Parikrma Humanity Foundation

Using India’s Government schools as vehicles of larger social transformation

Elementary and secondary education

Parikrma Inside:Transforming under-served communities via Government schools, using Parikrma's 360º model to deliver quality academics and critical wraparound social services for each child and family

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Lead Organization

Parikrma Humanity Foundation

Bangalore, State of Karnataka, India

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

In a vicious cycle designed to perpetuate poverty, children from the most deprived backgrounds receive the poorest education viz. India's Government schools. While improving quality of education at these schools is the critical first step, Parikrma's experience over the last 16 years, has identified other equally important elements to be put in place for sustained and broader transformation. Schools need to provide children with comprehensive nutrition, healthcare and emotional counseling. In addition, reaching out to historically under-served parents and communities in the catchment-areas of these schools through a range of services including healthcare, education, financial literacy, counseling, de-addiction and skilling is essential. Parikrma aims to embed its 360º model in 600 Government schools in Karnataka such that the schools become vehicles of transformation in the poorest communities. While it may take a village to educate a child, the village also needs to be educated along with the child

Problem Statement

Programs such as the Right-to-Education Act have resulted in near-universal enrollment in Indian primary schools. The problem, however, is that for the 113 million(65%) Indian children attending Government schools, the quality of education is so poor that even among the approximately 55-60% graduating without dropping-out, 50%+ are unemployable. Since children attending Government schools are also those from the most deprived homes, the poor state of public school education only perpetuates the cycle of poverty rather than ameliorating it. Poorly conceived curricula, inadequate/underutilized infrastructure and poorly trained, unmotivated teachers are major reasons. Another is the socio-economic background of students themselves - first-generation learners whose parents are poorly educated, struggling economically and unable to provide conducive home environments. A concerted large-scale effort using a holistic model that addresses multiple aspects of the larger problem is urgently needed. A key learning at Parikrma has been that sensitive, well-trained, motivated teachers providing high-quality educational experiences must be supplemented by wraparound services targeting children and families. Improvement in learning outcomes requires not only upgradation of curriculum design, teacher training, instructional methods etc but also comprehensive nutrition, healthcare and psychological counseling for optimum impact schooling. Family welfare measures - awareness-building workshops on issues like nutrition and hygiene, skilling for parents to upgrade them from daily to monthly income, access to psychological counseling etc are needed to create stable, nurturing homes. The child and family must be transformed together - not through a large single-pronged intervention, but through a range of small measures for sustained impact.

Solution Overview

The Parikrma 360º solution addresses both the core issue of improving Indian public school education as well as the closely-linked, larger issue of ameliorating under-served communities. It includes school-level interventions such as teacher training, expanded nutrition and healthcare, emotional counseling and introduction of better processes and infrastructure; combined with interventions for the community and parents such as awareness workshops, skilling and easier access to healthcare and counseling, the Parikrma solution aims to transform whole communities bottom up and inside-out.Progress among children may be objectively measured through standard metrics of learning outcomes, behavior and emotional development. Family interventions can also be objectively evaluated through quality of living, income and nature of employment measures. Over time, as Parikrma has shown, the children grow into happy, stable and educated adults.The concomitant improvement in the quality of life at home provides a better support structure to children allowing them to realistically aim at college and well paying jobs. On a larger scale, the Parikrma model, implemented in the population of Government schools has the ability to break the current self-perpetuating cycle of deprivation at the lowest end of the pyramid, by giving India's youth a real chance to bootstrap themselves out of the circumstances they were born into.This kind of impact has clearly been seen within Parikrma, where 100% of students go onto college and well paying careers. Families too have moved out of slums, with parents enjoying greater awareness, income and quality of life. (Roy Chowdhury, A. & Bose, S. (2018))

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