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Rural Programmes
 
Bodh’s rural programmes (Jan Pahal and Shikshak Pahal) are being implemented in Thanagazi and Umrein blocks in Alwar, Rajasthan, India. Jan Pahal was launched in Thanagazi block (Alwar, Rajasthan) in 2004 with the active participation of the local communities and Panchayati Raj Institutions or PRIs. It built on the experiences and learnings of the earlier Shikshanchal programme . Shikshak Pahal was initiated in 2000 in the neighbouring Umrein block, Alwar. The programme also provided an early opportunity of developing two government schools in Ahmadpur and Umrein as cluster resource schools.

The two programmes cover 35 panchayats in Thanagazi and eight panchayats in Umrein. Four bodhshalas in deprived localities in Alwar city also come under their purview. The urban extension in Alwar City happened in 2006. The two programmes reach out to about 16,500 children in Alwar (Programme MIS, January 2009). Also, responding to community demands, Manas Ganga Senior Secondary Residential School for rural adolescent girls was initiated on Bodh campuses at Alwar and Jaipur in Aug 2005. SSA, Goodearth Education Foundation and Oxfam Novib are supporting the two programmes.

Significantly, after almost a decade long engagement, the programmes are now entering a new and exciting phase with their gradual transformation into people led initiatives.

Notable achievements across the two rural programmes include a growing cadre of mother teachers (local women trained to take preschool groups at bodhshalas). This group represents a significant community resource. The 35 rural bodhshalas have managed to increase their enrollment rate to 85-100% and retention rate to more than 70%. The intervention government schools have also seen an impressive rise in enrollment and retention rates. Communities and PRIs have played a key role in almost all processes. For instance in the school infrastructure development processes, communities contributed time, labour and finances (about 30-60% of the total cost).

In their new phase, community and PRI ownership and decentralised educational development have emerged as central themes for the programmes. Thus, there is even greater emphasis on strengthening village level platforms and other fora for dialogue and action. Besides involvement in planning and monitoring, PRI representatives will also be undertaking a larger advocacy role for themselves. Capacity building and academic support (including curriculum development) would be other key areas of work for Bodh

Several emerging models of intervention would be further consolidated. These are:-

  • Developing cluster resource schools (specified bodhshalas and government schools) across the two blocks. These schools will provide academic support and also facilitate school and cluster level planning, implementation and monitoring to the others schools in their catchment areas.
  • Bodhshalas jointly managed by communities, PRIs and Bodh with increasing government support (financial and otherwise).
  • Communities, PRI and Bodh increasingly taking management control of dysfunctional/difficult to run government schools with continued government role and support.

There would be greater emphasis on working with SSA at various levels for capacity building as well as local educational planning and development. Bodh would also be partnering with SSA in an ongoing initiative focusing on education for rural girls (Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya).
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