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The Supplementary Education Program named as ‘SANKALP’ is a collective of Jesuit Social Action initiatives in South-Asia to enable access to quality and inclusive education for the poorest sections of society. Besides promoting formal education, the Jesuits have also been enhancing the educational development of the socially excluded communities in remote and inaccessible areas over the last 4-decades by conducting SANKALP Learning Enhancement Centres (LECs). SANKALP is a programme from early childhood to post-schooling and sometimes linking to livelihood and employment opportunities. Currently, the programme provides accompaniment to over 50, 000 children and youth in their learning improvement and overall development.
Reach Education Action Program
The organisation started its operations from Byculla in Mumbai and expanded to the interior of Thane district at Dolkhamb and its surrounding villages and mainstreamed a large number of most vulnerable children into schools who were living/operating in the streets, railway platforms, traffic signals as well as rag pickers and child labourers engaged in hazardous occupations.
Rural Education & Development
The organisation have made outstanding contributions in the field of rural education. READ, through its numerous rural educational programs, non-formal centres and unique strategies have brought to thousands of adults, children and youth who were otherwise excluded by the mainstream education system, the benefits of literacy and education.
Maharashtra Prabodhan Seva Manda
The organisation based in Nashik district, is committed to Rural and Tribal Awakening through Community Organization, Educational Initiatives, Economic Growth and Natural Resource Development. It focuses on community building through microfinance and economic initiatives, promoting sustainable livelihoods by creating agricultural infrastructure, community management of natural resources, organic farming and dairy development.
The Learning Enhancement Centres (LECs):
‘SANKALP’ has developed various educational strategies and interventions to cater to the needs of children from pre-school age to secondary schools keeping the Govt. School system in the centre.
The components of the ‘SANKALP’ LEC:
Each ‘SANKALP’ LEC has been set up in a remote village or hamlet in a makeshift arrangement or by using the existing government school to enable about 30-children access it. One Teacher volunteer is appointed, preferably a lady teacher from the same community, very good in their language and culture, and well trained to carry out the teaching-learning process. Sizeable research and innovation are done on curriculum, textbooks and teaching aids for effective learning.
Strong community mobilization and participation of parents, especially the women are key to the success in mobilising children for enrollment and retention in LECs as well transition to Govt, Schools. There is a good collaboration with Govt. Schools in using their space to run classes and sometimes providing one additional teacher by a SANKALP partner to the schools having only a single or two teachers. Besides, academic competencies, a lot of emphases is given on values, leadership development, life skills, spoken English and computer skills to help in their career development.
Main Target Groups and Operational States:
The Jesuits have chosen to work with the most deprived and neglected sections of the society like the street and slum children in Mumbai (generally migrated from UP, Bihar and Maharashtra belonging to Tribal, Dalit and Muslim communities); Katkaris (semi-nomadic migrant tribal community in Maharashtra); Musahars, Dom and Nuts (Mahadalits, untouchables and known as rat eaters) and Tharu, Orao and Santhal tribes in Bihar and Hazaribag, Gothi Koyas and Other Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Group(PVTG) in Andhra Pradesh and Tea Garden Workers in Assam and Darjeeling provinces (the tribal communities of central India i.e. Santhal, Munda etc. migrated more than 150-years back and work as bonded labourers). Similar engagements of Sankalp are promoted in other states.
Management and Operational System:
Each Jesuit Institution promoting SANKALP, is a registered Association which has done pioneering work for the last 3 to 4-decades and are well known for their contribution to social development. Each Institution is well served by qualified, experienced and competent personnel. The Institutions are well compliant as per the laws of the land and has good Governance Structures.
Assistancy Development Office (ADO) is a Resource and Support organization set up by the Jesuit Conference of India to facilitate technical, capacity building, monitoring and fund-raising support to strengthen the Jesuit initiative of SANKALP in South-Asia for greater impact and scale up to reach out to a larger target group.