
The project has been implemented in 12 schools in south Bengal and 11 schools in and around Chennai. Nine of the schools where IITKGP has helped mentor C students came together at a recent workshop organized by the Institute to showcase the results.
The project has had manifold impact on children. It worked as a tool to improve their communication skills, enhance their sense of responsibility, and strengthen their public speaking ability and sociability.The statistical findings shared at the recent meet showed that of the 66 C students who had been mentored, 91 per cent now got better marks, 74 per cent showed better attendance, 81 per cent of the participating students felt their overall personality had improved. Parents too attested to the fact that the programme had improved the children’s sense of responsibility and enhanced their public speaking ability and sociability.
To sustain the programme, to scale it up and increase its visibility, Professor Pijush Ghosh explained how important it was to have sustained funding. The project leaders intend to maintain a web portal in order to reach out to more schools and convince all stakeholders about the need for the programme for the welfare of the children.
The first phase of this project was financially supported by CSR fund of TechnipFMC India Ltd. “We hope the Central and state governments, non-governmental organizations, corporates and foundations engaged in CSR will adopt this proven social science research and help bring positive change in the Indian school education system,” says Prof Bandyopadhyay.