Quality Basic Education for Muslim Children Nalanda works to strengthen the basic education in Madarsas and to bring Muslim children under the fold of quality basic education to transform traditional Mudderis (teachers) to skilled teachers and finally to help in mainstreaming of Muslim children. Presently Nalanda is working with more than 500 Madarsas in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.Thematic area 2:
Quality Basic Education for Tribal Children Jharkhand is one of the backward states amongst the newly formed states. Tribal population dominates in majority of the districts of the state. Thus Nalanda decided to develop education program keeping in mind the need of children in context of Jharkhand, in coordination with the education program of government and NGOs and also to assist them in providing quality basic education to Tribal Children.
Over the years Nalanda has found its focus as a Resource Center in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar for fostering better learning through developing education model, suitable learning materials and resources, providing sought for technical support and capacitating organizations and institutions so that they may further strengthen the cause of quality primary education. Nalanda’s focus in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar has been to strengthen the government education system and to work on educational issues relevant to the poorer sections of society, especially Muslims, Dalits and Tribals and for girl children who have limited access to quality primary education, especially in rural areas.
Alliance with the Government has emerged as one of the prominent areas of Nalanda’s interventions over the last years. Nalanda has consistently supported such Government programs like the District Primary Education Program (DPEP) and SarvaSikshaAbhiyan (SSA). In DPEP Nalanda had provided training support to Alternative schooling system of the DPEP program in 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh including Training of Trainers (TOT) support. Besides these, Nalanda has also provided support through the DIET in Barabanki, to functionalize it. This was the first step in developing a functional model of support structures build by the government at the district (DIET), block (BRCs) and Panchayat (NPRCs) levels. In Jharkhand too, Nalanda has collaborated with Jharkhand Education Project to provide training and technical support to 600 government schools, both directly and indirectly in Sahibganj district to revive the school libraries. In addition, Nalanda has been involved in review and impact studies of different components of Jharkhand Education Project.
Nalanda has developed a long-standing relation with UNICEF as a technical support body to its various programs. For example, Nalanda has supported the Child Rights Project of UNICEF since its inception in 1998 in the districts of Bhadohi, Mirzapur and Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh. Nalanda has been involved with the planning and implementation of the education component of the project and has provided inputs like curriculum design, textbook development, teacher trainings, regular monitoring of the project and ensuring community participation. Nalandawith collaboration of UNICEF has also intervened for quality improvement in government schools in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. Besides these Nalanda has been consistently providing support to various studies being conducted by UNICEF. These include studies to understand the level and dynamics of transition of school children from primary to upper primary and from upper primary to secondary, impact of social audits in schools etc.
In the role of a resource centre, Nalanda has been providing technical and academic support to government agencies and project like DPEP, SSA , DIETs, SCERT etc. and more than 100 grass root NGOs and funding agencies working on education. Besides these Nalanda has been supporting various donor agencies which include (but is not limited to) Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Plan India, World Vision, ChildFund India, EDC and a number of other donor agencies. Here the nature of support has ranged for providing capacity building support, subject specific trainings, material development, monitoring and academic support and also various types of knowledge based inputs, like research support.
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 20 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 BarabankiSitapur,Bahraich and Gonda have been given basic training on providing elementary education in mathematics, language and other primary level subjects to transform them in to skilled primary level teachers. A group of trainers of teachers from within the community has been also formed. A significant change has been noticed in the intervened Madrasas and there is far-reaching improvement in learning outcome of the children. Through the intervention A to Z package for replication of the program has been developed.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 700Muqtab/madarsas under the fold of the program in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
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.
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, Nalandahad intervened to enhance the access and quality of primary education for the girls of age group 8-14 in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand which scores very low in women literacy.
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 25 years, Nalanda has developed a plethora of materials for children as well as for teachers and educational project managers. It includes training modules for teachers/trainers, text book cum workbook for children and supporting reading materials for children.
Nalanda was set up with the goal of providing universal quality primary education, especially for children from the underprivileged sections of society. The vision of the organization is: To ensure universal quality primary education to create an informed society.
NALANDA has defined its mission as to work towards providing access to quality basic education for children from underprivileged sections of society, through community mobilisation, capacity building, advocacy, support services, training and innovation. .