Education


Children Resource Centre’s

The effective Child Rights approach had widened into the villages with starting up of Children Resource Centers. While these Resource centers are primarily tuition centers, more concentration was given in the developing of talents and cognitive abilities of the children. With spaces for buildings generally contributed by Community, SPEECH had built up several Children Resources Centers in the form of an accessible building to all Children of the Communities.

Play and recreational materials were supplied in the Resource Centre’s ensuring all Children irrespective of their age come and enjoy the swings and the ladder. Little Children joyfully oscillate in the swings has turned a regular feature in the villages. These Resource Center children got also exposure to new Worlds. Through Children Summer Camps, which began in 2001, they continue to participate in tour, in extracurricular and personality development trainings and yoga. Girls and Boys consider these experiences as life time ones to enriching their potential to combat with the World full of lopsided systems. As for the INDUS schools are concerned, in the total area of Sivakasi only 57 Schools now comparing to the 128 Schools in 1992. Thus a considerable change has happened in the Children Education from Child Labor to more Schooling and Higher Studies

Higher Education Assistance

To provide opportunities to children to escape from deprivation of education and fuller utilization of their education skills and prevent hem form forced employment due to family economical and other conditions.

The child right protection committee analyzed the education standard of the village and found that children are dropping out of schools and forced into child labor due to non availability of opportunities for higher education. They designed a higher education committee with the help of SPEECH.

As a first step the local groups like self help group and youth club, prominent people in the villages and industries in and around the village were approached for educational fund for the children of the village.   In addition SPEECH self help groups also gave a considerable amount as educational fund and formed a high level committee consists of  7 men and 7 women among the prominent persons of the village. This group with the approval of CRPC gave a grant of Rs20000/- for the welfare of the children. Children are selected for higher education based on the following criteria.

  • Children of the widows and destitute.
  • Children who are the first generation literates in the family.
  • Higher education for girl children .
  • Challenged children.
  • Children should be of the village

Applications are collected from children and are selected based on the above criteria and loans are being provided.

Children Library

Reading only makes children to grow to their full potentiality in scientific, mathematical, general knowledge, technological aspect and other issues pertaining to their community. Through this education process the children knowledge will be enhanced and they can participate in different children meetings, school competitions and community discussions. By providing books and Audio Visual resources in other words knowledge, we are giving a helping hand to the all-round development of the children. We are ensuring both the developmental and participatory rights to the children. It becomes an educational learning for the family and friends when the child shares his/her knowledge received from the library.

The rural children from marginalized community incurably lack access to essential books and literature.  This is mainly due to the increase in cost of the books and literature and the parents are not able to afford those by themselves. Thus it is important to make provision for pooled reading and access opportunity in the form of village level children libraries managed by the child right protection committees and the local woman federation members and children themselves.

The need of village level children library was evolved in the CRPC representatives meeting, where boys, girls, men and women took decision for the formation of libraries in 3 villages. Consolidating the need base and the outcome of the meetings, a detailed proposal was sent to CCFC which was approved immediately. As CRPC members and children played leading role from planning, implementation of the project took place as per schedule. The formed committees shared their recommendation for the libraries in the following focuses

  • Choice of books and the Audio Visual resources for the libraries
  • Maintenance of the books and the other resource materials with proper records
  • Ensuring that the children use the library for the set cause
  • Book shelve models and other needed furnishings
  • Ease reading arrangements to be installed in the library
  • Lighting patterns , suggested CFL bulbs, as they withstand electric fluctuations
  • Records to be maintained and people in charge for the librarie

Taking in to serious consideration of the above mentioned recommendations Libraries for children were established in Kanmaipatti, A Laksmiapuram and in Kongankulam villages.

Variety of books, around 600 numbers for each library, on the recommended thematic areas purchased, arranged in a children friendly book shelves thematically, for the easy access of children. Knowledge enhancement AV materials (DVDs/CDs), 35 each for the libraries have been supplied. Specially designed reading tables and sitting stools were also provided for the comfortable reading experience. Additional lights provision also provided (CFL) for the children to better use the books.

Expect for KMP centre, which is owned by the Women groups, other two buildings are owned by the village Panchayat, for which proper written permission have been obtained, to run children libraries. During the project was progressing communities of all three villages came forward not only to cleanup the building surroundings but also took up the interior painting work and handed over to us for the library. CRPC also have promised the children to give subscription for some of the daily / monthly magazines and update the libraries with new books every year.

A children’s library with good audio visual facilities will help children with easy learning and enhance literacy skills enabling them with rich information to participate and contribute to the surrounding community.Children have started using the libraries regularly and through these

libraries the children capacity or knowledge on various subjects like literature, science, technology and general knowledge will surely be enhanced.

Children Park

Rural children, especially our target group of marginalised children, who are vulnerable to fall victim to child labour situation, lack access not only to proper education but also to recreation even to play. This is mainly due to the non accessibility involved for play materials and the low level of affordability of the families. Thus it becomes important to make provision for pooled play space and opportunity in the form of child centred children's parks managed by the child right protection committees and by the children in the most remote working villages.

The idea first emerged at the AOP planning meeting where the need to have a special place for children emerged from the participated representatives from the CRPC committees. The reps especially from Nathikudi and Laksmiapuram went one step further saying that they already have started demanding special play spaces for children from local panchayats.

As soon as we got the approval for children parks we contacted the CRPC’s of Nathikudi and Laksmipuram and participated in special meetings in the villages for the procedures and planning for the proposed parks. We all agreed to involve children in the establishment of the children parks at all level. We also had an additional advantage of having Palar Panchayats in both villages, with extremely high spirited children. Our staff had no hesitation in handing over the complete planning and other essentials to children and to the CRPC of the respective villages.  The following were considered essentials by the children and the CRPC

  • The need of a common space (1000 sq ft) within the village, preferably near the local school
  • Written approval letter from the panchayat president to use the specific space identified by the children for the establishment of the parks
  • Joint agreement between the school authorities and the CRPC to have additional responsibilities as far as the maintenance of the park is concerned.
  • Fencing and sand filling are essential to ‘play safe’
  • Placement of the play materials within the provided space is to be decided by the children
  • Construction and erection of the play materials are to be carried out by the local masons
  • Parks will be open only during the morning and evening hours.

Everyone agreed, the activity is over within three weeks and we now have two children parks standing in the heart of the villages, receiving children happily. Within the parks, we now have a slide, see saw and merry go round and etc, fenced and sand filled for the children to spend their free times with their friends.

  • On the outset the newly established children’s park aims
  • To facilitate the right of every child to play for physical development
  • To enable children from poorer section to access to play materials and be cost effective 
  • To encourage children to become confident and competent to shape their future

Vocational training to Children

SPEECH started to give vocational training to Children. It provided Tailoring Skills, Simple wiring and Two Wheeler Mechanism to young boys and girls. Thus the Children and young ones were turned away from hazardous activity to safer activities. From educating drop outs to regular schooling started as regular feature. The National Child Labor Schools by this time were transformed into Schools of INDUS supported by USAID. They were also called “Moon School”.  Assistance to Children attending the INDUS school was also increased by the Government. All this had resulted in the redemption of Children from fire industries more in the SPEECH working area. The enrollment at local Schools increased. Teachers gifted “Child Labor Children” responsibilities in talent competitions at Schools and at inter Schools. Such measures were to ensure a drive for 100% school enrolment.

SPEECH had sharpen perspective to approach the issues of children from ‘Relief’ to ‘Rights’.   “Child Rights” continued as focus from then on to take the message of importance of mainstream schooling and health care. As sensitization process, SPEECH adopted using different cultural and folk art media for information and awareness creation among both the children and their parents.

 

Programmes in SIVIAKASI


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