Get Involved & Support

Over last fifteen years Lokmitra has evolved well tested practices for promoting effective functioning of state government school and improvement in education system. This effort has given some promising tangible results. Lokmitra looks forward to mobilising and strengthening its financial and human resource base for realizing the possibility of change in Uttar Pradesh & India.

Lokmitra has been mobilising CSOs in most district of Uttar Pradesh and through them SMCs and Teachers. All this has been done within the limitation of human and financial constraint faced by Lokmitra. There has been some progress and much more has to be done, especially in reaching out to large number of school, collecting ideas and voices of change and build a charged environmnet suitable for change.

So Lokmitra looks forward to build a large base of support from school to state level. Those giving there time will be suitably guided with know how of Lokmitra. Those providing financial resources will be provided report of activity and outcomes as per their requirement.

Get Involved at School Level with any one or all aspects of School Improvement

Enhancing Quality of Education

Documentation, Study and Research

Promoting Collaboration and Mutual Accountability

  • Introducing school improvement activity system (as developed by Lokmitra) at suitable time with proper orientation of teachers & SMCs.
  • Support to head teacher for team building and leadership for school improvement.
  • Facilitating Teachers fortnightly Reflection Session. Providing a set of books for teacher development so that teachers enhance the notion of quality of education and continuously strive to improve their teaching practice.
  • Promoting Children’s Collective and Leadership in effective functioning of school.
  • Assisting teachers in evolving CCE (Continuous & Comprehensive Evaluation) for better assessment of learning needs and need based support to children.
  • Providing supplementary learning materials.
  • Support to School Library.
  • Assisting in making school material rich and activity based. Stationary & workbook for children.
  • Assisting in organising School Programs.
  • Other Infrastructure Support
  • Document the functioning of school to get insight on what is happening and why it is so.
  • Document Good Practices in School.
  • Assess whether school meets the norm of RTE Act.
  • Assist in preparing School Development plan, Child protection policy etc.
  • Promoting collaborative relation among Teachers & SMCs for mutual accountability & mutual learning.
  • Learning Material and other support to SMC for better understanding of RTE Act and for regular effective meeting of SMCs.
  • Support for democratic reconstitution of SMC every two years.
  • Effective Monitoring and Grievance Redressal through SMC & Local Authority.
  • Promoting leadership of women and socially excluded in SMCs.

 

Get Involved at Block & Cluster Level with any one or all aspects of School Improvement

Enhancing Quality of Education

Documentation, Study and Research

Promoting Collaboration and Mutual Accountability

  • Facilitating Teachers Learning Forum and sharing of good practices.
  • Support to Block Education Officer and Resource Centre Coordinators for their understanding of education policy (RTE Act, NCF 2005) and for their effective role in supporting school improvement through collaborative learning culture (rather than administrative diktat)..      
  • Child Mapping to find Out of School Children and study of their life situation.
  • Study of Role of Block Education Officer and Resource Centre Coordinators in School Improvement and ensuring universal quality education
  • Organising cluster level meeting & training of parent members of SMC and Head Teacher (secretary to SMC).
  • Federating parent members of SMC at Cluster & Block level as Parent Association.
  • Residential Training of Parent Association Members.
  • Meeting & Training of Local Authority (Local Body members).
  • Multi stakeholder Workshop for collective understanding, collaborative effort and mutual accountability.
  • Support for proper Child Mapping and Child Tracking.

 

Get Involved at District Level with any one or all aspects of School Improvement

Enhancing Quality of Education

Documentation, Study and Research

Promoting Collaboration and Mutual Accountability

  • Facilitating Teachers Learning Forum and sharing of good practices.
  • Engaging with Teacher Educators & officials.
  • Support for workshops for issue of Quality of Education.

 

  • Study of Role of District Education Officers and DIETs (District Institute of Education & Training) in School Improvement and ensuring universal quality education.
  • Assessment of progress in education in the district, especially in reaching out to vulnerable and deprived children.
  • Meeting of district level Education Coalition (Zila Basic Shiksha Manch) consisting of NGOs, Parent Association (SMC) & progressive teachers, interested academicians, social workers etc.
  • Multi stakeholder Workshop for collective understanding, collaborative effort and mutual accountability.

 

Get Involved at State Level with any one or all aspects of School Improvement

Enhancing Quality of Education

Documentation, Study and Research

Promoting Collaboration and Mutual Accountability

  • Engaging with Teacher Educators, Senior Officials and Policy makers for better assessment of reason for lack of quality and for promoting suitable initiative.
  • Support for workshops for issue of Quality of Education.
  • Collection and Development of suitable learning materials for children, teachers, teacher educators & officials.

 

  • Review of government policies, provisions & budget allocation etc for finding scope of improvement as per emerging reality and best practices of other states.
  • Review of Text Books and other learning materials for children, teachers, SMCs, officials and suggesting for new suitable materials and improvement in existing one.
  • Assessment of progress in education in the state, especially in reaching out to vulnerable and deprived children.
  • Support in developing advocacy agenda based of understanding of systemic reform & additional budget requirement.
  • State level workshop and advocacy effort of Education Coalition ‘Basic Shiksha Manch’ (federation of District Education Coalition)

 

Getting Involved for Development & Publication of Audio-Visual and Printed ICE Materials and use of IT, Social media for wider sharing and increasing involvement of change agents.

Context & Need of getting Involved

Conception of School has been historically an important event that subsumes the importance of a place where knowledge and wisdom of humanity is passed on from one generation to the younger generation in a way that prepares them to re evaluate, recreate that knowledge in present context for newer challenges faced by humanity. School can gives equal opportunity to all for learning and growth that is not possible if children stay with respective families. Elementary education of all children is essential for social transformation imbued with democratic values, equity & justice, as has been aimed in Indian Constitution. Society is not homogenous. It has hierarchies created by attitudes & behaviours of people resulting in differentiated groups of people categorized on race, caste, class, gender. School shouldn’t end up becoming the carrier of knowledge of only those that are up in the hierarchy ladder and ignoring the life experiences and challenges for those at the bottom rung.  To rule this out school education should make special effort to involve marginalized communities. It is a challenging task for a diverse and pluralistic society of ours.

State government schools, where mainly children of deprived & socially excluded families come, are hardly able to promote learning and participation of children. Quality of education will ensure participation and learning of deprived children. Teachers’ routinely deliver from textbooks without bothering of learning. Children just repeat and copy without understanding. Teachers follow a tradition of teaching practice, without collectively reflecting on its relevance in current scenario. Teachers generally work in isolation (even in schools) and even if a new provision for peer learning is being introduced at cluster level, it has remained superficial, in absence of sincere effort from the department and lack of inner drive. Teacher trainings fail to promote sensitivity to first generation learners and understanding. Teachers have not been exposed to prospect that creative engagement with children will give both teacher and children joy and satisfaction. Creativity and creative problem solving can be effectively done through collaborative & participatory effort.

We have failed to ensure elementary education of reasonable quality to all children. This is a colossal failure in India while many countries, with similar or less per capita income, could progress much more in ensuring elementary education to all children. Even though it has been about five years since RTE Act got enacted, there is little momentum in the delivery system, improving its functioning. It seems that quality & universal education may remain elusive, unless until teachers and parents, other sections of society mobilize for collaborative effort with a vision. Reasons for persistence of problem are very obvious. There has been lack of political will, right from pre independence era, during Constitution making and afterword. There has not been any major constituent of social polity to demand for education of all children with quality and equity. Most of better off and middle class parents assume that poor parents take little interest in educating their children and more over they believe that such children are for menial jobs and can do without proper education. Growth of different types of schools, like model schools of central governmental and private schools, provided an avenue for the better off and middle class parents to get quality education for their children, without bothering to see how state government schools are deteriorating.  Now mainly children of deprived families go to state government schools and their voice is so weak that there is no real pressure to improve the access and quality of such schools. Teacher Union, even though politically influential in many states, confine themselves to improving their remuneration & service condition.

Improvement in education system is slow and bogged in political, administrative complexities. As education system is very much centralised and bureaucratic, there is little space for the school (teacher & SMC) to take initiative for school improvement under overall policy guidelines, as visualised in NCF 2005. As school has to be a democratic space, then decentralisation has to be promoted. Perhaps this can come from local initiative and demand. So there is need to promote change in school from within and in the process create situation for system wide change.

In last 15 years of its effort LOKMITRA has been able to evolve its strategy and fine-tune its practices so as to effectively engage with Elementary Education System of Uttar Pradesh in multi-pronged and multi-level manner for engendering change, with new ideas and practices that could be further adopted by the system & its key stakeholders, for wider change. Effort at micro-macro level has been to promote through multi stakeholder dialogue and group learning. Parent members of SMCs & Teachers are being mobilised as change agents. Lokmitra has over the years developed activity system for promoting improvement in school from within. Lokmitra engages with parents/community, teachers & children so that they work together as learning group to face school level challenges and work for school improvement.

Lokmitra understands that for better governance of elementary education, changes are required in policy, planning, administration and management of education so that decentralization and participation is promoted. Government should initiate the process of change by preparing a draft plan of extensive change. Then extensive discussions on this draft are conducted in groups of teachers, educationists, officers, peoples’ representatives and with parents as well. This way the draft of change will become better and the ground will be ready for implementation of those changes. Education system has strong linkage with social and political system. But there is generally lack of political will for education of deprived children with comparable quality. Secondly value system of a large section of well to do in our society doesn’t work in favour of deprived children’s education.

To promote systemic change, Lokmitra believes in evolving collective of deprived parents’ and concerned teachers. Deprived Parents have real stake in improving the government elementary education system. They can be mobilized for such objectives whose benefit comes in long term. A critical mass of Teachers could become change agents as they want to be proud teachers with sense of responsibility. Education is a complex subject (both conceptually and managerially), but most people have some experience of it, some opinion about it. As we move along, we need to build consensus, with deeper understanding among diverse set of people. Family spaces themselves are many times not so democratic and conducive for mental and emotional development of the child. Space for childhood in the families also sets the aspiration of parents from schools and additional challenges for the schools. Children bring some discriminatory notions to schools.

Enactment of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 from 1st April 2010 ushered Lokmitra in a new legal reality that had its own challenges. Lokmitra has taken a dynamic view of new legal situation and it hopes that by investing on processes adopted by Lokmitra will pave the way for next round of legislative changes and redefining of development priorities. For the first time a large number of parents have got mobilized through SMCs. SMCs can be facilitated to federate at Cluster and Block level to carve space for their mutual learning (rather being dependent on government machinery) and learn how to make schools,  government machinery and legislatures accountable.

Teachers are the key to ensuring an egalitarian learning environment. Egalitarian pedagogic practices demand close interaction between teachers and their trainers, encouragement to introspect, and confidence to transcend conventional behaviour. Teachers have not been suitably oriented for basic provisions of RTE Act. Teachers still fail to understand that meaningful learning takes place when there is no fear and anxiety. Taking examination to fail a child is not the way to force the child to learn. Similarly SMC (School Management Committee) is considered more of a watchdog, than a mechanism, to involve parents in collectively responsibility to promote each child’s right to learn.

Lokmitra has developed some suitable learning materials for teachers, parents (SMC members) & Children. This provides sufficient knowledge to its team members for carrying on their activities. Regular Meetings and reflection session are organised with Lokmitra staff. Social media and mobile communication is used by team members sharing and keeping in touch. CSOs are also kept informed with regular letter/email and distribution of publications. New publications are developed at regular development.