We are now a part of a generation where people use PCs, laptops, and even mobile phones to carry out their core tasks. Times change, the use of electronic devices has been imbibed into our lives and schools are no exception. Nowadays, schools and other educational institutions impart knowledge via online medium where children are offered various e-content. Lessons are always understood better by children when they are showed relevant visual aids to support their textbooks. However, majority of the students in India, especially the economically weak classes have still not been exposed to the “smart” way of learning. The We Foundation had taken measures to incorporate “Blended Learning” (a method of teaching that integrates technology and digital media with traditional instructor-led classroom activities) in three different schools in West Bengal with the help of India Carbon Limited and the Govt. of West. The We Foundation’s project on blended learning project started a year back in 2022. We took up 3 schools namely Paschim Jayrampur School, Vivekananda School, and Bhola Nath School with a total of almost 200 students from primary sections (classes 1 to 5) and made them sit for a baseline assessment which served to be an indicator to track their progress after a year from the commencement of this project.
In offline classes, children were taught keeping in mind the syllabus provided by the West Bengal Government. In online classes, they were provided with e-content on subjects they faced difficulties in to help them understand the studies coherently. E-content was also provided on non-syllabus subjects like moral sciences, art and craft and certain topics in EVS as well.
Each school was provided with laptops, projectors, screens, internet data connection, white boards and markers. Every Saturday offline classes were held to train teachers how to conduct online classes. Cognizant also partnered up with The We Foundation to provide teachers with a certified course on mobile forgery, computer mastery and teach them how to send emails.
Team members from The We Foundation went to Paschim Jayrampur School on the 21 st , 23 rd , 25 th and the 28 th of March 2023 and to Vivekananda School on the 29 th and 30 th of March 2023 to conduct an endline assessment test. Questionnaires were made and students were assessed on four subjects, namely Bengali, Maths, EVS and English. The We Foundation team members interacted with not only the students but also their parents and teachers. We noticed that quite a few of the students progressed remarkably when we compared our baseline and endline report.
- Total teachers and children: 350+
- Project Duration: This was project was ongoing for a year along with 2 days allotted for Winter Camp
- Promote smart way of learning in 3 schools by converting them into smart classrooms.
- Promote development of child-friendly directly by 115 schoolteachers in 3 schools for greater access to digital education.
- Facilitate development of curriculum.
- Make government teachers accustomed to using digital appliances on their own.
- Providing them with graded reading card to make them understand about the different symbols,letters words used in writing a proper sentence.
- Inbreeding e-learning techniques of education in at least 100 children.
- Environment friendly products were used in art and craft class to make them aware about being eco-friendly.
This project was conducted in many phases. We organised offline-online classes where e-content was provided on mainly 4 subjects: English, Bengali, Maths and Environmental Science. A winter camp was also conducted for 3 days in 2 schools. Apart from these, days were allotted to teach students about the significance of certain holidays and festivals in India, for instance, Gandhi Jayanti and Christmas.
Impact and change:
- Provided every school with a laptop, white-board, projectors, projection screen, marker, and stable data services.
- Imparted the basic knowledge of computers to the government schoolteachers.
- Created a child-friendly environment at school.
Outcome: A striking change was noticed in more than 200 students after the assessment was conducted. They felt more confident and were re-assured of their capabilities, not to mention that they progressed in academics in the course of one year as well. The We Foundation along with the help of volunteers made the teachers more tech-savvy and educated them about cyber-fraudulence.
Special Case Studies:
Quite a number of students from these schools were found to have disabilities like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ASD (autism spectrum disorder), Speech Impairment and other physical disabilities.
The We Foundation took great measures to co-ordinate with special children to provide them a learning environment where they felt included and were encouraged to learn.
Some of these cases were:
Catadupe Prodhan: He is 7 years old and is currently studying in class. Satadup had to go through an open-heart surgery when he was just 2 and a half months old. It was followed by Bronchitis double Pneumonia which resulted him to go into a comatose. He suffered from paralysis which greatly affected his lungs and his other senses as well. Satadup was able to mobilize himself and move his arms and legs after undergoing physiotherapy. The We Foundation team members interacted with Satadup’s mother and received positive feedback. She is happy with our organisation’s initiative and looks forward to having Satadup under our supervision.