Nalanda Resource Center

Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world- Nelson Mandela , Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire - William Butler Yeats,   I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework - Edith Ann, [Lily Tomlin] ,    The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn - Alvin Toffler ,       Nine tenths of education is encouragement - Anatole France ,       All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth - Aristotle ,         Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual - Arthur Koestler ,          The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men - Bill Beattie ,      A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops - Henry B. Adams

Experience and Achievements

For the past 20 years, Nalanda has been working as a resource centre to provide technical and academic support to various government and non-government agencies working on primary education. During this period, the organization’s principal objective has been to develop a constellation of civil society institutions, which would work towards creating a movement for quality primary education.  Nalanda has thus built up successful partnerships with government primary education system, UN agencies working on education, donor agencies as well as a number of ground level organizations.

In the past few years Nalanda has also directly intervened through field program on the issue of girl and Muslim children education.

The achievements and experiences of NALANDA:

Collaboration with Government

Uttar Pradesh

Nalanda has provided Training Support to Alternative Schooling program of District Primary Education Programme (1999-2000) in 15 districts of U.P.  It included designing and implementing a Training of Trainers programs and instructor training program by developing an extended team of 75 trainers for these districts.

Nalanda has also intervened in the District Institute of Education Training (DIET) in district Barabanki between 2000 and 2001 to functionalize it. Thus Nalanda was able to develop a functional model of support structures build by the government at the district (DIET), block (BRCs) and panchayat levels (CRCs).  The interventions used a combination of participatory training methodologies, workshops etc. to motivate, upgrade and build the capacity of the training system at the district level.

For DPEP, Janshala & SSA, Nalanda has developed teams of teacher trainers on effective school libraries to functionalize government school libraries and science teaching to teach science by using local resource at village level.

Following are some training packages/materials developed by Nalanda have been adopted by government system:

  • Forty days training package for the capacity building of instructors of alternative schools.
  • Module for establishment and use of School Libraries- adopted by DPED Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
  • Three days teachers training module for science teaching – adopted by DPEP, Uttar Pradesh and     intensively implemented in Uttar Pradesh.
  • ·  Supplementary reading materials for primary grade children – adopted by Janshala and UNICEF.

Jharkhand

In Jharkhand under SSA collaborating with Jharkhand Education Project Nalanda has been providing training and technical support to more than 600 government schools directly or indirectly in Sahibganj district to make the school libraries functional. In addition Nalanda has been involved in review and impact studies of different components of Jharkhand Education Project.

Collaboration with UNICEF

As a technical support agency, Nalanda has developed a long-standing relationship with UNICEF. It has been providing Support to Child Rights Project (Bal Adhikar Pariyojana) since inception of the project in 1998 in Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Jaunpur districts of U.P. The organization was involved with the planning and implementation of the education component of the project. This project mainly aims at mainstreaming children who have been working in the carpet industry as child labor to government primary schools. The intervention included curriculum design, textbook development, and design of the center management, teacher training, regular monitoring of the project and ensuring community participation. A Resource Pool of seventeen persons was also developed who perform as trainers for the training of the teacher.

Nalanda has also supported UNICEF's Quality Girls' Education Project in the districts of Barabanki and Lalitpur by providing training and support to teachers, DIET, BRC, NPRC and ground level NGOs working on education as well as development of supporting reading materials for children through workshops. Sixteen story books for children were thus developed and printed through these workshops.

Intervention with Muqtab - Madarsa

One of the innovative interventions of NALANDA, which may be adopted by the government, is to strengthen the primary education in Madarsa system of education, where a majority of the Muslim children from poorer households go. The intervention in the Muqtab- Madarsa system aims at bringing those children under the fold of primary education who has so far not received quality primary education.  In the last five years, the program has met with a huge success in terms of reaching out to Muslim community and creating a demand for quality primary education among them.  Under this program, the traditional Muderris of district Barabanki Sitapur and Bahraich have been given basic training on providing elementary education in mathematics, language and other primary level subjects.  A group of trainers of teachers from within the community has been also formed, so that this intervention can be replicated. For providing a constant academic support to trained Madarsa teachers clusters have been formed at the local level. These clusters also function as units advocating for primary education in the Muqtab-Madarsa system. Thus Madarsa program of Nalanda has significant social implications and debunks the prevailing rhetoric that of Muslims/Madarsas not wanting to adopt mainstream education. Now there is a need to focus on quality aspects of primary education in madarsas. Presently there are approx 300 Muqtab/madarsas under the fold of the program.

Jharkhand Resource Centre for Tribal Education

To cater the need of educational resource agency, Nalanda established Resource Centre for tribal education at Ranchi (Jharkhand) in the year 2004. After its establishment is now being widely recognized as a resource centre in the state of Jharkhand. A good rapport has been established with government as well as non-government agencies working on education. Nalanda has collaborated with REACH India project (a project of USAID) to provide technical and training support to their 17 project partner NGOs in the state of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. As a resource centre, Nalanda has endeavored to capacitate the ground level NGOs of the state through TOTs program to run educational program effectively.

Girl’s Education Program 

 Within the field of primary education, education for the girl child assumes critical importance both from the perspective of women’s empowerment and universalization of education. In states, such as Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, this is particularly so, not only because the overall literacy rates and percentage of school going children are low compared to national averages, but also there are strong biases within society about the role of women in general and the role of education in a girl child’s life in particular.

In view of the low rate of participation and completion by girls in the primary schooling cycle in rural area of Uttar Pradesh, Nalanda with the collaboration of IIMPACT has intervened to enhance the access and quality of primary education for the girls of age group 8-14 in Mahmoodabad, Rampur Mathura and Reusa blocks of district Sitapur (U.P.) and Bero block of district Ranchi (Jharkhand) which scores very low in women literacy. In order to provide quality primary education to non-school going girls of the age group 8-14 years, 152 education centers have been established in rural areas of Sitapur and Bero.

Resource Support to government, non-government and ground Level NGOs

In the role of a resource centre, Nalanda has been providing technical and academic support to government agencies like DPEP, SSA, DIETs, SCERT etc. and more than 100 grass root NGOs and funding agencies working on education have benefited from NALANDA's services. Nalanda has been providing technical and academic support to many large national level educational projects like Janshala (UN agency project), REACH INDIA PROJECT (USAID project) etc.  Nalanda has worked as resource agency for many funding agency like PLAN INDIA, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, ChildFund India, Education Development Centre, World Vision, UNICEF, Tdh etc.

Besides that Nalanda execute NGO Capacity Building Course of one year for the NGOs working in the field of elementary education. Under this program 10 NGOs from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar are selected every year and capacitated to work qualitatively and efficiently on educational issues.

Research and Material Development 

One of the core strengths of Nalanda has been its research base, which has enabled it to garner more meaningful insight that has been integrated into its expertise domain for better future resource strengthening, support and interventions. A number of research studies had also been taken up by the organization in the field of primary education covering different issues. During the past fourteen years, Nalanda has developed a plethora of materials for children as well as for teachers and educational project managers. The teaching/learning materials developed by NALANDA are in conformity with the norms set by the Government for Class I to Class III. In addition, children are given several opportunities for experimentation and developing their imagination. These include text books up to Class III and 28 pictorial story books for children. It has also developed a number of training modules for teachers/trainers, which deal with issues of teacher's selection; pedagogy, subject teaching, and management of educational projects.


 

 

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