Diwali spirit: Donated LED bulbs to light tribal students home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diwali is  a festival of light. We end the darkness in our homes and hearts by lighting the lamps of hope,peace,happiness and prosperity for ourselves and our families. We decided to extend this spirit and light the homes of tribal students who could not study at night because there was poor lighting and their homes were dark in evenings itself.  We thank you Dr.Vandana Karale and her family for their support in this project. 55 Tribal families now have LED bulbs in their home to help them study at night and to celebrate this some sweets to enjoy diwali sent by us.

We donated  55 LED bulb and some sweets to all 55 tribal families to our StudyMall partner school from Z.P School Pavlepada, Varur, Dist.Palghar,Maharashtra,India. During night time students don’t have sufficient lighting at home due to lack of electricity or quality electrical tubes or bulb or voltage issues. This is the common problem in most of villages in India. Our teacher Ravindra Jadhav told this problem to us that although they are doing best to run school via best available mode such as self learning, social distancing school during day time etc but being able to study at night is very critical. This tribal children work during day to support their parents in earning income, so night is the time they study most.

Mr.Jadhav sir from this school had requested us if we can arrange LED bulb for them so that they can study during night time. He said there couldn’t be better Diwali gift for them than this. And we were happy to find a way because of our committed DONORS like Dr.Vandana and many others. We feel happy that we could end darkness and light the lamp of education.

 

Written by -Dr.Shraddha M Bhange

Volunteer and Writer for Thinksharp Foundation.

Web- www.ThinkSharpFoundation.org

Fb- https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation

Twitter- https://twitter.com/ThinkSharpFound

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4cDXLuwAThHXhNOazv5KA

Media Coverage- Click to read recent media coverage on National platform

Donate –http://www.thinksharpfoundation.org/#/donate

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Young changemakers raised INR 400,000 to bridge the digital education divide

Despite the physical stand still that has affected many countries across the globe, life goes on and we must evolve to overcome the challenges exacerbated by COVID-19. Many areas of life have been affected, but one of the most problematic areas is education.

Due to physical restrictions brought about by COVID-19 the new academic year is under way online. But what does that mean for those in rural communities with little or no access to the electronic devices they need to take part in digital learning? The sad reality is that most will fall behind and/or drop out of education which may significantly decrease their quality of life.

As an NGO our (Thinksharp Foundation) vision is to bridge the Rural-Urban education divide in India, and after identifying the above, there has never been a more important time to do so. Our first step to bridge this divide has been the implementation of a model of education called StudyMall which will provide educational tablets to 70 children from grades 4 – 7 in Z.P. School, Gorhe Budruk village, Haveli, Pune. These tablets are essential to promote and enable education in rural areas. They will help them connect with their teachers to attend online classes and will also have a library of 1200 books to read along with other educational apps. This will facilitate engaging study online and offline.

With a progressive initiative like this comes a large funding necessity. The initiative has seen support from far and wide with incredible contributions and awareness raised by other children. In particular we must thank some of The Young Changemakers from Tribes for Good  – Kabir, Pradyna, Pranav, Kashish, Navyashree, Neel, Vansh, Aarnav and Abhimanyu who have raised over INR 400,000 on Milaap crowdfunding platform in order to bridge the digital education divide!

“The project was very enriching. We were able to experience first-hand what social businesses do, what I as a Young Changemaker can do for society, and the sustainable development goal we’re trying to impact. At first, I was apprehensive about how we would fund our campaign. But with the guidance of the facilitators, I was able to overcome this hurdle and raise almost 50 thousand rupees individually. It was also very heartwarming to hear from the Thinksharp team and be appreciated for our efforts.” ~ Navyashree

“I was very much fascinated by the work they (Thinksharp) were doing to bridge the rural – urban education divide. The organisation was introducing the concept of Study Malls to the children in rural Maharashtra by giving access to better educational infrastructure such as digital learning tools, library and other educational resources for children and teachers. I created some creatives and visuals to post on social media and wrote my content so that people can relate to it and know for what cause they are donating.” ~ Kashish

TribesforGOOD is a platform for individuals to learn and take action on ‘real issues’ and due to their unparalleled action to try and solve some of these issues their fundraising will provide 10-15 tablets to provide educational opportunities like their own. Although there is still a way to go, this provides a promising start to an essential initiative!

 

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Education experts speaks on innovative, progressive education to improve rural education in India

Think sharp Foundation is glad to summarise our recent activity of Facebook live sessions conducted in this blog. So far, we conducted 10 Facebook live sessions with various experts who talked on subjects educational described below:

Mr.Sharad Machale ( Headmaster, secretary Baramati Taluka Teachers Association) – Challenges and solutions for education sector during coronavirus pandemic.

He spoke on challenges to run schools during and after Covid-19 pandemic. He focused on maintaining social distancing in school, hygiene, student- teacher interaction, sports activities and more. To listen more –https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/547419039533267/

Mr.Ananda Aanamwad ( Teacher Zilla Parished School, Malyan, Dahanu, Palghar, district level technology trainer and guide also state level KINO awardee winner)

He spoke on available technology for online learning for students and teachers. He also provided list of educational apps and resources available for online learning and use available technology effectively. To listen more – https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/831313067362206/

Mr.Yogesh Dhaware (Teacher, Tongo international inventor awardee , National level Youth teachers federation award) – Creative education during coronavirus lockdown

Dhaware sir provided creativity-based learning ideas. This was very helpful considering current times when children are at home due to lockdown. He introduced good concept of “Ghar Ghar Pathshala” / Home schooling and provided more such ideas on creative solutions at home to teach kids. To listen more –https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/2542227805990161/

Mr.Sandip Pawar (Head Master, Zilla Parished School Jarewadi, Patoda, Beed, President awardee , ABP Maza news channel Mazha Katta panelist) -Community participation for progressive education

Pawar sir talked about how they motivated community to participate in development of school and provided pointers on how others can do it too. To listen more –  https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/262301291814360/

Mr.Arjun Koli ( Headmaster Nagar Palika Shala No.3, Karad, First ISO School In Maharashtra, State Awardee) – Increase in class count and learning outcomes.

Koli sir talked about how he increased the count of students in his school. He motivated children to come to school by involving parents. Parents were daily wage workers who used to go for work in daytime hence could not attention teacher parents meeting, so Koli sir started meeting at night. Once this meeting was successful, parents were on board to send children to school instead of making them work. To Listen more – https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/679202686266238/

Mr.Prem Yadav (Co-founder and CEO Pratham infotech foundation) -Digital learning

Mr.Yadav shared new trend and in EdTech sector, he also shared his vision to improve technology based learning through their initiative Digital Sakshar. Free learning app for Maharashtra state board. Which is widely used across schools. To listen more – https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/581089719280640/

Mr. Rahul Patil (Meteorological expert) – Climate literacy

Session introduced how students and teachers can participate in stopping climate change. The speaker Rahul Patil gave few more details on how to read weather, what books and websites can be referred to make children aware and interested about climate change. To listen more – https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/585077615448960/

 Ms. Pranali Dhamanand (Early childhood expert and parent trainer) – Early childhood education

Ms. Pranali talked about very practical ideas for parents to start educating children at home. Shee have pointers for early childhood education i.e. 2 to 5 years. She made parents aware about activity based and experience-based methods to be used for this age group. To listen more – https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/682833335623069/

Amit Kutwal (Program Manager, Thinksharp Foundation) – Challenges and solutions in digital learning in rural school

Mr.Amit shared data from his survey on what are current challenges and solutions available during lockdown period to conduct online learning sessions in rural schools. To listen more – https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation/videos/1544594815888390/

Our vision to work for betterment of rural education can be met when we reach beneficiary in every manner possible. We wanted to extend our reach to more teachers, parents, educationist, change makers and bring all together to share ideas and solutions regarding educational topics and it’s knowledge .

We will continue to invite such speakers frequently on our live sessions to reach more beneficiary and bring everyone on same level in terms of improving quality of education. If you or your acquaintance wants to share knowledge on such education related topics, reach out to us to schedule live session on our page.

Written By – Dr.Shraddha Bhange (Volunteer)

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India education divide – rural education come to a standstill during lockdown

zoom session at Z.P School Ghore budruk, Haveli, Pune

Coronavirus Pandemic has made world come to a standstill. Even though it has been 3 months of lockdown, there is not complete recovery or change of situation.

Every industry including education sector has stopped working. Considering that there is no immediate vaccine or treatment in near future, the option we are left with is to face the situation together and find creative and effective solutions.

Usually in India the school reopens in June every year after summer holidays. However, considering this Coronavirus pandemic, restarting schools will aggravate the situation. But, on the other hand, keeping schools closed and children locked at home is also not a solution. Already the disruption of examinations and schools has affected children’s interest and slowed down the academics.

To find a balanced solution to this problem of loss of education of children, Thinksharp Foundation conducted a survey in 50 (Zilla Parished Schools) rural Government schools in Maharashtra.

We noted that these schools are trying their best to conduct school syllabus and avoid loss of interest of children via online method. They use online methods such as WhatsApp, zoom sessions etc. However, they are able to reach only 20% to 25% children due to various reasons. Few of the common reasons are parents do not have smart phones, or even if they have, the phones are not available when the online classes are conducted, network non availability, poor connection, electricity cut so phones are not charged etc. Hence only online classes cannot be the effective solution in rural schools.

We then discussed this problem and reached out for solutions to teachers, educationists, parents and other community members. Few solutions suggested are listed below:

  1. Govt should continue to broadcast syllabus on television. This will ensure that maximum children can have access and continue their academic syllabus study.
  2. Teachers should reach out to parents and share creative ideas of teaching academics at home.
  3. We should educate children on continuation of education in such situations of epidemics and pandemics.
  4. We as a community should come together, teachers reaching out to volunteers, parents and students coming together.

While we present few findings of survey on how corona affected education and share solutions, we still welcome comments regarding more solutions.

Written by
Dr.Shraddha Bhange (Volunteer)

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Rural education in India during and post CORONA/COVID-19

Today, we all are fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, it has costed us human lives, caused economic loss, loss of our freedom, motivation and much more. While every sector/industry is facing losses and challenges due to COVID-19, I am going to discuss about challenges and loss in educational sector especially rural education in this blog. And also open up a dialogue on how to address this challenges.

Currently, due to COVID-19, exams are postponed, schools, colleges, universities are closed. In the beginning they were closed without further notice but it was assumed it will be for short period of time. However, looking at the bleak future, where we do not know when will we get cure or vaccine, everybody has started finding solutions in terms continuing classes via digital medium i.e webinars/video conferencing etc.

One key factor to understand here is the above digital medium is being used by private,international and urban education institutes. But the rural schools, specifically govt rural schools are lagging way behind.

We already know rural govt schools lag behind in infrastructure e.g. but not limited to lack of digital infrastructure (computers, projectors etc)  poor teacher student ratio, low attendance, parents who are unaware of importance of education and lack of their efforts to help their children get educated, financially backward families, non availability of continuous electricity and so on. All this factors make it a teacher dependent education system in rural govt schools, now to replace that with digital platform due to COVID-19 is challenging. On top of it, even if we decide to implement digital/online learning , there is lack of computers, internet, personal mobiles/ devices to connect video calling, webinars etc.

Rural govt schools are currently closed due to summer holidays, ideally they should re open in June first week as per every years process. But this year due to COVID-19, there is no clarity. The situation may result in extension of lock down or even if not, we have still lost a lot of valuable time and this schools may have lost time to finish exams, curriculum, and covering that will take efforts and time.

To prepare for smooth transition of learning for rural children which got disturbed due to COVID-19, we need to push ourselves and think of solutions of making digital learning available to rural children. We have been doing just that in 50 rural schools already. However we realize we were able to provide only digital projector and few laptops. But if situation like COVID-19 persists or in future we have more such situations, we might need to provide individual devices to rural children . As this children belong to financially week families, they do not own personal devices neither have internet.

Thinksharp Foundation is going to extend their thoughts and welcomes views and support on tackling this issue under project StudyMall, StudyMall currently provides library and digital learning facilities. But we are working on extending this to have laptops, individual personal devices etc for uninterrupted learning, for serving rural population.

We want to extend our work to create a financially viable and user friendly option to provide equal digital learning tools for rural children.

We welcome educationists, parent, children, policymakers, fellow NGOs to contribute to pool of ideas and frame solutions to solve this issue . Together lets help rural govt schools and rural children learn uninterrupted during and post COVID-19 period.

Thanks and keep your Human side up that will keep you smiling….

Written by -Dr.Shraddha M Bhange

Volunteer and Writer for Thinksharp Foundation.

Web- www.ThinkSharpFoundation.org

Fb- https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation

Twitter- https://twitter.com/ThinkSharpFound

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4cDXLuwAThHXhNOazv5KA

Media Coverage- Click to read recent media coverage on National platform

Donate –http://www.thinksharpfoundation.org/#/donate

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