Over the years, Door Step School has been interacting with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) schools for various programs. All the 6+ year old children (from various construction sites, slums and other areas) are enrolled in the PMC schools throughout the year and a follow-up is done for all of them.
ASER reports tell us that overall reading skills of primary school students are very poor. Our experience shows that less than 10% students can read from their text-book when promoted from Std.1 to Std.2. This weak foundation compounds the problem in subsequent years. To contain this problem at its root, Door Step School’s field staff conducts a specially designed intervention program called ‘First Steps Forward’ for Std.1 students. Play-way methods and activities are used effectively in school with an eye on required outcomes. In the current academic year, this program is being conducted in 212 municipal schools, covering 17,452 students with a field staff of 300. Just 45 minutes a day, five days a week has shown remarkable results. In 2012-13, 53% and in 2013-14, 62% students could read all the letters, ‘matras’, and ‘jodakshar’ (the set of composite letters) given in their Std.1 text-book without any difficulty at the end of the year!
These results have so impressed the school staff, that the Shikshan Mandal (Education Board) asked Door Step School to conduct special training sessions for their school teachers in making and using teaching aids for developing language skills so that more children could experience joyful learning.
‘Parivartan’, the in-house training department of Door Step School, has developed over the years various strategies and techniques to deal with the challenging situations while working with children. Each field worker/teacher has access to two bags of specially designed teaching aids- one for teaching language skills and another for teaching numeracy skills! All these teaching aids work their magic when used in tandem with regular monitoring as they are child centric with a focus on guiding every child from one competency level to another. The trainers are well acquainted with various possible scenarios in the field.
Training sessions were conducted for four batches of PMC school teachers. Each batch had two trainers for each session.