Evaluation of School Readiness Index

Intervention for Promoting Pre-School Education

Introduction

Deepak Foundation has been entrusted the responsibility of supporting and supervising activities of 40 Anganwadi Centers (AWC) under the ICDS scheme, Department of Women and Child Development,  Government of Gujarat since 1996. Currently, the Foundation has been allocated 67 AWCs in Nandesari rural area. These anganwadi centres cater to the educational and nutritional needs of nearly 9,000 beneficiaries including children (0-6 years), pregnant and lactating women and adolescent girls.

 

Rationale

Experiences in early years form the base for future development of children. In addition to providing regular paediatric medical check-up, treatment of severely under nourished children, and other value-added services, Deepak Foundation has initiated intervention for promotion of  Early childhood Education (ECE). The main focus of the ECE intervention in 67 AWCs is to help develop specific competencies in children (3-5 years) during their early preschool years to help them enhance their social competence, adjust better in school and learn the skills of literacy and numeracy more effectively and in a more sustained manner. These competencies when developed improves the School Readiness of the children and hence their future academics.

Objective

To improve the school readiness among children by improving their developmental profile to help optimal learning when they start school.

Key Activities:

  • Undertaking and regularizing the pre-school education sessions by trained ECE counselor as per the well-designed, planned modules of the Government.
  • Undertaking activities focused on 10 School Readiness Indicators ( Figure 1)
  • Provision of age appropriate developmental educational material and toys
  • Uniform distribution to inculcate a sense of discipline among the children
  • Infrastructure refurbishment to provide conducive environment for ECE

Evaluation:

A pre-post survey was conducted to assess School Readiness among 700 children aged 4-6 years, across five distinct but interconnected domains:

  1. Physical well-being and motor development;
  2. Social and emotional development;
  3. Approach to learning;
  4. Language development;
  5. Cognitive development and general knowledge

 

The tool used for the survey was adapted from  Mari Vikas Yatra”, ICDS Gujarat, DWCD Gujarat, UNICEF” & “School Readiness Instrument (SRI),” developed by The World Bank India, adapted by CECED,  Delhi.

Outcomes/Impact:

  • About 800 children aged 3-6 years had received education sessions every month through 444 sessions conducted by the Counsellors.
  • School readiness measured has been improved from 45.1% (Pre-Survey) to 86.7% (Post-Survey) among 700 children aged 4-6 years.

Current Projects
ECE support

ECE support

ECE support
Currently the foundation works at Pune and Nandesari to facilitate Early childhood education support through trained ECE counsellors; providing educational materials, uniform distribution and infrastructure refurbishment. The main focus of the ECE intervention is to help develop specific competencies in children in their early preschool years and develop their cognitive and social competencies and learn the foundation skills of literacy and numeracy more effectively and in a sustained manner so that they adjust better in school.
Project Vivek Vidya

Project Vivek Vidya

Project Vivek Vidya
Project Vivek Vidya library project is designed to provide children in the age groups 6 to 14 years access to story books in regional languages and conduct varios activities to develop five competencies: 1. Reading; 2. Listening and Speaking (narrative)3. Social- emotional; 4.  Cognitive and creative thinking and 5. Self-confidence. The project was initiated in Roha, Raigad in 2015 on pilot basis. The project is currently scaled up in rural, tribal and urban slums in three states i.e. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Telangana in a phased manner. The project also aims to empower local community by training local youth and women to become community education supporters and influencers and promote a culture of reading and awareness in the community
Academic Support Programme

Academic Support Programme

Academic Support Programme
One of the challenges among children from less privileged communities of Nandesari rural area is that they drop out of the school system at secondary grades. This is mainly due to low learning outcomes at primary level and weak foundation skills in English, Mathematics and Science. Most find it difficult to clear the secondary school board exams. Deepak Foundation has therefore initiated the Academic support programme in Nandesari to provide children of standards 8, 9 and 10 free remedial teaching and education study materials.  The programme also supports by organising regular parents meetings and counselling to motivate them to support their children’s education
ICDS

ICDS

ICDS
Deepak Foundation, through Deepak Nitrite CSR, has been ensuring proper physical and cognitive development of over 13,000 children in 465 Balwadis in Pune and 67 Anganwadis in Nandesari. This includes annual health checkups to identify malnourished children, and follow-up by field executives to provide the necessary intervention and treatment. In addition to health checkups, we also conduct developmental delay assessments to see if the children are meeting their developmental milestones. Deepak Foundation also conducts activities such as parent’s meetings, counselling, supportive supervision, recipe demonstrations, etc. in order to empower the families and support them in the holistic development of their children. In 2019-20, we also plan to roll out interventions to link these families to govt. schemes that are applicable.
Balwadi

Balwadi

Balwadi
Deepak Foundation, through Deepak Nitrite CSR, has been ensuring proper physical and cognitive development of over 13,000 children in 465 Balwadis in Pune. We conduct annual health checkups to identify malnourished children, after which our team of field executives follow up with the cases to provide them necessary intervention and treatment. In addition to health checkups, we also conduct developmental delay assessments to see if the children are meeting their development milestones. Deepak Foundation also conducts activities such as parent’s meetings, counselling, supportive supervision, recipe demonstrations, etc. in order to empower the families and support them in holistic development of their children. In 2019-20, we also plan to roll out interventions to link these families to govt. schemes that are applicable.
Mobile Library- Raigarh, Maharashtra

Mobile Library- Raigarh, Maharashtra

Mobile Library- Raigarh, Maharashtra
Mobile Library services were initiated in Roha, Raigarh district by the Foundation with the support of Deepak Nitrite Ltd. It was observed that Roha and Tahoja areas had high rate of school drop-outs and enrolled students had poor reading abilities. The project aimed at improving children’s reading, cognitive, and intellectual ability.
Past Projects
Adult Literacy, Chhota Udepur

Adult Literacy, Chhota Udepur

Adult Literacy, Chhota Udepur
The goal of the project was to impart basic and functional literacy to illiterate tribal women. This was achieved by training women in digital literacy so that they are capable of using net/mobile banking facilities.
Integrated Child Development Services, Halol

Integrated Child Development Services, Halol

Integrated Child Development Services, Halol
Jeevan project focused on non-formal preschool education, nutritional food supplements, health and nutritional checkups, and referral to public health centers for medical care. The goal of Saksham project aimed at empowering women in villages by enhancing their income generation capacity through enterprise development while contributing to improve nutrition status of 1200 children in schools around Halol.