– Innovative science education provided to the children inCoimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Without causing any break in the education of rural underprivileged kids during ongoing pandemic,Larsen & Toubro Public Charitable Trust (LTPCT)has taken education at the doorsteps of more than 23,000 under-privilegedchildren in rural areas across multiple statesthrough its flagship program ‘Vidya’.
As the pandemic has forced India’s schooling system into a digital divide, Larsen & Toubro’s charitable trusthas collaborated with SAP’s CODE Unnati – a corporate-to-citizen, digital literacy and IT skills development initiative by SAP India through community and parental engagement model. Two prominent NGOs working in the education field, Pratham Education Foundation and Agastya Foundation, joined hands in conducting digital educational activities and science education programs during the most difficult period of pandemic and lockdown.
Commenting on this program’s success, a L&T Spokesperson said: “During the global pandemic, the social responsibility of many companies was targeted towards their own employees, their families and their immediate communities. But the public charitable trust by Larsen & Toubro (LTPCT) has always managed to make good on its commitments to the society at large.”
Project Vidya conducted online summer camps, special radioprograms for tribal students in the hinterlands of Talasari, a tribal block in Palghar district of Maharashtra. It also conducted online classes for class 10th students in Gujarat and engaged in innovative science education in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu,Talasari, Ahemdanagar, Talegaon in Maharashtra, Kharel, Navsari, Hazira, Surat, Vadodara in Gujarat, Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, as well asFaridabad in Haryana. The LTPCThas also conducted online teachers training program in Gujarat.
Vidya leveragedon the parental engagement in Talasari. Thismodel involvesappointing ‘Cluster Resource Persons’ (CRP) and Sancharaks, who are either mothers or young graduates from the same community, trained in early childhood content, parenting,counselling and digital education. They are assigned families in the area to whom they provide support through calls and home visits. Currently, the education sessions are conducted over calls and WhatsApp.
“While structures and strategies are being put in place, what is needed for the children at rural and low-income communities is a bit more parental engagement and supervision. Parental counseling encourages children to learn to engage in self-study, develop new interests or learn to look at things through a lens and realise importance of learning during the pandemic times.” added the spokesperson.
The CRPs, Sancharaks connected with the students and local community through WhatsApp groups and conducted digital summer camps. Every morning, the CRPs would post tasks to students on the groups and students would share their work and experience back in the group by the end of the day. Initially conducted craft activities and simple science experiments during these online summer camps.
In Gujarat, they conducted Teacher Training Program covering 7 talukas and reached out to 700 plus teachers. In the state, Vidya by LTPCT created videos for 10th standard students to explain science topics like electro-magnetism, the complexities of the human brain, types of chemical reactions, etc. They also conducted online classes for Class 10th students in the state.
Additionally, LTPCT Ahmednagar created and shared exciting stories from the life of many scientists with the underprivileged students. The Ahmednagar and Talegaon teams also participated in the ‘Youth Challenge’ organized by UNICEF and Design for change. While in Coimbatore, Vidya team conducted COVID Safety precautions activities such as making masks, hand wash techniques. Personality development activities were also conducted for the residents of the area.