Support in nurturing compassionate, resilient and entrepreneurial learning communities in and outside government schools for project L.O.VE (Kshamtalaya &Jatan)
(In the picture) Mindfulness session lead by a community representative (leader of School management committee elected democratically), a step towards building collective ownership of the school)
There are 1.5 million schools in India and it’s not a secret that children are not learning. According to our insight, we believe a lack of purpose, meaning, context, connection, and self-agency alienates children and parents from this system.
To zero down this to the local context where we work- the average literacy rate of Udaipur city is 89.66 percent of which male and female literacy is 94.47 and 84.52 percent respectively. The average literacy rate of Kotra is a jaw-dropping 24.5% of which male and female literacy is 37.55 and 11.4 percent respectively. While the female literacy of the entire world is 82.7%, it drops down to 11.4% in Kotra. In Kotra, the ratio of students to teachers is more than 100:1, which indicates the grimness of the situation when compared to the ratio of 35:1 as per the RTE (Right to Education) Act passed by the Parliament of India in 2009. Its been 10 years and we still haven’t been able to come close to the number.
The primary cause of this problem is lack of motivated adults/teachers at the grassroots level who understand and promote the importance of education or don't have the required resources and tools.
The third issue is a lack of belief and self-confidence in children/adults due to an imposed artificial identity of being a failure and drop out. This mostly stems from standardized and monoculture education and assessment. As a result, we have millions of children and youth not only failing to learn but also falling out of the love of learning. Learning seems to have become a task to be avoided when possible. The current systems do not acknowledge or focuses on the interdependence of the communities, ethical discernment, or need of building resilience required to overcome difficulties. There is no/ or minimum involvement of parents/local communities in the governance of the schools. All this together multiplies the impact of the problem and affects more than 200 million children in India.
Impact so far:
In 2017 Kshamtalaya Foundation partnered with Jatan Sansthan with a vision to support each child to achieve their true potential. We envision a world where everyone has access to self-learning. We wish that every student is able to complete basic school education to become independent learners and thinkers.
The complexity and scale of the problem require a nuanced approach that demonstrates excellence and inspires scale. Together we developed several programs under the project L.O.V.E. We have developed a CELL (Cluster Excellence Learning Lab) to demonstrate what holistic learning and collective governance could look like through specific domain-based interventions.
Our other focus is to develop a caring and compassionate school which cultivates compassion, empathy, resilience, self-learning, and mindfulness at all levels.
Thirdly to address the problem of self - learning amongst children, adults, and communities, we are developing open spaces for learning and design. It is an open learning integrational space which supports learning through various mediums, mentoring and coaching from local self-learnt faculties.
We have developed a six-day program called learning festival which is an immersive experience to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and build life skills through self-learning.
Lastly, through our Diaganth program, we support children's complete school education through personalized support and mentoring to make them responsible individuals.
The money raised will go towards the developing model compassionate schools, and supporting build children’s entrepreneurial and problem-solving mindset.
Over the past three years, we have worked very closely with the schools and communities. We hope to support close to 2000 children directly and 10000 children indirectly in developing an entrepreneurial mindset and cultivating compassion and empathy.
This year we also aim to work with youth and children who have dropped out of the system and are living with an artificial identity of failure. We hope to identify such 40 children and youth to work with. We wish to identify their interests and support them in reviving their learning process. We wish to achieve this by an open learning intergenerational space. This space will demonstrate the possibility of the distributed and decentralized structure of higher education. In the first year we will be working mainly through arts integration.
Simultaneously, we will be working to develop a model of caring and compassionate schools supporting such children to improve their learning and life outcomes by building resiliency.
Our last two year Journey: