OELP has been working inside early grade mainstream classrooms and community based learning centers since 2006 to try to evolve classroom pedagogies for language and early literacy that are grounded and aligned to the mainstream elementary school system, to the extent possible and at the same time the address the specific learning needs of young learners from diverse social, cultural and language context. We also have a community based library programme which seeks to promote knowledge building and a reading culture amongst village communities.
In addition we offer resource support to other GOs and NGOs for their early literacy and language enrichment programmes. We have also engaged with knowledge building in the area of early literacy through action research and organizing consultations on early literacy. Networking and advocacy towards strengthening policies and programmes for reading, writing and learning in the early grades of school has been an important component of our programme.
The various programmes being implemented by OELP are listed below.
For details click on each sub heading :
This programme is being implemented through the Four Block approach which has been explained in the section Approach and Methods
We have identified three areas that require additional support. These are:
- 1. Home to school transition
- 2. Oracy to print transition
- 3. Home language to school language
The foundation skills and higher order thinking skills that equip children to become proficient readers and writers, have been incorporated into the design of this programme.
The Class 1 programme is based on thematic units
Class 2 programme aims to build connections with a variety of texts; with curricular materials and the school language
OELP has been implementing remedial centers, called Bal Sahyog Kendras (BSKs.) These remedial centers have functioned in government primary schools and in village communities and aim to increase the school performance levels of low achieving young learners from grades 2 to 5. This programme is also being implemented by our partners in four other states.
Glimpses of the Remedial Program
OELP views the library programme as an important effort to build bonds with books and reading not only in the young school goers but also within the out of school children; adolescents and adults who are part of communities in the villages within our work area. We strive to provide children and their families and communities different opportunities to interact with books in a variety of ways and make real and meaningful connections with them.
OELP has three types of libraries:
- 1. Field library
- 2. Village library programme
- 3. Class room reading corner
- The focus of the library programme has been on the following:
- 1) Enhancing children’s engagement with books and reading through planned exposure to a variety of books and book based activities including read aloud sessions.
- 2 ) Enhancing children’s’ involvement with the running of the libraries, and bulding a sense of ownership.
- 3) Using the library as a forum for knowledge building through the setting up of the Bal Manch – to support village studies and other knowledge building activities by adolescent youth of the village. The focus of this programme is on older girls.
- 4) Exploring ways of building meaningful linkages with local knowledge and with the wider village community, especially women.
- 5) Compiling and digitizing collections based on local stories, folklore and local knowledge, and using these in the libraries. This programme is in its inception stage.
- 6) A peer support programme has been developed to help struggling readers build bonds with books and attain reading proficiency. This Pathan Saathi or a Reading Buddy programme functions as a part of the Libraries.
- 7 ) Involvement of daughters-in-law as librarians of our village libraries. This is proving to be very effective, as they are highly motivated and it is empowering for them and other women who are often oppressed within the patriarchal systems that exist.
- 1. Regular parent meetings. These have so far been held in the village chaupals or at the MNREGA (famine works) sites to suit the convenience of parents. This year we decided to do it differently and to bring the parents into the classrooms during the winter vacation. This way the parents would get a first hand idea of all that their children do and learn in school. The children too could share their favourite poems or books or posters, or read out their names from the name charts! There was excitement in the BSKs as the children made decorative invitation cards. The attendance was much higher than before, and these meetings were a great success.
- 2. Youth programme – This is an effort to involve village youth in exploring the local knowledge and history of their villages and surrounding and in the process bridging the generation gap. Our “Satya Shodaks” or young explorers select a relevant issue such as, the changes in or food practices over time. They start off with a set of questions, interact with community elders and are guided towards arriving at an in-depth understanding of the issues.
- In some villages they have brought out wall new papers. A few have written their own story books or made comics based on village issues. These have had interesting responses from the communities. In some villages these youngsters are involved with the running of the village library. The idea is to use the library as a hub for getting youth to participate in knowledge building and in the development of their village. The focus of this activity is on older girls.
- 3. Tapping local knowledge
- 4. Meetings with SMCs
- 5. Periodic events – Kahani mela ; village surveys; case studies
OELP partnered with Grameen Mahila Vikas Sansthan to establish Womens’ Literacy centers in 7 villages in our work area. This was a pilot project supported by Sir Ratan Tata Trust. These Literacy Centres were linked to existing Self Help Groups (SHGs). Mothers of several children from the OELP school based centers have also participated. Through this programme OELP has developed a resource kit consisting of adaptations of the early literacy resource pack for children. This has included adaptations of the Varan Samooh poems posters and local songs to make them suitable for adult learners. The resource kit also has worksheets; story cards; simple guidebooks for using the SHG passbook and register; information booklets on the ration cards; simple MNREGA guidelines ; information booklet on the Voter Id card and pension schemes. In addition the kit also has maths worksheets and games
Glimpses of Women’s Literacy Center
- A study of school retention in eight rural Government Upper Primary Schools of the Silora Block, Ajmer District, Rajasthan
- A study based on the observation of the individual reading beahviours of almost 400 primary school children from Classes 3 to 6 in four villages in the Silora Block. This research report in on our website.
- In addition we have been conducting case studies of individual children and village surveys
- A study based on miscue analysis. Although the data has been analysed the report will be made available soon.
Training & Resource support for the professional development of GOs & NGOS for setting up demonstration sites for modelling Early Literacy practices
OELP has functioned as a technical resource group to provide training and resource support to other NGOs who are seeking capacity building in the area of Early Literacy. For this purpose, we have developed a module of exposure based training which is based on a combination of the modelling of our pedagogies and classroom practices within the 15 demonstration sites that have been set up in our lab area in Rajasthan, and supplementing it through subsequent on-site mentoring within the locations of the participating organisations. Over the past three years OELP has partnered with NGOs in Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttrakhand for this purpose
Two national level Consultations on Early Literacy were organized by OELP for the partners of the Tata Trusts from across the country. The reports of these consultations can be viewed on our website under the section Resources / Reports In addition we have written and published several articles and participated in interactive sessions in academic institutions.