The results are beautiful, vivid, colourful representations of what students take away from their time in the class and how they perceive this important phase of ‘learning in school’ as part of their growth in everyday life.
Earlier this year, during one of our field trips, we decided to do something fun with Std III students of our program. The idea was to enable children to use art in order to demonstrate their vision and expand their understanding of certain subjects by expressing themselves through art in groups of four. They had to choose one of the following topics to create a drawing, using the best of all the resources and knowledge they have received from their teachers and peers. The topics included classroom education, family, birds and animals or nature and our country.
The session was held with Std III in the open grounds surrounding the nearby ‘dargah’. Mostly, because their classes are held in rented rooms in their bastis, not all of which allow for spreading out and assembling students of all sections. The students were ecstatic and used the opportunity to best demonstrate their skills and also show us around their favourite local spots. The 2-hour long exercise on a rather hot July summer day left us with many sweats and amazing art piece by each group.
It is interesting to note that these are first-generation learners, who have been enrolled in a formal educational set-up for the first time in their lives. The model is designed as such that these students get used to coming to the idea of class and ease into the education system. Classes are held for 3.5 hours and pedagogy is designed as such that curriculum and activities are planned for each day, week and month in advance.
Since the classes are only held for 3.5 hours with a set plan of topics, activities, and assessments, engaging in an art session was an additional effort for these children, which they thoroughly enjoyed. What this has further validated is that students enrolled under our program are extremely keen on expressing themselves creatively and all of them are extremely talented and bright, each exhibiting unique aesthetic and vigour.
Furthermore, another exercise apart from these art forms we conducted wherein students were given a paper cut out of a fruit and asked to write their ambition on it and colour it. The idea was to encourage students to reflect on their future selves while explaining to them, the concept of ‘fruits of ambition‘, meaning their hard work and commitment towards their education will surely bring in results as they keep advancing in studies.
A lot of interesting visions were scribbled onto paper by these 10 year old, who appeared like tiny caterpillars onto the path of transforming into a vibrant butterflies. And we surely believe, education is one of the strongest catalysts to help them emerge powerful and give back to their communities and eventually transform their life.
In the academic year, 2019-2020, we are supporting the education of around 6400 students in partnership with the Gyan Shala model in the slums of Farrukhabad and Lucknow. 50% of these students are girls and more than 80% are first-generation learners. With our impactful pedagogy, we are enabling high outcome and grade appropriate learning levels for primary students to help them continue education in the long run. The vision is to make these children confident and help them colour the path of their own lives with good quality education. Some more glimpses from this session are shared below.
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