A grassroot organization has the advantage of knowing people, culture, and political environment and can take the innovation and better implement it on the ground. Grassroots initiatives are community-based approaches created to address problems at a localized level. Moreover, projects backed by local organizations can quickly gain momentum because they are generally enacted by people in local communities. In a country like India a lot of the population is rural based and dependent on agriculture. There is a great need to work on various issues at the grassroots level. Creating awareness and sensitizing the population comes first. The importance of NGOs working for early childhood education at grassroots specifically in this context takes priority.
Education for Meaningful Progress
Education is the backbone of any grassroot campaign. Only an educated society can make meaningful progress. It is important therefore to raise awareness about issues such as education for children from an early age. There is a need to communicate effectively why it is such a concern. A higher level of visibility garners more support locally. Information can be used as power to make a difference, thus increasing the collective impact of the group. NGOs like Smile Foundation, working at the grassroots level can act as a catalyst. A lot of change can be bought in rural areas and urban slums. There is a section of population who either have first generation learners or have children of school going age. Most of the children are still out of schools. They mostly engage in daily wage earning.
Implementation of NEP for Early Childhood Education
The implementation of NEP 2020 pitches for a “5+3+3+4” design. It corresponds to the age groups 3-8 years which is the foundational stage. Next comes the age 8- age 11 which is the preparatory stage. 11-14 is the middle stage and 14-18 is the secondary stage. This change in policy brings early childhood education (also known as pre-school education for children of ages 3 to 5) under the ambit of formal schooling. NGOs working for education therefore will now be key players in remote, rural settings. They will thus act as catalyst to bring children of age 3-5 under the folds of education.
India is a vast country with a huge demographic and geographic divide. Hence, NGOs working for education play a key role in bringing people together. They play an important role in supporting the most vulnerable children access their Right to Education through innovative ideas. Firstly, by holding awareness workshops with parents they ensure that children are sent to school. Secondly, parent committees are formed to ensure that schools are run properly and that the children receive proper care and nutrition.
Awareness and Sensitization
The country is currently facing dynamic challenges in the realm of education. There is a need to implement policies in accordance and generate awareness amongst key stakeholders. Firstly on the importance of receiving education, imparting education, mobilization of society and engage communities for the delivery of education that is both productive and sustainable and in time can secure gainful employment for the beneficiary. It is the amalgamation of efforts by the government, not-for-profit organizations, societies, communities, corporates and individuals which can lead towards a successful approach in stitching customized and pragmatic solutions.
Smile Foundation an NGO working for education reaches over 48,000 children through 156 Mission education centers in 21 states every year. Cluster classes, remedial classes, mainstreaming children to formal schools are some of the activities done under Mission Education.
To know more about Smile Foundation’s initiative on education visit https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/me/