Lokmitra takes education as a medium for social change. It believes that all children should have right to learn and this is the responsibility of all adults to ensure that every child learns. In order to ensure that all children get educational right to learn through government schools, Lokmitra is making multi-dimensional and multi-level efforts in Uttar Pradesh. This is resulting in promotion of appropriate ideas and practices for improvement of schools and education system. Lokmitra is promoting common understanding, integrated efforts and collective responsibility among all stakeholders associated with children’s rights. Lokmitra has initiated state level advocacy in the year 2007 and about 300 NGOs and a few Parent Associations have come together as an education coalition under the banner of Basic Shiksha Manch.
Lokmitra initiated its activities with three schools in 1997 and subsequently with wide acceptance of its ideas & practices, during last few years it has directly supported over 400 rural schools of seven blocks in four districts and with 50 urban schools in Raebareli and Lucknow. In the process there have been innovative practices, leading to betterment of school education and policy changes. (Slide Share Link – Outcome & Impact of Education Program of LOKMITRA)
- To enhance effectiveness of schools, Lokmitra promotes peer learning of teachers at school level. Dialogue of teachers with children and guardians is encouraged so that learning needs of each child get better understood by their teachers. The parents as members of School Management Committee enhance their capacity and engage with teachers so that there is common understanding and collective efforts, leading to better school management. Participation of children is encouraged through group activities and Children’s Forum (Bal Manch). These efforts have given encouraging result in some schools and this has enthused Lokmitra team, teachers & parents. Like Sointha primary school, children’s attendance is in the range of 80-90%, most children are now able to read their books.
- For out-of-school children, especially belonging to the Dalit (Scheduled Castes) and the minority Muslim community, Lokmitra gives opportunity for alternative residential and non-residential education for development and education of adolescent boys & girls. For these centers and schools, Lokmitra has adapted effective methods for Hindi Language teaching which takes care of children being at different level of learning needs. An education package has been developed on adolescent life (SRH/R).
- A parents’ forum has been evolved after federating at cluster & block level of School Management Committee, through which learning is promoted among committee members. It also ensures that parents have collective voice and they are able to have effective dialogue with other stakeholders.
- In order to encourage peer-learning among teachers of different schools and at block level, a Teachers’ Learning Forum (Shaikshik Samvad Manch) has been promoted, which is functioning in several blocks.
- Lokmitra has been providing supplementary education to about 300 girls of Class VIII to XI, after which they are able to successfully complete their secondary education.
- Lokmitra publishes appropriate learning materials for teachers, children, parents, social organizations, people’s representatives and government functionaries in order to share its emerging knowledge and bring about changes in policy & practices.
Therefore, Lokmitra has prepared broad background for effective changes in Elementary education, direct benefits of which are visible in their enhanced sensitivity, capacity to learn, and improving personality of deprived children. A process of sustained change is evident through mutual learning and participatory efforts of teachers, parents and social organizations.