The founder Mr. Surya Prakash on the first day of the community library
PRAYOG is an education initiative working in the villages of Northern Bihar. We mainly work in the Kuchaikote block of Gopalganj District with pre-school to High Schools kids. In this blog I have made an attempt to give a glimpse of the work that we do in the area.
1. Community Library
The community library was the first outcome of PRAYOG. The library is an almirah that is placed in the centre of the village. When a discussion was held with the local children, they said that a library was something that they wanted. So, a library was given to them along with the collective responsibility of safeguarding it. It’s wonderful to see that the same almirah has been in the centre of the village for about 3.5 years, safely. The almirah now consists of about 150 books in English and Hindi for different age groups. Children gather around the library in the evening and read the books of their choice.
Children also come to play kabaddi, football and other games around the library after the reading hours.
2. Baal Bhageecha Fellowship
Baal Bhageecha translates into ‘Children’s Orchard’, is a mentorship programme now run by six aspiring girls (Baal Bhageecha Fellows) of class 11 and 12, for students of the classes 1 through 5. The students gather around the library site and the Fellows mentor them and solve their difficulties in academics. Each fellow mentors about 5 students.
3. Digital Education Initiative
The Digital Education Initiative is now run in two government schools. Here, the interactive animated video series – ‘Toon Masti’ by the E&Y Foundation is played to the kids. The kids from classes 1 to 5 learn Environmental Science and Mathematics on alternate days, in this manner. A facilitator of PRAYOG visits the school assigned to him everyday for about 4 hours. The video session runs for about 25 minutes with interactions in between the video, where the students are asked a few questions to check if they are being able to grasp the concepts that are being tried to explain in the video.
4. Curious Learning Tablet Program
The Curious Learning Tablet programme is very interesting and my favourite bit! In this, kids in the age group of about 4-8 years are given a Samsung Tablet for about 1.5 hours everyday, which houses interactive learning modules developed by the Curious Learning Team. The research team has professors and students from MIT, Massachusetts and Tufts University among many others. The tablets are simply given to these kids and they do everything from switching it on to running it. With every new click, they are able to explore something more and this leads to more learning. (More interesting stories on the developments of the program in the subsequent blogs).
5. Classroom Libraries
The Classroom Library is another intervention where the dearth of libraries in Government Schools is tried to address. These libraries are to be launched on Children’s Day this year in about 5 schools. A kit of books which contains about 125 books will be suspended on the wall of the schools. This will be facilitated by the PRAYOG facilitator. The library is planned to run for about 2 hours for 2 days in a week where the kids can come to the kiosk, pick a book and read in the vicinity.