The CherYsh Learning Program

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.

The Learning Playfields

There was visible excitement as the Shikshas reopened to a new academic year 2017-18. Fresh enrollments, new audio-visual learning modules, refreshed training on the Active Rural Curriculum, and distribution of the mid-evening nutritious laddoos, contributed to a wholesome start. 

Child leaders were identified across the existing 26 Shikshas. Currently, 36 villages are covered under the learning program.

CherYsh established five new Shikshas in the villages of Aralwad, Nagshettikoppa, Jataga and Jataga Gowliwada in Haliyal Taluka.

Seeding reading and more

New story books, both in English and Kannada, were added to the mini-libraries in all Shikshas. New sports goods were also distributed as part of the active learning experience at the Shikshas.

51 Learning Facilitators take learning to 36 villages

Baseline evaluation of all Learning Facilitators was completed. The assessment was used to evaluate 36 candidates from 21 villages, and enlist them as Trainee Learning Facilitators (LF).  These trainees joined the existing LF group to take up training on the Active Rural Curriculum. On successful completion of training, the LFs will be certified based on command over the content taught. The trained Learning Facilitators will anchor the Shikshas in the newly identified villages.

Participatory Planning and Training

Dr. Lalitha Appachu, experienced trainer, coached the LFs on new modules as part of the Active Rural Curriculum. The refreshed content included audio-visual aids, phonics, and elements from the English textbook used in school. Planning exercises were conducted to enable LFs to commit to a shared calendar for training. The sessions were designed to ensure participatory planning and collective learning. The modules ensured interactivity, and the practice of content delivery. Methodologies to include music and sport were reviewed. Fifty one trainees, including the 26 Learning Facilitators who currently anchor the Shikshas, attended the training sessions.

Gathering the learning harvest

The growing cadre of Learning Facilitators are on the path to continuous improvement. A follow-up workshop session was conducted by Malathi H.D. The workshop was conducted using a participatory approach where the group observed their peers conduct a demo class. They critically evaluated the presentation made by their peers, and scored the group based on defined parameters. The Trainer's feedback is encouraging:“ Overall the observation is that most of the Learning Facilitators are interested to learn, are open-minded, show enthusiasm to learn new things, and are confident in using the digital device(Tablet). They go through their learning resources and prepare well for the class.”

E-cadres emerging!

Technology was systematically introduced at the CherYsh Resource Centre, Haliyal. In addition to computers, a projector was installed to ensure Training sessions are more effective, and the audio-visual content component is optimally used.

The IT integration training improved the use of teaching aids( Digital devices -Tablets, and audio-visual content). It also included coaching on systems to improve administration at the Shikshas (Online recording of attendance, and evaluation of learning levels). The online tracking system was enabled such that Learning Facilitators can record attendance on their digital devices, daily. This data is later synced to the Google drive once in a month.

The fourth session of IT integration training for the Learning Facilitators was held. The  LFs were trained on data management, the Google Apps. ecosystem, and other follow-up from the previous sessions. The Training included usage of camera with tripod.

RITE Training

Youth taking the RITE path

RITE - Student engagement took place via an evaulation excercise conducted in 15 Shikshas. Thirty three students of KLE Tech. Hubballi carried out the exercise using an evaluation template prepared by CherYsh. Students were enthusiastic in their participation, and demonstrated both compassion and diligence in carrying out the task. The children, and Learning Facilitators in turn were eager to respond to the evaluation and showcase success! The data is being tabulated currently.

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.