After-School Learning Program – CherYsh Shiksha

The CherYsh Learning Program is set up to provide a quality-learning environment closest to home for the girl child.

The backbone of the program is the identification and training of young women who play the role of Learning Facilitators in the CherYsh Shikshas.

Music and learning

Music made children from the CherYsh Shikshas learn differently. At the Serendipity Concert, in collaboration with the Bangalore School of Music, a group of 7 musically talented young girls from Haliyal shared the stage with Marialena Fernandes, and the Trio Viennair. The girls participated in a music workshop at Bangalore, conducted by Marialena Fernandes - world-renowned pianist, and professor at the Vienna Conservatory.

The experience gave the CherYsh girls from Haliyal, newfound confidence, content learning, exploration of musical composition, and multicultural exposure. It also underscored the value of the Active Rural Curriculum, initiated by CherYsh, which uses music as an active channel of learning.

Youth involvement in rural education

CherYsh met students and faculty of the BVB College, Hubballi, to review the RITE program and children’s performance at the Shikshas, in Math. Students from BVB felt that RITE gave them an opportunity to “contribute to a village, and make an impact by improving levels of learning amongst children, and the local tutor.” RITE students discussed a plan to ensure a volunteer pipeline is maintained to strengthen learning outcomes in CherYsh Shikshas.

Shiksha space: A new look

The CherYsh learning centres donned a new look with enhancement to the elements of infrastructure. New blackboards with stands were added in all Shikshas. This tool besides being mobile is a space saver in the minimal area available inside the Shiksha. Workbooks and play materials were distributed. Tablet devices were handed over to the Learning Facilitators. This will e-enable all record keeping currently maintained on student enrolment, training, evaluation and performance. A review of infrastructure needs was completed. Mats, lights, solar lamps, and library books were given out.

Children file in!

Over 600 children attend the After-School Learning Program in 11 villages of Haliyal Taluk, Uttara Kannada district. This is envisaged to grow to 1000 children, and 25 Learning Faciitaors by March 2017.
Children benefit from the Active Rural Curriculum pursued by the CherYsh Learning Facilitators. This incentivizes the children to learn in ways that they enjoy, assimilate, and remember. Music, art, and sports are used in the learning of English and Math.

Active Rural Curriculum (ARC)

A team of professionals worked on elements of an Active Rural Curriculum. The content and methodology are used both for training the Learning Facilitators, as well as for the Children, was determined. Indira Swaminathan, a long-time child education specialist, conducted a daylong workshop for 18 CherYsh Learning Facilitators in Haliyal. The focus of the session is to introduce creative teaching methodologies suited for rural areas. The ARC imparts learning techniques, as well as student and class management issues. This growing cadre of young educated women was trained to teach and facilitate learning in the village where they live.

Rural Innovation Through Education (RITE)

The continuous learning program for Learning Facilitators and the Children is enabled through Rural Innovation Through Education (RITE) program. In collaboration with the BVB College of Engineering and Technology, Hubballi, CherYsh undertakes ongoing and programmed training for student volunteers to teach Mathematics to children at the CherYsh Shikshas. Akshara Foundation is the author of the content and the teaching aids.

Learning Facilitators

Meetings of the Learning Facilitators is held every month to discuss best good practice at the Shikshas, lesson plans, baseline scores, enrollment process, documentation, and problem solving of common issues, were discussed. This activity we find has enhanced skills to manage the class and teaching modules. The Meeting Minutes are maintained, and have enabled women to enhance their own skills to manage the class, and teaching. The progress of each Shiksha is reviewed, and children’s performance in the Shiksha discussed. The progress of each Shiksha and LF is reviewed by LF and CherYsh Staff.

Service through nursing careers

The CherYsh grant to promote nursing scholars, with rural backgrounds, continued to support 8 trainee nurses. Two completed the course, and have begun working at the St. Martha’s Hospital. The nurses completed their annual examinations with first class scores.