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April 2012 to March 2013
Summary of Sajeevta Foundation’s work
The Sajeevta Foundation is a not-for-profit company set up to inspire and mentor disadvantaged children who are without the resources to learn well. Working collaboratively and inclusively with children and their families, the Sajeevta Foundation is making a deep and lasting difference to children’s learning abilities, academic understanding and long-term motivation for success in life. Vision: for underprivileged children to experience learning that gives them an equal opportunity for success in life. Mission: to combine ground level action with research to identify and pioneer evidence-based approaches of learning and teaching practices for underprivileged children, to be shared effectively with schools and teachers. Approach: to influence change through key partners who work together as a social group for inclusive and outstanding education. Learning mentors play a key role of connecting families, children and school, to work together effectively for the child’s learning. Since 2010, fifteen children from Gandhinagar, Gujarat, have been supported with over 20 hours per week of learning and mentoring in morning and evening sessions at the Sajeevta home learning centre. Children have been selected where families lack formal education and resources to effectively support children’s school learning. Learning at the Sajeevta centre focuses on strengthening four main abilities:
Communicate and express Analyse and solve problems Explore and understand Imagine and create Gujarati, English and Hindi Mathematics and puzzles Research projects Art and story-telling
The approach is to build up a social group where children and adults work together to build relationships and participate in activities with shared goals and four core streams of work:
STREAM ONE: a social group for learning:
creating a social group of engaged learners through regular collaboration with children, family and school to solve problems and decide how to strengthen learning. STREAM TWO: learning how to learn well: mentoring children to build up learning abilities, so that they become aware of how they are learning and become active in improving their own learning behaviour. STREAM THREE: strengthening understanding: group and individualised learning for each child to understand essential material and techniques to manage school and extra-curricular learning. STREAM FOUR: motivation and guidance: preparing children to set aims and to overcome barriers to reach long-term goals for further education, training and employment.
The Foundation works closely with schools to support the individual children in the programme and to provide training for staff in Sajeevta’s learning methods. The work of the centre is supported by experts in innovative learning from a range of backgrounds and countries.
The Sajeevta Foundation plans to extend its model and set up additional learning centres to support more disadvantaged children. For this we will need collaboration and support from children, families, teachers, schools, trained learning mentors and funders.
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Context and approach of Sajeevta’s work ...................... 4
STREAM ONE: a social group for learning.................................................................5 STREAM TWO: learning how to learn well .................................................................6 STREAM THREE: strengthening understanding .........................................................8 STREAM FOUR: motivation and guidance .................................................................9
Organisation and finance details................................... 10
Directors and Trustees ........................................................................................10 External Audit......................................................................................................11 Financials ............................................................................................................12
Future plans for action .................................................. 13
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Context and approach of Sajeevta’s work
The growing collection of research and data on India’s education system shows a strong need for innovation to introduce effective learning approaches. Official figures show that 50% of children are dropping out before completing the first 8 years of elementary schooling1, and the annual ASER study found learning levels in primary schools are alarmingly low2. The quality issue is evident in government classrooms where teachers are often absent from teaching and the most frequently observed method of teaching in rural India has been writing on a blackboard or reading aloud from a book, with other practices being rarely observed3,4. There are problems in the design of the curriculum and with examinations as Indian students seem to be trained to memorise but not to comprehend, this is one reason why they perform worse than the international average when challenged with questions drawn from international assessments5. This range of findings questions how well the education system is preparing children for adulthood, and highlights the need for the introduction of approaches with proven impact. Since 2010, fifteen children have been supported by Sajeevta in two groups each with over 20 hours per week of learning and mentoring, alongside regular schooling. Children have been selected from families lacking formal education and resources to effectively support children’s school learning. Initially regular attendance was a problem for all the children, and this was addressed with holding weekly discussions with each family about the attendance record and learning progress of each child, to show the need for regular attendance. Boys were often found roaming freely in the neighbourhood, but extra effort was required to engage girls with ensuring families knew the journey to and from the learning centre would be safe. For the first two years the children attended a government school where teachers were often absent from the classroom. The children were not familiar with reading, problem solving or creating their own work. All lacked the concentration to actively participate in learning, and aggression and conflict were common. After a year at the Sajeevta learning centre all the children improved, but there was a limitation on how much and how well they could learn
Govinda and Bandyopadhyay (2011) ASER (2012) 3 Chaudhury et al. (2006) 4 Bhattacharjea et. al. (2011) 5 PISA (2009)
when most of their time was at home or at the government school where there was not enough structured learning. We have also found that when children don’t have security from family, shelter, regular income and health, they need more will power and motivation for hard work to succeed. Since 2012 the Sajeevta Foundation has been working with a high quality private school, to develop inclusive learning for children of all backgrounds. The management trust of the private school and the Sajeevta Foundation have arranged sponsorship to cover the costs of private schooling for 11 children learning with the Sajeevta Foundation. Sajeevta learning mentors work to remove barriers to the children’s learning in the school, home and social environment, through group discussions, one-to-one reviews and building up the learning abilities of each child so that they become aware of how they are learning and active in improving their own learning behaviour. This experiment in Gujarat shows how private unaided schools can contribute to inclusive high quality education, as needed by the majority of India’s children. The Right to Education (RTE) law means a new enforcement of inclusive schooling in private schools, to bring in children of economically weaker sections to be alongside wealthier peers. India’s persisting problem of widening inequality has the wealthy and powerful climbing upwards and leaves those with limited economic and social assets with little opportunity for upward mobility. This is the chance to give up a reliance on division to manage inter-community relations and to prepare children with learning experiences borne from social relations that represent our larger society. Through defining ways of teaching and learning for the children of economically weaker sections, who access the reserved seats, high quality schools will pioneer inclusive and outstanding education for India. These newly innovated methods can over time be adapted to be used in government schools for the education of most of India’s children. The density of professionals and quality resources in private schools could be the best site to design ways of learning that prepare new generations with educational competence and a value for social diversity for co-existence.
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STREAM ONE: a social group for learning
Engaging the social group of children, families, teachers and school management in regular inclusive learning with high standards has been a significant challenge. Societies with economic and social deprivation easily associate education with the high chances of failing examinations and dropping out, and low levels of progress in school learning. Illiterate parents without school experience have difficulty in supporting their children’s school learning. For the poorest, government schools are usually the only accessible option, where teachers are found to be often absent from teaching, and rarely involve the children in diverse learning activities6. Children from underprivileged backgrounds receive less early development interaction and start schooling with poor vocabulary, weak motor skills, low concentration span and with difficulty in following instructions. The educational aspirations and expectations for these children are low from the outset and these social and economic barriers mean the chances for success in learning are limited. Sajeevta learning mentors work with children, families, teachers and school management to effectively support each child’s learning. Meetings with parents at their homes and at the Sajeevta learning centre are regular to build up and strengthen the commitment for high standards of learning. Parents are regularly shown the successes and problems in attendance of their children, the learning activities they are involved in and the progress in their learning. Parents are asked to be part of the solution when their children’s attendance, punctuality or motivation is a barrier for their learning. The aspirations, motivation and belief parents give have been an essential factor in supporting the children to succeed in learning. Regular meetings with teachers are held to discuss the progress and challenges for each child, and to work out ideas and solutions for better inclusive learning. Learning mentors also attend the weekly additional school classes run by the school teachers for children who need extra support. This is an opportunity to observe the children in the classroom environment and informally interact with teachers. A Sajeevta workshop was held at the school, for teachers and management, to introduce methods for inclusive learning in the classroom. A Sajeevta
learning mentor joined the private school’s School Management Committee, to represent the needs for inclusive learning for decision making.
Inclusive learning workshop for school teachers, July 2012
Innovative practice, relevant to India’s context, is developing from creative interactions with children, parents, teachers, mentors and school management. India’s best schools can develop and rise as landmark institutes for outstanding inclusive learning. The second phase of the challenge is to extend this ecosystem of innovation for inclusive learning to government schools that provide education for most of India’s children.
Families and community engaged in learning
Outcomes: Included in society Ability and enthusiasm to learn well Understand essentials to access school learning Motivated with long-term aspirations and guidance
Children learning to succeed in life with equality of opportunity
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STREAM TWO: learning how to learn well
The following page has a sample annual review showing how children, parents, teachers and mentors have worked together across the year for effective learning for each child. This focus on how every child is learning has been an ongoing process over the year, which at the end of the school year was distilled to a single page for each child, jointly produced by the child, their parents, mentor and class-teacher. These reports share how we as a social group make the learning process visible and understandable to strengthen effective and inclusive learning. To protect the privacy of the children we have not shared here the written content of a particular child, instead the text given in the sample is combined from many children’s writing, so as to give a clear idea of how the children and others have expressed how they have been learning over the year.
A group discussion to share views about the group’s learning journey and to plan future actions.
Children used formats on white boards to write down and bring together their thoughts about their learning.
The Sajeevta Foundation has designed learning experiences for these disadvantaged children as a response to the specific needs characteristic of their backgrounds. Typical challenges addressed include: poor punctuality and low attendance, conflict or instability in the home or school, lack of self-esteem and motivation, behind with work and understanding, behavioural problems like aggression and difficulty with expressing feelings and ideas. Learning mentors work with the children to help them learn in better ways, with sensitivity to their feelings and allowing them to own and control the process of change through very open discussions about:
Cooperation and collaboration Optimism Resilience and persistence Will power and self-control Initiative to find solutions Responsibility to manage time and work Free expression and clear articulation Ambition and aspiration
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Brief notes have been used throughout the year by the children to express privately what they think about their learning.
How well the child is learning (written by the child):
Attendance and punctuality is much better. Not late for the school bus or for evening classes. A M J I go roaming less. I am coming at 6am for extra help with Maths and reading. Happy to get more help. Practising reading aloud. J A S Now I understand all subjects and my English is better. All my school work is complete and I am not copying of others O N D
Sample Sajeevta Annual Learning Review April 2012-March 2013
I am making and writing down English sentences on my own every day. I understand English better. J F M
I am not speaking clearly or politely. I disturb the class by arguing. I don’t explain what my problem is clearly. Late for bus. Uncle angry on me.
I become like a statue when asked to speak. I get distracted easily during learning activities.
I struggle to make English sentences. I don’t listen to instructions and I don’t speak about my problems, I try to hide problems.
Too much time for home chores before exams. Not punctual, 10-15 mins late. Not exercising.
Current major problems
Sometimes I have had to help with home chores too much and this means I study less.
Make sure Father and elder Brother manage chores so I get time to study.
Goals and motivation
Nice college and nice job Good exam marks I want to get visa and travel to different countries I want to help other children learn when I am older.
I become unhappy when I have problems and I don’t talk about them or try to solve them.
I have to speak up during mentoring sessions or I should write my problems and give to Uncle or Aunty.
Be alert and focused. Be happy and hard working. Challenge yourself to do harder work. When you fail, try again and again till you succeed.
I am not coming early for extra help in English and Maths.
I will start coming on time now for extra help.
School academic scores
Learning as a social group (written by others):
C B B C B A B
English Hindi Mathematics Science Social studies / EVS Computer Sanskrit
Hardworking and self-motivated. Will have to work harder to meet the class standard.
Hardworking and persistent. Listens when asked to do something.
Note: for each child the school also records areas of growth in additional areas, including life skills, attitudes, co-scholastic activities and physical development.
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STREAM THREE: strengthening understanding
Initially the children struggled with all their subjects, and were not used to concentrating and working hard together to learn. They spoke a local dialect very different from the Gujarati used at school, so we used various activities to build familiarity with Gujarati, Hindi and English. We engaged the children in work that has meaning for them and where they are excited about progress towards goals they can understand.
It is possible to strengthen the capabilities of each individual child by inspiring a love and excitement for the exploration and challenge of learning. This is a shift from a common approach that controls children in a one-size fits all system. Differentiated teaching is when the teacher identifies how each child learns best, to ensure that every student has the right amount of challenge for continued progress in their learning. If every child can easily see what they are learning and understand how they are learning best, then they will become active in managing their own individualised learning process. Effective learning happens when you push the child outside (but only just outside) their comfort zone, to do this requires very detailed feedback on where each individual child is, allowing appropriate learning activities to be planned. If every child’s learning is visible and regularly reviewed with the child then there will be active reflection to constantly improve the learning experience. This active feedback, involving the child, is the backbone of differentiated teaching, as it helps shape and craft the right inputs for each child’s learning experience.
Mentors have taken training at workshops by Kathalaya and Joanne Blake Cave for children to listen and to tell stories.
There are regular activities for writing using mind-maps, storyboards, and talking for writing.
We inspired a love for Maths through puzzles that require a firm understanding, and showing how to play with numbers.
Learning at the Sajeevta centre focuses on strengthening four main abilities:
Communicate and express Analyse and solve problems Explore and understand Imagine and create Gujarati, English and Hindi Mathematics and puzzles Research projects Art and story-telling
A visit to a local wood carving workshop was part of a longterm research project on the craft tradition in Pethapur.
The children have a weekly online video interaction with students over 10,000 km away in a school in New Jersey, USA
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STREAM FOUR: motivation and guidance
The children are expected to engage in learning voluntarily and through a love for the learning process and achievement. Additional rewards for learning such as stickers or sweets are not given, instead the motivation is from on the core enjoyment of learning activity, solving problems, achieving high standards, and the satisfaction of reaching goals through hard work and continued effort. As well as these immediate modes of motivation the children are regularly asked to express and reflect on their long term goals and what guidance and support they require to explore their options and reach distant goals. Within their local neighbourhood and community the children have few positive role models to inspire ambition and high aspirations. Unemployment and irregular work are a significant problem, affecting where their families can afford to live and what expenses they can manage. A number of young adults in the neighbourhood are not engaged in learning or employment and provide a negative role model. There have been a number of visitors to the learning centre to give inspirational talks on their own learning journey and details of their career path and daily work.
A nuclear fusion scientist from the nearby National Institute for Plasma Research explained how he studied in Varanasi before coming to Gujarat for work.
An intellectual property lawyer who qualified in the USA and now works in Delhi explained how the running of USA’s states compare with India’s states.
A couple now settled in Germany visited in 2012 and again in 2013. They spoke about their learning journey which started in a village near to Gandhinagar, before migrating to Germany. They explained the necessity of hard work to overcome challenges, like learning new languages.
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Organisation and finance details Directors and Trustees
The team of Directors is passionate about Sajeevta Foundation’s vision, they all have professional experience in the development sector with an interest in innovation in education. The Directors make decisions on expenditure and have an active role in Sajeevta Foundation’s operations. Sajeevta’s Trustees have a diverse professional background and all share the commitment to Sajeevta Foundation’s vision. The Board of Trustees advises on budgetary decisions, principles and approach, and future direction. The Trustees do not accept any form of compensation, be it financial or otherwise. The Board of Trustees officially meets once a year, and there is a regular exchange of ideas and discussions through the year.
Krutika Patel Director Qualified with a Post Graduate Diploma in NGO Management from the Entrepreneurship Development Institute. Running daily classes since 2010 and managing Sajeevta Foundation’s expenditure and accounts. Vasantkumar Makwana Director Works as State Head for Pratham Gujarat Education Initiative, and has over 10 years experience from running classes, working with the community and coordinating Statewide operations and training. Devika Devaiah Director and Trustee Qualified as a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) and a Master of Arts (MA) in Guidance and Counselling, and has been working for 18 years as an Innovation Consultant and currently is Director and Partner Consultant with Erehwon Innovation Consulting Ltd. Kavery Nambisan Trustee Practices surgery in rural Karnataka and writes on rural health management for India. She has actively supported rural libraries and writes adult fiction and was short-listed in 2008 for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Rebecca Reubens Trustee Graduated from National Institute for Design (NID) Ahmedabad and works as an international consultant on sustainable product development and founded Rhizome a social design firm that works for sustainable design, primarily using bamboo. Shruti Gonsalves Trustee Currently works as Chief Executive Officer at SEWA Grih Rin Private Limited (SGRPL) in financial services and affordable housing, and has previously worked with Friends of Women’s World Banking (FWWB) in heading capacity building.
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Sajeevta Foundation is registered as a not-forprofit company with the Registrar of Companies, Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Havelli with corporate number U80301GJ2012NPLO72776, incorporated on 23rd November 2012. Sajeevta Foundation’s Income Tax Permanent Account Number (PAN) is AASCS3895E. Sajeevta Foundation operates one bank account with ICICI Bank Ltd., Navsari Branch, Gujarat.
Accounting and external audit Sajeevta Foundation will have services of an accountant for regular operations and supporting the budgetary process, together with the Directors and Trustees. The cash-flow of the organisation is managed on a monthly basis. The accounting software to be used is Tally ERP version 9. Sajeevta Foundation will have the services of professional statutory auditors. These external auditors check the cash-flow and conduct a detailed financial auditing procedure at financial year’s end.
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The accounts will be audited for formal submission by the deadline of 30th September 2013.
Income and expenditure account 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013
Item Income from donations Incorporation expenses Books Stationery Training Total income Total expenses Balance to carry forward Amount Notes
given voluntarily, keeping initial operations costs low.
78500.00 The time of two learning mentors and space for the centre was -9,093.89 Fees submitted for formal registration of the company. -2,335.00 A lower expenditure was made on children’s reading books this -11,926.00 In addition to the stationery purchased, we received over 100
items such as notebooks and other stationery in donations. year as over 200 books were received from donors, this added to the total number of 3000 children’s books in our centre.
-13,431.00 Learning mentors attended professional workshops and used 78,500.00 -36,785.89 41,714.11
books and DVDs on teaching practice and learning approaches.
Related expenditure, not covered by Sajeevta Foundation
Item Daily nutritious snack given at Sajeevta learning centre Non-school-fee sponsorship School-fee sponsorship Amount Notes
directly, for all 15 of the children.
25,284.00 The daily snack of milk, nutrition mix and oats were donated 84,519.00 Costs for 11 of the children’s class and sports uniforms, textbooks
and transport to the school were donated directly, totaling approximately Rs.10,000 per child.
265,500.00 The Sree Vidya Niketan Trust (SVNT) the management trust for
Chaitanya School arranged sponsorship of school fees for 11 of the children.
Total related expenses
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Future plans for action
We plan to establish more home learning centres with trained learning mentors to support the learning of many more disadvantaged children in early morning and after school study sessions. For this, we will require:
Families committed to inclusive learning With regular contact we will engage families who are without the resources to effectively support their children’s education. We will work for these children from them to have an opportunity for learning, that otherwise would not be possible. Trained learning mentors Learning mentors will be trained through working alongside existing learning mentors and with detailed guidebooks, regular workshops, seminars and building up networks of mentors and professionals that work in collaboration to build up capacity, intelligence and competence for continuous improvement. The regular interactions between professionals and the children will allow new methods to be trialled, evaluated and developed for improved teaching and inclusive learning for India’s context. Partnerships with private schools We will partner with more private schools to create and introduce inclusive learning practices and to engage more children in high quality schooling. A network of government school teachers Government school teachers interested in building up their own professional development for inclusive learning will be invited to collaborate with learning mentors and associated professionals. By building up the capacity of an initial group of government school teachers the learning environments for hundreds of children can be transformed. Funding to sponsor children’s schooling Rs.10,000 for one year (Rs.850 per month) is needed to sponsor a child to attend a partner private school. This covers the non-school fee costs of uniform, bus transport, textbooks and stationery. Funding to operate a learning centre Rs.120,000 per year (Rs.10,000 per month) for running a new home learning centre for 20 children, for: books, stationery and a daily nutritious snack. Core funding Funding each year to support a network of learning mentors to effectively work with children, families, teachers, school management, government school teachers and other experts to operate learning centres, design teaching and learning resources, run training sessions and measure and evaluate the impact on and progress of the children’s learning.
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Sajeevta Foundation Gujarat Mobile Tel: (0091) 9974609461 www.facebook.com/sajeevta
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