Har Ghar School - Ensuring All Children Are Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic

 

The Problem

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a severe learning crisis amongst young children. 85% of rural households do not have access to reliable digital infrastructure necessary for online learning. Due to a lack of academic support, extensive learning losses in language and literacy is predicted amongst students. With the crisis predicted to continue into the next few months in India, schools are likely to remain shut for an extended period, thus resenting an immediate need to re-imagine education.

Our Solution

The initiative "Har Ghar School" meaning 'a school in every home' has ensured that every child builds strong foundational literacy skills by facilitating constant student-teacher interactions and parent-teacher interactions to engage in literacy development during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The solution has the following objectives -
  • a) A focus on Equity and ensuring that struggling learners beyond the
    digital divide are reached
  • b) Ensuring a reach of high-quality materials and resources reach students
    and parents.
  • c) Ensuring tracking and assessments of students during the COVID-19 pandemic,
    and constant follow-up through field teams.
  • d) Ensuring a minimized loss of learning outcomes during the pandemic.
 

Our Key Activities

Volunteer/Teacher
- Run Community
Classes

  • At least 3 classes per week for each grade (1 & 2)
  • Class size vary from 3 to 10
  • Unpaid volunteers identified and oriented across 7 districts

Print Material for
Volunteers and Students

  • Reading book and workbook developed, printed & delivered to
    each child
  • Volunteer guides and TLMs delivered
    to volunteers
  • School books delivered from schools
    to homes

WhatsApp-based
Daily Learning
Activities

  • Daily homework on WhatsApp for children who have smartphones
  • Daily instructional videos for parents to facilitate learning of the children
  • Partnership with Rocket Learning to increase engagement and monitor the coverage and engagement of families on learning through the app

Home Visits and Phone Calls by Block Coordinators

  • Visit at least two volunteers each day and give demo classes.
  • Weekly calls to volunteers/teachers
    for support
  • Monitoring of the program through visits and phone calls
 

The program began in August 2020 with 16,087 students to enable learning at home and scaled to an estimated 53,126 students in Haryana in the month of December 2020. The program was conducted until March 2021 with the support of volunteers.

 

Program Highlights

The Impact

  • 83,446+ Students
    Benefitted
  • 3,650+
    Schools Covered (Grades 1-3)
  • 5,214+
    Teachers Supported
  • 800+
    Officials Supported
  • 4 States Covered
    (Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar)

 

  • 30,000+ Community Classes every month by volunteers and teachers
  • 3,600+ Volunteers identified to support children’s learning at home
  • 1000+ Informal Assessments Weekly to track learning outcomes fortnightly
  • 83,000+ Graded Reading Books and Workbooks distributed for learning
 

Learning Improvement in COVID Times

Impact Assessment Results: Har Ghar School Program (Haryana)

An impact assessment was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the program. This followed a skills-based assessment model where students were randomly sampled in 7 districts. The skills assessed during the assessment include core literacy skills such as Varn-Akshar Pehchaan, Word Reading, Text Reading, Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills.

  • Letter Recognition = 21% increase in the students’ ability to recognize Varn-Akshar
  • Word Reading = 44% increase in the students' average ability to recognize 20 independent words
  • Reading of connected Text = 60% increase in the students' average ability to read a connected text of 20 words
  • Reading Comprehension = 80% increase in the students' average ability to answer reading comprehension questions
  • Dictation = 55% increase in the students' average ability to write 5 independent words
 

Voices From The Field

Community Volunteer Naresh

The COVID-19 pandemic has been threatening to reverse hard-won gains made in education. But we are extremely grateful and proud of our community volunteers who are now providing door-to-door support to children. Naresh, a volunteer from Uchana, Jind district in Haryana has been helping children learn safely at home!

"It's heartwarming to see marginalized families actively involved in children’s learning,” says Naresh. “It’s a practice that I hope continues even after schools reopen. It is crucial for children’s overall development to have a supportive learning environment at home."

Rohit’s Commitment

Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, individuals around the world have shown their compassion and dedication to ensure that children continue learning during school closure duration. One of those individuals is Rohit, a 19-year-old boy who lives in the Tohana, a block located in district Fatehabad, Haryana.

“I wanted every child in my community to keep studying,” says Rohit. Since the children couldn’t go to class, Rohit decided to join #HarGharSchool initiative, where classes would come to them.

“I decided to teach them with the help of LLF personnel, at my home,” he says. The ‘Umang’ workbook has given children a lot of confidence and learning support with a variety of activities. Such dedicated community volunteers have brought a new ray of hope in these unprecedented times.

 

Key Takeaways

  • The program has strengthened parent-student-teacher relationships during the pandemic.
  • Teacher motivation and willingness to support 'learning at home' was crucial in minimizing losses.
  • A combination of volunteer support, grade-level reading books, and workbooks, monitoring and assessments, volunteer and teacher-led community classes, and the support of the local leaders, school management committees led to the success of the program.
  • The access and usage of grade-level materials to students proved crucial in minimizing learning losses.