A majority of Indian public school children cannot afford laptops or smartphones. Online learning is therefore not an option for them during the COVID pandemic. It has led to a large percentage of children from low-income families putting their education on hold. To address this problem, Asha for Education organized 65 mini-schools in the state of Tamil Nadu. Small groups of children attend mini-school in a teacher’s home, open-air terraces, libraries, and other public places.
The villages where our teachers come from and the places where we had a presence are mostly rural areas. In a small number of cases, we specifically selected Tribal areas with greater poverty and attendant problems.
- Decentralized decision making in terms of starting the mini-schools and keeping it running
- Designed a specific curriculum for the mini-schools focusing on conceptual clarity
- Emphasis on worksheets and activities as a way to deal with huge spread in skill levels
- Encouraged the teachers to learn from each other
- Focus on craft, PT, school functions etc. for all round development
Over 2000 children attend these 65 mini-schools running in more than 100 batches.