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Atul Adyapika by Atul Foundation is Empowering Women & Ensuring Holistic Growth of Children

The human brain starts developing at a tender age. By the time a child is 6 or 7 years old, 90% of the brain has developed. Brain development is a part of cognitive development. This development describes how a child’s intellect grows including their thinking, learning, and problem-solving skills. 

These skills affect all the other areas of development and are a crucial period for children. During this time, they are not passive receivers of information, instead – are active learners. To support their learning process, it is important to feed their curiosity with activity-based learning, interactive games, and more. 

This is exactly what Gujarat-based Atul Foundation is focussing on. However, they have taken it up a notch by fostering sustainable socio-economic upliftment, particularly in the lives of the underprivileged. Under the flagship education program - Atul Adhyapika, the Foundation is providing quality education to children as well as empowering women who are educated but unemployed. 

Project with purpose 

Launched in 2016, the Atul Adhyapika project aims to clear concepts among primary school children to help them perform well in the middle and secondary classes. This helps to decrease the dropout rates and increases the chances of higher education. Further, it creates better livelihood opportunities and a bright future.

The core belief of this project is that every child is special and a unique gift to the universe. The curriculum and teaching practices also follow the same belief. Atul Adhyapika has five important pillars: 

  1. A unique curriculum to ensure better content delivery. 

  2. Offering individual support and exhaustive training to teachers. 

  3. The use of various methodologies in classrooms to make learning interesting. 

  4. Providing assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of the project. 

  5. Involving stakeholders in a child's learning journey.  

So who carries out the project’s vision and ensures the holistic growth of children? The Adhyapikas. 

Adhyapikas are educated but unemployed women who are passionate to serve the community and earn a living. Such women were identified from remote villages and trained to become primary teachers. Their learning includes curriculum planning, lesson planning, observing students, nurturing communication skills, and team building.

According to project reports, Adhyapikas were extensively trained for six months and placed in their own or nearby village schools. Here, the women teach basic skills of reading and learning, arithmetic, values and life skills through a thoughtfully curated, outcome-based curriculum.

Project outreach 

Since its inception, the project has extended to various villages across the country and empowered 85 women to become adhyapikas. Each teacher has impacted at least 60 students in their respective schools. 

Hence, the project has approximately benefitted 5000 children every year. 

The outcome of the project suggests that apart from academic concepts, activity-based learning also helped children express themselves through various art forms. While some grasped the concepts of teamwork and interdependence, others learned the skills of organic farming and more. 

In their teaching journey, the Adhyapikas grew personally and professionally. Apart from improving their knowledge and teaching skills, their work has also improved their status in their villages. 

Jayshreeben, a resident of Panas village, Gujarat has a Bachelor’s degree in Arts. Though she always dreamt of going to work and being an independent woman, her situation did not allow it earlier. She always dreamt of becoming a teacher. In 2017, owing to Atul Foundation, Jayshreeben became an educator and has impacted the lives of many. 

She is always curious to learn and grow in her field. 

She says, “My greatest motivation is seeing a change in my students. Once, a parent remarked that their child enjoys studying and is consistently showing improvement, after attending my classes. Hearing this motivated me to work harder and help all the children in my village.”

During the initial stages of the pandemic, Adhyapikas took up various initiatives. They taught in small groups, conducted awareness programs, conducted home visits to encourage students, and even helped set up kitchen gardens. 

Such initiatives kept children positively engaged through a tough time. 

Visit their website to know more. 

Author

Roshini Muthukumar

Roshini Muthukumar, a native of Chennai, started her career as a content writer but made a switch to journalism to pursue her passion. She has experience writing about human interest stories, innovative technology, entrepreneurs, research blogs, and more. Previously, Roshini has done internships with The Hindu, Metroplus and worked as a correspondent with The Better India.