Last Updated:  14/07/2020

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Project Pitch By: Christel House India

 

Proposed Project Title


Udaan -Breaking Digital Divide for uninterrupted learning

 

Thematic Area

Promotion of education, special education and vocational skills

Sub Thematic Area

Education Programs

Project Synopsis

Christel House India transforms the lives of children by breaking the cycle of poverty. We are committed to continue this momentum and good work but current situation due to pandemic is posing challenges to this. Many schools in the country have started on-line classes to mitigate the impact due to lost academic days. However that is not an ideal option for Christel House students as they don’t possess required devices and they also don’t have access to internet. As part of our Academic Continuity Plan (ACP) we are distributing printed learning material/worksheets and providing telephonic guidance, while they stay at home and stay safe. But looking at uncertainty lurking ahead we realize that it is not enough and we now need to embark into breaking the digital divide and enable our students continue their journey of uninterrupted learning by providing them with internet enabled devices.
 
 
 

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 1.0 Cr - INR 5.0 Cr
Proposed Location
Bangalore , Raipur, Chattisgarh

Key Project Partners
NGOs

Project Status
Active
 

Facts

Beneficiary Type (Primary): Children
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Youth
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 1000- 3000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done
 
 
 

Proposed Project Description

A wonderful quote by Benjamin Franklin, ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’

 

Education is the foundation for development. The ongoing crisis has affected every aspect of our world, including children’s dream of a brighter future. With the closure of schools, children are at the risk of experiencing a massive learning deficit due to unexpected interruption in their education.

 

In this unprecedented crisis, we made it our top priority to help our students and their struggling families. We believe that supporting each other is crucial, now more than ever. Therefore, despite the Christel House schools in India are temporarily closed, we have been distributing packages of food & groceries, sanitizers and face masks at regular intervals not only to the families of Christel House students but also to out-of-work migrant labours in the neighbourhood.

 

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected the Academic Year 2020-21. Although many schools in the country have started on-line classes to mitigate the impact of lost academic days, that is not an option for Christel House students. Most of the Christel House students or their parents do not own gadgets that are compatible with on-line classes, nor do they have access to the internet. The digital divide and inequities of access to learning are more glaring during the pandemic.

 

Academic Continuity Plan for the students: In order to ensure that Christel House students continue their learning process, an Academic Continuity Plan (ACP) has been put in place. Under this plan, the school is distributing printed learning material/ worksheets and providing telephonic guidance to all students. Once the worksheets are distributed, respective teachers telephonically monitor and guide students as they complete the given work assignments. Following this, the completed worksheets are collected, sanitised and handed over to the teachers for correction and evaluation while new sets of worksheets are distributed to the students for the next week.

 

This is a challenging and laborious process for the teachers, counsellors and our social workers, but this is the only way to keep our students motivated, engaged and safe during these extremely difficult times. We are confident that these measures will produce the desired results

 

Way Forward:

The Academic continuity plan and efforts briefed above is feasible for a short period of two to three months of extended school closure. Since the current COVID 19/ school lockdown is persisting, we plan to introduce on-line classes for grades 5 to 12. We expect that much of the teaching – learning for the Academic year 2020-21 will be on-line, considering the fact that the pandemic has not yet peaked in India. This necessitates a more robust and sustainable Academic Continuity Plan for Christel House students who have no access to technology at home.

 

According to a survey conducted by the Department of Public Instruction recently, only 58% of students in Grades 1 to 5, 56% in Grades 6 to 8 and 64% in grades 9 & 10 have access to smart phones and internet connectivity at home in Karnataka. The survey also quoted NSSO 75th data that says there are less than 20% households in Karnataka with an internet connection and only 10% of the households which have reported to have a computer.

 

With the goal of providing a level playing field for the Christel House students, we plan to mobilize low-cost tablets through donor support and provide them to the students along with a SIM card with data/ internet pack (SIM with data pack is needed as no internet availability in the slums/ communities where our students come from). The tablets will be formatted to ensure that the access to websites are restricted to ensure cyber safety and restrict access to age appropriate content. Teachers can then ensure 100% attendance & participation at a given time slot for each subject and conduct online assessments/ evaluation to ensure learning outcomes and conceptual clarity. This is a more effective approach as we could ensure the availability of gadgets exclusively to the students for their online classes and need not depend on the availability of their parents/ relatives to share their phones. In order to implement this plan effectively for grades 5 to 12, Christel House needs around 560 Tablets (with in-build slot for SIM card) that are compatible for conducting on-line classes via Zoom/ MS Teams and the same number of SIM cards with Data/ internet pack.

 

We plan to explore the options of financial support to procure some or all of these Tablets and the cost of recurring data/ internet charges. This will ensure the academic continuity of each Christel House student from grade 5 upwards. This could be implemented in the lower grades (KG to Grade 4) as well based on the availability of funds to procure the Tablets and SIM cards with data pack.

 

 
 

Salient Features

  1. Initiative: Last few months had been very challenging for whole world, looking at uncertainty lurking ahead we realize that we now need to embark into breaking the digital divide and enable our students continue their journey of uninterrupted learning by providing them with internet enabled device
  2. Call for Partnership: Education should liberate us to scale life and help us find solutions to the problems by reducing the divide. We are looking up to you for your support and encouragement for this mission of ours to provide equal right of education to children at Christel House.
  3. Motto: Breaking vicious cycle of poverty by providing education to underprivileged children that is directed to make them employable, independent and lead respectable life.
 

About Christel House India

Christel House is an international non-profit organisation which transforms the lives of impoverished children around the world — breaking the cycle of poverty and building self-sufficient, contributing members of society. The organisation operates eight schools internationally (United States of America, India, Mexico and South Africa) of which two schools are in India, one in Bangalore, Karnataka and the other in Atal Nagar, Chhattisgarh.


Christel House employs a holistic model of education and caters to students from some of India’s most impoverished neighbourhoods in Bangalore and Atal Nagar supporting them for 18 years (Kindergarten to Grade 12 and further five years through University and employment). The school’s interventions are bolstered by vital poverty alleviation services including high-quality, high- impact education, nutritious meals, professional health care, uniforms and transportation, psychosocial counselling, family assistance, character development, life skill training, scholarships to pursue university education, careers guidance and job placement. These services contribute to student success, as it has been well-established by the research community that healthy and well-nourished young children are more likely to reach their fullest physical, cognitive and socio-emotional potential. All the above services provided to the students are completely free.

 
 

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