22 Apr 2019 19:42 IST

Making a difference to schooling, the Swamitra way

The social enterprise is improving learning outcomes for children in under-resourced urban schools

Most budget-friendly private schools located in urban slums in India not only lack proper infrastructure but also teachers with the right skills. This hampers the learning outcomes of the children. To tackle this, Swamitra, a social enterprise is trying to bring about changes in the quality of education provided to this sector.

With a team of volunteers, the aim of the social enterprise is to reach out to this category of schools, provide age-appropriate teaching and learning methods to the students and teachers, and create awareness about digital literacy.

“We are trying to bridge the gap between India and Bharat, we don’t want the students to lag behind because of lack of resources. Such schools generally function from rented accommodation and the parents of the children are blue collar workers who work hard to ensure their children get a proper education. But these schools have their own challenges, such as the lack of trained teachers for Maths, English and Computers,” said Pradeep Kumar, Founder and Director, Swamitra.

Going forward

He added that the objective is to upskill teachers by providing study material, and conducting workshops and training sessions.

“The workshops are video-audio based, and we make students understand the basics of technology,” said Ravi Kohli, a volunteer. The volunteers, who are generally from the corporate world or college students, visit the schools once a month.

To asses the improvement post their intervention, the enterprise also has an assistant school project coordinator who visits these schools twice a month to evaluate the performance of students from Std 1 to 8 in Maths and language.

Wider impact

“For the services we provide, we charge ₹10 per month and for customised programmes, the fee can go up,” said Kumar.

Currently, they work with 20 schools in Gurugram, positively impacting the quality of learning of 2,500 students. They plan to expand their reach to schools in Delhi and Lucknow.