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Equity - Urban Deprived Children
Rapid urbanization has given birth to more and more slums within the city. Synonymous to this are poverty, exploitation, health problems and lack to education. The influx of the increasing population is from the rural places that has built up a mirage about city life, only accelerates the problem of housing, transportation, water supply, health benefits and education. Like Mumbai other mega cities namely, Thane, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik and Nagpur face similar challenge of contrast and constant inflow of families from other districts and States coupled with limitations on facilities like shelter has aggravated the challenge for education.

Due to uneven development on one hand, there is an acute shortage of schools with in-adequate land, while on the other hand economic compulsions force children to work and miss schooling. In view of the growing problem mentioned above there is a need to focus on education in urban areas differently. The RTE Act also compels to ensure that every child is in school and is learning well.

Learning camps for children staying in Balgruha:
Women and child welfare department runs Balgruha (Children’s home). These are hostels being run for educational purposes for children from poor families. In order to improve the learning levels of children staying in these homes, it is propose to organize learning camps in about 33 Balgruha run in 18 districts.

Objectives:-
  • To develop basic language and Maths skills in children staying in Balgruha.
  • To bring these children to the learning levels of age appropriate classes.

Strategy:-
  • About 100 students from each Balgruha will be taken up for the learning camps.
  • Diagnostic test will be conducted to determine every child’s level of learning.
  • School teachers where these children are learning will be extensively trained in child-friendly teaching learning methods to be used in learning camps.
  • Volunteers will be mobilized to provide support to teachers (2 volunteers per institution).
  • Children’s groups will be formed on the basis of diagnostic test.

Learning camps:-
In learning camps, group wise learning activities on reading, writing and Maths will be organize, children will be placed in various groups as per their level of learning. About 4-5 sessions of 3 hours session each once every month for 3 months preferably after mid-day meal will be organized.

To Map existing efforts of institutions in the Corporation areas working with hard to reach children
Objectives:-
To bring synergy between Government and civil society with the objective of:-
  • Identifying institutions working for children in difficult situation
  • Identifying children in difficult situation
  • Propose strategy to link the efforts being made by civil society and provide access to education for all.

Rationale:-
Urban surveys requires different strategies from Rural areas. Existing data collected from School Development Plan has not been able to capture the realistic figure of out of school children in Corporation Areas as they are difficult to reach through existing system of data collection. There are institutions with proven track record who are already working in this field and whose experience and understanding will be helpful in reaching to these underprivileged children.
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