Children’s Learning & Development Centres (CLDC) cum Bridge Schools – AJSA India
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Children’s Learning & Development Centres (CLDC) cum Bridge Schools

Children’s Learning & Development Centres (CLDC) cum Bridge Schools

Problem Statement- Odishas Kalahandi, Bolangir and koraput, popularly known as KBK REGION is considered as the one of the most backword region of the country and some parts of western Odisha remain least developed where issues like migration, child selling, starvation death and farmer suicides are a regular phenomenon.

Because of various compelling situations and frequent natural disasters like drought and other push and pull factors migration is rampant in this region. Out of three million migrants in Odisha, half of them are from this area. They toiled and boil in factories, brickklins, construction works and other work sites in different cities of India

Migration” the alternate survival strategy of western Odisha, has not only risked the basic education of children who migrate with their parents every year for six to eight months, thereby children’s splitting their lives for equal period in two different locations that is origin and destination of migration in each year and also it results in them getting exploited as child laborers. While the elders migrate out due to poverty and debt, they drag along their school going children, forcing them to drop out of education. About 45% of the total enrolled children are drop out to join their parents to far off places. In addition they turn as child laborers and suffer in the harsh working conditions in brick kilns. Children of migrant workers are the silent sufferers. Children are tortured mentally and physically to be a child laborers from their very childhood, and their childhood are lost. Children of school-going age are deprived of their rights to education. Girl children endure even more deprivations than boys.

To address existing challenges related to child labour and education – AJSA(Anchalika Jana Seva Anusthan) has established 50 Bridge Schools cum Children’s Learning cum Development Centres (CLDC) in 10 panchayats of Bolangir, Kalahandi and Kandhamal Districts of Odisha, where more than 3500 migrant children, child labors, tribal girl children and other education deprived children’s have been enrolled and getting free quality primary education and health care facilities since 2014.

Through this major unique initiative AJSA is trying to increase the literacy rate, ensuring 100% enrolment of tribal girls and education deprived children In Government Schools as well as in Bridge Schools cum CLDCs. Children are being taught in mother tongues through the game and joyful learning process. The curriculum includes basic mathematics, science, history, geography, basic odia, English language fundamentals. Special classes of yoga, vocational skill and development. Behavioural change education, prevention of child sexual abuse/child labour and games are also the part of the curriculum. Besides these regular prayers, oath taking maintaining health, through hand WASH methods and exercise are also being imparted across the centres.

AJSA has recruited the local unemployed youth, widows and tribal girls to run the bridge schools as barefoot teachers. For the smooth running of schools and to ensure community ownership of Village education committees and Parent Teachers associations have been strengthened. Besides these Govt. school teachers, Women groups and local youths are being motivated to monitor and ensure functional bridge schools.

AJSA has also partnered with district and block education authorities, besides villagers to provide school and community building for running these centers. Educational, science, games and skill & knowledge development materials and skits are provided for imparting proper education to children’s.

Major Objective and vision

The major objective of this programme is to increase and supplement the literacy rate of tribal girl children and other education-deprived children in tribal-prone regions by giving them proper child-friendly space along with proper values, knowledge and aspirational skills.

Major Objectives

  • To increase the literacy rate among the tribal girls
  • To enroll the drop-out and Non-school going girl children/child labors and migrant children’s in the schools
  • To provide health and education facilities to the tribal girl children who are otherwise deprived from education
  • To make the government accountable for the education of the girl children and make the government schools functional
  • To provide and promote joyful learning in the CLDCs and to build foundation and aspirational skills of students

Uniqueness of the Model/Justification

There is an African proverb if you will educate a boy, you will educate a family. But if you will educate a girl, you can educate the whole community. The said project is just an attempt to translate the said idea into action. Through the bridge school model- AJSA has given special emphasis to educating the girl child and school dropout/child labors.

Through this initiative, AJSA has created 120 child labour free, Child Marriage Free and child sexual abuse-free model villages In Bolangir, Kalahandi and Kandhamal. And over 3500 education-deprived children’s are enrolled in education including 2258 child labors. A remarkable change of growth has been observed in our operational villages, and both the children and their parents are now very interested to join in Bridge school. It reflects that the rate of non-school-going children has been reduced remarkably and transformed into regular school-attending students. To ensure the regularisation of different child centred schemes of the Government i.e Sarba sikhya Abhiyan, Mid Day meal program, Anganwadi facilities etc. AJSA has been creating create advocacy in the operational villages by organising frequent meetings and consultations with key stakeholders. Similarly, AJSA is also creating awareness among people about education and child labor issues through different awareness drives and campaigns.

And to address the problems related to migration, AJSA has been trying to leverage/ linkage more resources from Government schemes like MGNREGA,OLM etc. to create alternate livelihood options in the village level. This enables the communities to get livelihood opportunities at their own village and they are staying back from migration. Now we have been witnessing a decreasing migration ratio in the operational areas and the community people are staying back from migration and their children also free from problems related to child labor.

Major Outcomes

Now education has a new perspective in the tribal villages of Bolangir, Kalahandi and kandhamal. Now through this unique initiative over 1500 children are getting basic education.  Special emphasize has been given, to educate the girl child and school dropout/child labours.

As a result of the project intervention, demand for Primary Education in this area has been increased. This project is acting like a spark plug for the education deprived children’s and supplementing their regular school education. Where they are not only getting education but also they are getting morals and cultural values, and they are acting as the agents of change in their society.

Since its implementation the programme has created a huge positive impact in the education scenario of Bolangir, Kalahandi and Knadhamal. And problems like child labor, school dropout, poor education standard have been the things of the past. As the model programme has been widely accepted and appreciated by the Government, INGOs, UN Bodies and other stakeholders as well.

Major Achievements

  • 120 Child labor-free, Child Sexual Abuse free and Child Marriage free village has been created in Bolangir, Kalahandi and Kandhamal.
  • Educated Over 10,000 girl children sensitized on prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Menstrual Hygiene, Self Defence, Prevention of child labor and child marriage. And now these students are educating and empowering their peers and families on the above said aspects. Now, this movement has spread across 3 districts of Odisha.
  • 3578 students are free from child labour and getting quality education through a joyful learning process in Bridge schools.
  • 2035 childrens stayed back from Migration in 2020-21 and continuing their education

Since 1989 AJSA is creating awareness in Kalahandi and Bolangir through “Padhi Padhiba Sampoorn Sakhyarata Abhiyan” by involving over 2000 volunteers in Campaign Mode. By looking after previous track record and achievements- Stock Holding Corporation Of India Limited (SHCIL) a company of Govt. of India extended its support to strengthen this movement further in tribal areas, especially to ensure tribal girl children literacy. Beside this the community members of our operational areas contributing 10-20 rupees per month to cater the need of house rent and other maintenance cost.

Future Plans

  • To increase in nos of Bridge school centers
  • To empower and sensitize at least 50000 adolescent girls on Menstrual hygiene, prevention of child sexual abuse and child marriage by 2025
  • To ensure the Prevention of child sexual abuse in every school through awareness programs
  • To establish a good and hygienic environment in every school.
  • To create and declare 500 villages as the Child Labour free, child sexual abuse free and child marriage-free village

Empowering the Childrens and Sowing the seeds of change

Glimpses of our work