Vibha-DSS Outreach Workshop was a 3 day event being organized by Vibha in collaboration with Door Step School in Pune, India from Dec 6 – Dec 8 2012. This post summarizes the third day of the event.
The final day was reserved for sessions which equipped the participant with working knowledge of the model and various how-tos with regard to the model’s practical implementation. Mrs. Zankhana Patel started the day by sharing a step-by-step working strategy for the participants to get started on the DSS model at their respective locations.
The first session was conducted by Gauri Gokhale, Associate Director – DSS. It is a big challenge for DSS to find and recruit teachers who would be willing to work for below-average salaries in tough conditions. Add to that the importance of proper handling of these kids, some of which experience very unpleasant domestic conditions. Her talk revolved around the training the teachers and supervisory staff on aspects like using the educational aids, behavior towards children and educational policies and laws.
Next up was a session by Ankita Yadav, Associate Director – DSS, who threw light on the various phases of setting up an Educational Activity Center [EAC] at a construction site. She covered in detail the following – identification of construction sites, discussion with builders and parents, site and budget preparation, negotiations, infrastructure and setup, setting up the centre team, procurement of materials for EAC, signing of MoU with builders, parent engagement and inauguration of EAC. This was a rather long, yet important session which extended on both ends of the lunch break.
Next, Ravindra Mahamuni, Associate Director – DSS, conducted a session of day-to-day operations at an EAC. The major core activities comprises of school enrolment, balwadi, conducting literacy classes and study classes. The support activities include crèche management, arranging school transport and conducting extra-curricular activities. The managerial activities comprised of data collection and impact monitoring, project management, quality management and adhering to reporting guidelines. This was followed by a session on Budgeting and Financial Reporting by Varsha Jadhav, the framework for which was shared with all the participants.
Towards the end of the day, Jayshree Tai presented the participants with various partnership options with DSS to launch similar initiatives. The concluding session was conducted by Mrs Zankhana Patel, wherein she urged the participants to evaluate the feasibility and implement the EAC model. DSS had also organized an exhibition-cum-sale of various educational aids used by its EAC teachers and support staff. The participants also had the opportunity to experience the School on wheels – an initiative of DSS for kids living in slums.
It’s too soon to comment on the impact of the workshop. Nonetheless, it was a creditable effort by Vibha and DSS to scale a well-proven model to newer geographies.