• In the last 14 years, our attendance rate has increased from 40% to 80% regularity.
• 100% of our Grade 5 students have foundational reading and arithmetic skills.
• 87% of Class 5 secured Grade A in the 2017-2018 Board Examination.
• 75% of Class 8 secured a B or higher, with 15 out of 24 students securing Grade B and 3 students securing grade A.
• Over 10,000 students and 450 teachers reached in over 185 trainings across 60 government schools.
• 84% of school teachers have started using GSK’s management system.
• Improved teacher-child relationships demonstrated by increased participation by both teachers and students in sports, songs, and other co-scholastic activities.
• 85% of parents raise issues in SMC meetings with percentage of women raising issues in monthly SMC meetings increasing from 63% in 2016-17 to 88% in 2017-18.
• A 15% improvement in overall score of students in Vistaar schools during the 2016-2017 school year.
Uday Girls Handball Team and Sports at GSK
Gramin Shiksha Kendra Uday Community School girls' handball team flies high. Nationally ranked, the girls handball team travels across India to compete, defying expectations. The team was the undefeated champion in the district for 2 years running and came in second for the Rajasthan state team in 2017.
Our other sports achievements include:
• Over 2,500 students through Vistaar have participated in sports activities, with 17 new active sports grounds initiated in government schools, and 29 sports events held for Vistaar students.
• Over 80 students in Vistaar schools have been selected to play in district, state, and national teams for Kabbadi, Handball, Kho-Kho and Football.
From an early age, Seema excelled at sports, particularly handball. As a student at Gramin Shiksha Kendra Jaganpura Uday Community School she was one of the top players on the girls’ handball team and is currently the captain of the Rajasthan Under-14 Girls’ Handball Team.
When her parents arranged her marriage, 12-year-old Seema turned to her teachers for support. Gramin Shiksha Kendra staff, other NGOs, and the District Collector came together to support her and ask her parents not to get her married. Her parents agreed to cancel the engagement. The story was widely reported in the local media. Impressed by Seema’s courage, the District Collector decided to adopt her as a daughter and cover the financial requirements of any further studies. Today, Seema is currently studying in ninth class at the Sports Academy in Jaipur and was recently selected to play in National.
Pramila is a graduate from one of Gramin Shiksha Kendra Uday school’s first batches and is the first girl from her village to attend college.
While most of the girls in her village were being married off and starting families, Pramila decided to go for further studies.
Apart from doing graduation, currently she is doing a course on tourism studies. Why tourism studies? “We were given three course options,” she says, “food safety, NGO management and tourism studies. The professor told me not to do tourism management but to do food safety, because that was more appropriate for girls. I told him “we already spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we know about food safety, why would I need a certificate for that?’ I opted for tourism management because I want to see all of India and I want to improve the economic situation of my family.”
With her positive energy, her first journey started from her own community where she leads the way there, manifesting the history and culture of her village to the people coming from outside. She is a leader with a humble voice and an intelligent mind.
When Maya started studying at Uday school, she had already studied up to fifth class in a nearby government school. “Even though I was in fifth class I couldn’t write my own name,” she says, “I was on the verge of dropping out.”
She began studying at Uday school in class one. “During my initial years at Uday school I received constant support and learned to cope with the anxieties I faced over challenges,” she says. “Over time, a lot changed for me — I became world ready because of the safe spaces created by my teachers, my parents and the community.”
Today, Maya is 24-years-old. Bold and confident, her dream is to become a teacher. She is passionate about gender equity, explaining that when she was growing up there were few education opportunities for girls. “I want to empower girls so that nobody can stop them in the same way that nobody stops boys,” she says.
Maya believes that patience and kindness are the hallmarks of a good teacher. “You should teach children with love and not fear,” she says. Only then children will face life difficulties objectively, come out of them thriving and make healthy choices.
16-year-old Vijay is an absolute combination of sincerity and humour. A graduate of one of the earliest batches from Gramin Shiksha Kendra’s Uday schools, he is now studying in twelfth grade in a nearby government school—but still comes back to Uday school on regular intervals to visit. The school is his second home.
Vijay takes care of everyone around him without any pain. You will always find him turning the pages of newspaper/books after school hours. Everyday Vijay takes out time to read irrespective of the never ending school syllabus and daily household chores. And whatever he reads he put his thoughts so clearly that will make your jaws drop.
A strong proponent for gender equity and always passionate to talk about gender identity issues, he explains - “Everyone should learn—especially girls,”. “This country will only grow once girls are educated on an equal level as boys.” From his behalf, there’s not even a slight sign of hesitation about talking anything that we generally tag as “taboo”.
He aspires to start his own business someday and create employment opportunities. “I received help,” he says, “so I want to help others.”
Ganganagar, the community that moved mountains to get their school back
SMCs Demanding and Driving Change
In 2017, at the opening of the academic session, in a bid to rationalize the number of schools, the government decided to merge 2 schools of Sukhwas and Ganganagar, 4 km apart from each other. The reason given was low enrolment. The real reason was poor quality of education and mismanagement in the Ganganagar School that led to the students moving to private schools in the hope of better education. Realizing the difficulty of sending their wards to another village and losing an important institution from their village, the Ganganagar community took the onus of bringing their school back.
The Uday Vistaar initiative provided support to the school. On their suggestion, the parents struck-off the names of their children from other schools and brought them back to their own village school. As there was no appointed teacher in the school, the parents appointed youth members from the village to teach their children in the abandoned school campus, so as not to discontinue their education. During this situation of non-availability of teachers, the Vistaar team also provided services to the school on daily basis.
The community continuously kept pressurizing the government to revoke their decision of closing the school. Finally, after nearly three months of efforts, the administration accepted the demands of the community to reopen the school in their village and appointed a teacher. The enrolment in school has now reached to 90. Almost all the parents in the village are sending their children in the government school and promise to ensure the quality education for their children.
The community of Ganganagar village, through their courage and determination, has not only saved their school from getting merged with the nearby government school but have now taken the baton by themselves to ensure quality education for their children.
Making Teachers Accountable
Gramin Shiksha Kendra organized a SMC Sammelan at Bodal where the roles and responsibilities of School Management Committees were discussed with the SMCs of all the schools covered under the Vistaar programme.
The discussions and experience-sharing by other SMCs inspired the SMC members of the government school of Ajeetpura and they reached their school on the very next day to assess the situation. Amongst other things it was found that one teacher was consistently late in coming to school. The SMC questioned the teacher and though the teacher had a number of excuses, the SMC was unwilling to take them.
The SMC was quite clear that the first process of change would be making sure that the teachers began coming to school regularly and on time. The SMC gave him an ultimatum and under pressure from the community, the teacher has now bought a motorcycle to commute to school. He is now on time each day and more importantly, the SMC has realized their power and their responsibility in making the school function properly.
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