Namaste Public?s flagship program, Read public, helps to improve the reading, writing and basic arithmetic skills of the children in the age group of 6-14 years. Even though Uttar Pradesh has made significant strides in improving the enrollment levels of the children, a lot still needs to be done as far as the learning levels are concerned. Findings of SPER 2012-13 revealed that a significant percentage of children could not read, write and even do basic arithmetic.
Read Public was therefore launched on a State scale in 2012 to help achieve the following objectives:
? All Std I children know at least alphabets & numbers. ? All Std II children can read at least words & do simple sums. ? All Std III-V children can at least read simple texts fluently & confidently solve arithmetic problems.
Read Public seeks to catalyze existing resources and energize structures to strengthen children?s learning. The campaign is being executed with the help of school teachers, anganwadi workers and volunteers, who are mobilized and trained by Namaste Public teams. While the school teachers work inside their schools, volunteers and anganwadi workers work with children and their mothers outside school. Partnerships have been forged with 2 primary schools for the implementation of the program.
Urban Learning Centres
Namaste Public establishes Learning Centres in communities where it is possible for us to find space to start one, as well as get children who can pay a nominal fee. This fee is vital in creating a self-sustaining educational facility within the given community wherein the program will have continuity in future even without external funding. Given Namaste Public?s focus on sustainability in educational development, it is vital that the teachers, students, parents and community members have an active stake in the program. Therefore, while the fee collected from each student is minimal, the collection goes towards giving the community ownership of the program.
These learning centres are a one or two room structure on a rental basis, where classes run from morning to evening at regular hours. In communities where there is a lack of space, satellite centres (space available for conducting 1 or 2 classes of 2 to 3 hours each) are set up. These satellite centres would be linked to the nearby main centre and would be monitored through the main centre. Capacity building conversational English classes for children as well as adults will also be conducted in the learning centres. These centres will be focused towards delivery of higher quality.
Programs conducted in the Learning Centre
Learning support classes for Std. I to VII: Subject specific learning support classes for children from Std. V to VII are conducted within the Learning Centre. The subjects dealt with at these centres include language, math, English, science, etc. The Learn to Read and Read to Learn techniques created by Namaste Public are employed while teaching.
English: Namaste Public designed English conversation classes would be conducted at the centres. While these classes will primarily focus on building conversational abilities in English, they will also aid the child in negotiating grade appropriate text books in four domains.
Excellency Classes (Scholarship Classes): These classes are conducted for Std. IV children to prepare them for the Government conducted Scholarship exam. This includes three subjects, namely, language, math and intelligence. Namaste Public designed curriculum, based on the Std. IV scholarship syllabus, is taught to the children.
Classes for the Pre-Primary Children (age 4 ½ to 5 ½ years): Namaste Public conducts classes for children between the age group of 4 ½ to 5 ½ years to prepare them for Std. 1. Through Balwadi classes and Shishuachayan activities, Namaste Public creates a strong foundation among the children, thereby, enabling them to deal with the school syllabus with ease.
Classes for Std. 10 children who are dropouts and help them to appear for exam: The Lucknow team deals with children who are drop outs and prepares them to reappear for the U.P. Board conducted Std. 10 examination. This includes children from the slum communities, working/non working adults, anganwadi workers, teachers from Namaste Public programs, etc. Classes are conducted at the learning centres on a regular basis for duration of 3 to 5 hours daily.
The class is conducted by teachers who are trained by Namaste Public Master trainers. Each class runs for 2 hours. 10 to 12 communities in and around the Learning centre are covered. The remaining communities are covered with similar classes being conducted through satellite centres.
Vocational Skills Programme
The Skills Training Program This program is targeted at the economically disadvantaged youth in the 18-30 year age group. India has a large percentage of youth who have not been able to complete their formal education and also do not have the required vocational skills to be gainfully employed.
Namaste Public?s Skills Training Program tries to 1) Train youth in market relevant skills such as banking, agriculture, hospitality etc. and 2) Help them start their own businesses.
This program was started in 2012 and currently there are 5 centers across Uttar Pradesh. Over 1500 youth have been trained. Namaste Public has partnered with Analize Infotech to provide training in the computer industry, with Marwadi Horel to provide training in the hospitality industry, with Satya Agrovet to provide training in Agriculture, with Alpha banking Institute to provide training in Banking and Financial Services and is about to start a partnership with V-MART Group to provide Retail Training. The program is also training youth in basic foundational skills to make them eligible for employment and training.Training is also given to youth who are in conflict with the law and are in prisons. The entrepreneurship support program is in the nascent stages.