Friday, February 2, 2018

DSS Exhibition on “Expression”, an approach to deliver awareness on meaningful communication and educating children.

The Society for Door Step Schools (DSS) has been taking education to the doorstep of underprivileged children since 1988-89 in Mumbai and 1993 in Pune. Through various programs DSS tries to reach the often forgotten children from the marginalized sections of society like children of construction labourers, pavement dwellers and many others. These children are enrolled to Government schools and taught basic literacy and mathematics skills at our centers through various innovative and creative teaching methods. Our teachers are regularly trained and their skills are further honed at DSS Training Center – “Parivartan” which stands as the backbone of DSS since 2007.
Every year Parivartan organizes an exhibition with the aim to provide guidance in relevant topics and specifically targeted for teachers and other field staff. This year too, DSS welcomed the New Year with their first event – The Annual Training Center Exhibition and the topic was “Expression- Abhivyakti”. It was organized from January 10th to 17th at the Center in Annabhau Sathe School, Sadashiv Peth, Pune.
The time and effort put in by the entire Training team in planning and organizing the event was evident from the various meaningful props and ideas they used to deliver the message of how important it is to understand one’s expression especially while interacting with children. Various charts and models were exhibited demonstrating how expression shifts in children & teens and how it leads to a mutually beneficial dialogue.
Through a variety of examples, trainers explained the concept of expression particularly between the age groups of 3-6, 7-11 and 12-16. The aim was to educate DSS teachers, trainers from other schools or institutions on listening, understanding and communicating; where children can boost their language development and give them an advantage they may not otherwise have. Knowing how to listen and join in conversations is an art of encouraging individuals to come out of their little world outside, to a more socially inclusive community.

It was very enriching to explore how the team categorized their study within age groups on topics like, ‘my family, my individuality, my neighbourhood, my social responsibility, my hobbies, my school, my dreams, our social media etc’. There was some take away for each and every person making them more aware about their surroundings along with their commitment to themselves and their community.

Clockwise from bottom left: A DSS teacher noting points, followed by our trainers explaining charts, A school Model and another of our trainers explaining charts & models. Center: DSS Training Team.

Write up and photographs by Rashmi Deo, DSS Volunteer, HR professional, also an enthusiast in people and community development. January 17th, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Balak Palak Sabha....

Activities at Parents and Children get-together

Parents of school going children are important stake holders in their children’s education. To a large extent it is they who decide about their children’s education and so it is extremely important to make them aware of their roles and responsibilities in their children’s progress.
Our teams of field workers regularly organize ‘balak-palak’ or ‘child-parent’ get-togethers where a number of issues are discussed in an informal way – sometimes in a playful way-to empower the parents and their children. We reached 140+ parents through 5 such events in and around the city.
Everybody likes to be appreciated and parents and children are no exceptions! Children’s achievements are announced at these meetings and the parents proudly clap for their wards. They are also encouraged to talk to their children every day about what happened in school. And even if they cannot read or write, they must insist on their child reading aloud from the school book every day. Many important issues are conveyed in a story telling session which the parents and children not only enjoy but also remember. Many volunteers participate in these sessions.
These meetings help and encourage parents to:
  • ·         Increase their awareness about right to Education
  • ·         Understand the importance of education
  • ·         Actively participate in child’s education
  • ·         Understand the importance of regular attendance
  • ·         Get accustomed to attending meetings regarding progress in school
  • ·         Take responsibility of their children’s admission process
  • ·         Learn formalities to be followed when transferred
  • ·         Ensure the child is enrolled in a school no matter where they go
  • ·         Exchange information about school events
  • ·         Discuss any problems regarding school
  • ·         Realize the importance of hygiene and clean environment
  •       Think about the future possibilities (such as various skill enhancing courses etc after Std VIII/Std. X / Std. XII) 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sukaniya Samriddhi Yojana

A month ago, team ECC attended a session on various government schemes that are either related to girl child education or to under- privileged children's education. Sachin Pandharinath Wagalgave, one of the tram members decided that he would like to understand this scheme a bit better.So, he decided to visit one of the India Post Offices close to his house. As an uncle to two nieces he thought to gift them both something that will help them in their higher education and he opened their accounts under 'Sukaniya Samriddhi Yojana'.

Once he experienced this procedure himself, he started to mobilise parents of the girls in various construction sites. In about a month 8 parents opened their girl child's account under the scheme.

Spirit of WIPRO

On September 17, 2017 WIPRO, one of our funding partners organised a Marathon event. Invites were sent to NGOs that they are supporting with funds. Door Step School was one such invitee. Children presented lezium act, Dance cum Drama on RTE, 5 K run and participated in inter NGO dance performance. Five children who've excelled in academics last year were felicitated too.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Vegetable Market Exposure Visit

Project Foundation (PF) takes up a theme a month. Community Learning Centre (CLC) under PF organised an exposure visits to a Vegetable Market in Hadapsar for August Months theme, Vegetables. Children had their share of fun learning, exposed to various seasonal and regular vegetables and experienced the chaos at the vegetable market. As part of this activity children were taken out in a public space, Hence, required to get a NO OBJECTION LETTER signed from their respective parents. Surprisingly, parents were quite excited too and around 85 children joined in. 

Photo: Taking a glance 

Photo: Limboo kiti la dada?

Photo: A quick tour of the mandi

Photo: Observing buyers

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A gesture to acknowledge co-existence!

The campaign, Every Child Counts (ECC) under Door Step School, Pune works towards enrolment of out of school children from migrant labour camps. ECC staff works closely with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and Zilla Parishad (ZP) Schools for these children’s admission. These children get their admission under Right To Education (RTE) Act, 2009. This allows them to seek admission throughout the academic year without having to waste their year as they migrate with their parents from place to place. All of this is possible as the schools extend their support when approached. Sometimes it does bring them discomfort as the process needs to be followed in the middle of the academic session, sometimes several times in a year.  
On Teacher’s Day every year from the inception of the practice, ECC team organises a small celebration in schools covering PMC, PCMC, Haveli and Mulshi Talukas. The selection of these schools is mostly done on the basis of fulfilling the need to develop rapport between the ECC staff and the school staff. There were about 15 such schools selected this year in PMC, PCMC, Mulshi and Haveli Talukas. Celebrations included participatory games such as musical chair, balloon games, hula-hoop games, etc in-order to get them to have fun and spend recreational time with their colleagues, something they often don’t get to do. Initially, it was observed that the teachers hesitated to play. Later, students encouraged their respective class teachers and cheered them. Teachers then were given a pen and a greeting card as token of appreciation for the many ways in which they support the ECC Campaign.

In closing, ECC team expressed the need to keep the communication going in terms of providing them monthly progress reports of the children enrolled in the school. And offered help if there is anything that the team must know to further improve the operations.

Hula Hoop

Hula Hoop 

Musical Chair

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Resolution chit handi

Community Learning Centre (CLC), Hadapsar children seeking help from their teachers organised an activity on Janmashtami. One of the mythological kids stories on Krishna and his friends, inspired children in CLC to ideate their activity. Every child wrote one resolution in a chit and all these chits were deposited in a handcrafted handi made by them. This handi was hanged on the sealing. Girls in the centre were excited to form a pyramid and Krishna climbed up on the pyramid too. He pulled down the handi. Later, the handi was circulated among other children them to pick-up chits from it. It was decided that everyone will follow their respective resolution from the chit for at least a month. 
Festivals are celebrated in every projects in Door Step School keeping the importance of education as its basic theme. The efforts are in the direction to inculcate healthy habits in these children and should continue as they grow.