Access to education is an essential component in an individual’s development and a country’s economic and social development. Gram Vikas’ education programme facilitates access to education for all eligible children. Gram Vikas strengthens government-run schools and establishes its own education centres in remote villages where services do not exist. Gram Vikas also works to empower communities to hold government officials accountable for providing educational services and has been introducing the RTI as an instrument to achieve this.
During the early days, Gram Vikas was active in establishing village based schools where there were none. With the advent of the government run aanganwadi (village crèches) programs Gram Vikas has shifted its attention to cluster based schools and Residential schools for tribal children. Bridge courses to facilitate transition from primary to secondary schools are o held in project locations and often lead to selection of children for further education in the Gram Vikas Residential schools.
Pre-school and Primary Schools
Pre-school and Primary Schools
In the early years of Gram Vikas, Pre-Schools were organized in remote villages to teach children essential social and hygiene skills and to prepare them for formal schooling. Classes usually consisted of playing, singing songs, dancing and storytelling. Children were provided with a daily hot meal. Nature classes were held to teach children interesting and relevant information about their local environment.
Primary schools provided elementary level education to residents in isolated villages. Classes were scheduled to correspond with breaks in the typical local routine to maximize attendance. Locally appointed facilitators ran most of the day schools and regularly attended Gram Vikas capacity building workshops to learn to effectively manage their responsibilities.
With the government playing an active role in primary education in rural areas, Gram Vikas has taken up a secondary role, facilitating the government appointed teachers.
Gram Vikas operates residential schools where tribal children live and learn together under the care of teachers residing at the schools. Enrolment is increasing as the rural population is recognizing the benefits of education. The residential schools provide free education for girls causing a significant increase in female enrolment. Students are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities including sports and have represented the school in district, state and national level tournaments.
Gram Vikas runs four such schools strategically located in different parts of Orissa: Konkia in Ganjam, Koinpur in Gajapati, Thuamul Rampur in Kalahandi and Rudhapadar also in Ganjam. The school in Konkia is a matriculation school with classes up to Grade X, while the other three schools have classes upto Grade VII.
Read more about the schools….
Brief Profile of the School Activities - as reported by a volunteer
Gram Vikas Schools in the News
School Sponsorship Programme
Pre-school and Primary Schools
A Brief Profile of the School Activities - as reported by a volunteer)
The school remains a happening place through out the year except in summers, when students go home for their summer vacation. Throughput the year various activities are carried out in the campus. In describing these activities, they have been grouped under four main types on the basis of the objectives that the particular set of activities is aimed to achieve.
- Curricular Activities
- Co-Curricular Activities
- Extra-Curricular Activities
- Other Activities
- School Library
- Village Resource Centres (VRC)
- Celebrations in the Schools
- Childrens Savings
- Kitchen Gardens
- Parents Meetings
Curricular activities of the school are a set of activities directed towards providing quality education to the students. The objective of these activities is to improve the academic performance.
• Syllabus: The school follows the syllabus of the Board of Secondary Education of Odisha. As per the syllabus, the students are taught Mathematics, their mother tongue: M.I.L – Oriya, Social Studies, General Science, Geography, History, Hindi, Agriculture Science and Drawing.
• Lesson Planning: Teachers of the school make an effort to plan lessons before each of their class and teach accordingly. These plans are prepared after looking at various factors like, time by which the syllabus is to be finished, which particular sections need more attention, the composition of the students according to their academic standard, etc. As an outcome, teaching becomes interesting, simple and easy to learn for students and whole process becomes more scientific than just incidental.
• Joyful Learning: In the school, teaching is not seen as just a regular task. Efforts are made to make it as interesting as possible. Special efforts are taken by teachers to teach students in a joyful manner. For this, the teachers prepare various local and low/no cost teaching aids. As a result, leaning does not seem boring for the students, instead becoming interesting.
• Local Area Emphasis: Mainly tribal children study here and are separated out from the main stream. They have various indigenous cultural and social practices, where as the education system that is implemented is totally foreign. Therefore to have a proper balance, the children are encouraged to acknowledge their cultural and social background. They share stories of their local history, their local festivals and local ceremonies along with what has been there in their books regarding state/national history, festivals, ceremonies, etc. Similarly, all their blind beliefs regarding various practices are cleared up. They are able to compare the existing society in other parts of the state with their tribal society.
• Group Classes: To facilitate a horizontal learning approach every child is encouraged to learn from every other child through the Group Class system, where class teachers look after and facilitate a process of exchange of learning. The class teacher is also responsible for other aspect of the development of various other attributes and skills of the students. Through these Group classes, weaker students are given more opportunity to learn by solving their own problems.
• Quiz Class: It is a regular practice to have a quiz in the class on whatever has been taught in the week. The quiz is conducted subject wise. The process is just a way of joyful learning where children revise all that which has been taught to them in a week’s time.
• Monthly/Quarterly/Half-yearly and Annual Exams: To have regular assessment of children’s understanding of what has been taught to him/her, the school has adopted a regular evaluation system. Question papers for monthly and quarterly examinations are prepared by school teachers themselves and papers for half-yearly and annual exams are arranged through the Government of Odisha’s Education department. The progress of each individual child is monitored and follows up steps are taken accordingly.
There are various activities performed in the schools, which can be grouped under co-curricular activities termed such because they support the curricular activities in improving the academic performance of the children and thus ensuring their academic excellence. These activities work towards improving comprehension of the children while providing them with a well-rounded education.
• Debate/Speech and other Activities: These activities are taken up to better the speaking ability of children and make them fearless speakers and future leaders. Every Saturday a class-wise debating session is organized.
• Drawing:Drawing has been observed as one medium for the free flow of the ideas of the children. Drawing classes are held daily with one period devoted for drawing, while for 6th and 7th standard drawing classes are held twice a week. Drawing competitions are also organized regularly in the school and children are encouraged to participate in district level drawing competitions.
• Cultural Programmes: As an effort to let the students know about their local culture, various cultural programmes are organized among the children. The cultural programmes are generally organised on festival days, national holidays and other school celebrations.
• Wall Magazine: Wall magazine is a weekly publication by the students, promoted in the school to encourage students to express their feelings and views while facilitating the thinking process of the children, upgrade their language knowledge and their writing capacity. There is a huge contribution from children for the magazine in the form of poems, rhymes and short stories.
• Assembly: Morning Assembly includes an invocation before classes and is very interesting gathering of students. Children sing a Morning Prayer, and then children come forward to share some thing new. After this one of the teacher’s reads the news headline of the previous day and discusses current affairs around the world.
• NSS activities: Every year school organises a camp under National Service Scheme. In these camps, the children from different classes along with a teacher go to villages for cleaning, plantation, road clearing and repair activities. In the evenings they perform street plays to make villagers aware of issues regarding health, education, forest protection, family planning, etc. As a regular feature under this scheme, the school children supply water to the pilgrims of Mahendra giri temple during Maha-shivaratri festival. This has been in practice for many years. Similarly there has been the practice of providing support in organising of Eye camp for the villagers of the Gram Vikas operational area. The camp is organised by the District Blind Control Society and children take care of lodging and boarding arrangement for the patients. Providing best possible pre and post-operation care to these patients has also been their self assumed responsibility.
• Ministership: With the intention of developing leadership among children and assisting with school administration, work is distributed department-wise and a student is elected as the Minister of the department. The school has Ministers for Health, Water supply, Campus cleaning, Cultural activities, Games and sports, Agriculture and Discipline. One student is elected as Prime Minister, who acts as the school captain. A school teacher is associated with one particular department to advise the student minister as needed.
• Group Division : Along with the department wise division of responsibility, for all other administration purposes, the school children have been divided into four groups, namely Krishna Chandra Gajapati, Devagiri, Mahendra Tanya and Mahendragiri. These groups have been named after local places and people of historical importance. Each group has one leader among boys and one among girls. The main objective of group division of children is to enhance their competitive co-operative spirit on the other. Children participate in different competitions, representing their groups.
In order to promote multifaceted development of the personality, extra-curricular activities are promoted in the schools. The objective is to provide equal avenues to the children for developing their personality and vocational skills.
• Games and Sports: In comparison with the children in town and cities and even other villages, the children in this tribal belt have higher physical stamina and an inclination towards games and sports. In school, there is an hour session on games and sports. School have facilities for outdoor games like volley boll, cricket and basket ball and in indoor games like carom.
Students practice for various athletics events like running (long and short distances), shot put, long jump and high jump as well. The school is facing a shortage of space for regular practice of all these events. Despite this, in past years, children have participated in various district and state level athletics and sports events and bagged several prizes. At the district level, the school has been declared champion of the district.
• Skill development training: Along with the studies, the school gives equal emphasis on developing vocational skills of the children. The activity chosen are very well connected with their social background like leaf plate making, mat weaving, etc. On the other hand there has been a proper mix of newer and need based skills like brick making, tailoring, knitting and even cane articles making. The products of the training are used in the school.
The school organizes other activities which can not be grouped strictly under curricular, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities. These activities are summarised below:
Village Resource Centres (VRC)
Celebrations in the Schools
With support from Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) four resource libraries have been setup in all four Gram Vikas Residential schools. The RGF resource libraries are equipped with books, news papers, magazines, PRI information posters, furniture and different games. Teaching and learning material is developed by the school children and school teachers. Each resource libraries has been linked with one village. The purpose is to create awareness of education programmes and facilitate a basic level of literacy in those villages. A Village Facilitator is appointed to look after the library and also to teach school going children between 6-14 years of age. The village library of Konkia provides facilities for two villages and with around 3000 books is slowly becoming the information node for the school.
Village Resource Centres (VRC)
VRCs have been developed through collaboration with the National Remote Sensing Agency in Hyderabad and consist of information nodes linked through satellites. VRCs are playing an important role for motivating children and communities into education. Numerous activities are performed by the students and school teachers. Inter school quiz competition was conducted in the VRCs for school children. The activity helped students to have a good interaction with other school students. The VRC programmes create an opportunity for the school children from different indigenous communities to share, learn and appreciate other cultures.
Celebrations in the School
In the school, children celebrate various National and Religious festivals. Among National festival, they celebrate Republic day, Independence Day, Utkal Divas, Gandhi Jayanti, Subhash Jayanti, Teachers’ day and Children’s day. Since, the children of the school belong to Hindu and Christian religions, festivals of both the religions are celebrated in the school along with festivals of other religions. Saraswati Pooja, Ganesh Pooja, Holi, Maha-shivaratri, Id-ul-zuha, and X-mas, is celebrated. During all celebrations students are briefed about the history of that particular festival. In all these festivals, an open discussion is generally organised among students and teachers to discuss about the festival along with its related myths and religious beliefs.
Special attention is being paid by the teachers and the health staff of the Koinpur project towards the health of students. A daily health check-up of the students after yoga each day is followed by distribution of medicines to the sick children. Along with this, a detailed check-up of the students is done every quarter and weight checked every month. Similarly group leaders take the responsibility of promoting personal hygiene. Every possible effort is taken to ensure good health among the children.
To inculcate the habit of savings, every child has been provided with an individual passbook. They deposit whatever amount they can save on a regular basis. This money is first collected at school and then deposited in the bank in the joint account of students and a teacher.
There has been a good capacity mess hall for 150 students of the school. Two cooks take care of cooking for them. Three meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided to the children. Every Sunday, a feast is organized in the mess.
Approximately one acre land is kept aside for the purpose of kitchen garden. Children spend an hour everyday in this garden. The produce of the garden is utilized in the school mess and provides for 5 to 6 month’s requirement of mess.
The School has Solar Water Filter for safe drinking water. A solar water heater provides hot water in the kitchen.
On the 10th of every month, meeting teachers meet with parents. This is the only day, when parents are allowed to meet their wards inside the school grounds. In the meeting, various events of the month are shared with the parents. Other issues that are taken up in the meeting are the progress of the children, their problems and complaints, counseling to parents of various matters, etc. Decisions regarding various issues, various rules of the schools, etc. are taken up together with the parents in these meetings. The average attendance in the meeting is observed to be around 80 %.