08 April 2022

A lot can happen within a year

By Simran Saluja

Education is the passport to a brighter future. It is the most powerful weapon to change the world and this weapon lies in the hands of our young population. In the 19 years since education became our fundamental right, India has achieved a near-universal enrolment rate of 96% at the primary level. However, quality education is still the dream of many in our country, many grade V students fail to read grade II texts. Several complex problems afflicting the Indian educational system include inadequately qualified and uninterested teachers, high absenteeism, a flawed pedagogy, multi-grade classrooms, and poor infrastructure.

In line with the rising complexities in the education system, Sampark Foundation launched their programme ‘Sampark Smart Shala’ in Haryana to bring about a change and within a span of a year the scenario of grade-level children’s education has improved drastically from 23% to 70% under a control group.

The Sampark Smart Shala programme changed the lives of the students in Haryana through their frugal innovations. The schools where the programme was implemented, were provided with training for teachers to use 3D TLMs, Sound Box, Board games, multimedia workbooks and the Sampark Smart Shala App. The terms and the chapters used in their learning app were selected keeping in mind the FLN model. 95% of teachers attended the training because they wanted to not because they had been directed to. Sampark offers training in a non-judgemental environment, where they recreate the joy of learning for teachers by awakening the child in them.

The children found the Audio box and the TLMs very fun and were able to engage children in studying effectively. Now, the children can do grade-level mathematics in a fun way while maintaining school decorum. There is a steep rise in the English learning of children as well, as they can learn correct pronunciation and words through singing and dancing with the help of the Audio box.

At first, the teachers were sceptical about using this new method of teaching but they applied this new method, they were surprised to see the outcomes. Geeta Kaushik, one of the assistant teachers in the primary school of Karnal, Haryana, stated that “We were introduced to a new style of teaching – using TLMs, Sampark’s Audio box and Sampark Smart Shala App. We have never used any piece of technology in teaching ever. But, the audio box and SSS App are very easy to operate and have helped us to teach the language to our children in a fun and easy way. It is difficult to put into words the enthusiasm we saw for the audio box among the children. The children were very happy and were jumping in class listening to the musical sound of Sampark Didi.”

The implementation of Sampark Smart Shala is a huge success as we see 47% improvement in children’s performance in just a year in Haryana. The programme has also built better rapport between the teachers and the students, which resulted in increased engagement of children in schools and studies and has increased the retention rate of children at schools.