Prajayatna has been working for more than 15 years in bringing about a systemic change in the functioning of the education system and thereby ensure quality education to all children. The work has involved working intensively with communities. In this context, we have worked towards building the institutional capabilities of the structures such as the School Management Committees, Anganwadi level Monitoring Committees, etc. The work has entailed us to work closely with the Department of Education and the Panchayat Raj institutions, Department of Women and Child Development of Karnataka, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. This has been the objective of institutionalizing community ownership of the education development process.
In partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Prajayatna has worked on several training programmes and institutional development initiatives and has been a part of several committees that has provided strategic inputs for education development at the State level at Karnataka, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
In Telangana, Prajayatna was a part of the committee that drafted the state rules for RTE and also contributed towards the design and preparation of the School Management Committee training manual for the State. In Mahabubnagar, Prajayatna has worked closely with the Department of Education in developing strategies for enrollment of out of school children and has been a part of their Special Enrollment Campaigns.
Prajayatna has worked in 22 Districts of Karnataka, 1 District in Telangana, 5 Districts in Rajasthan and 11 Districts in Uttar Pradesh with more than 10000 public (government) schools and 4000 Gram Panchayats where the focus has been on decentralizing the governance of education through working with the Committees at the school level and the Panchayats at the village, block and the district levels.
Presently we are working with the School Management Committees and the Panchayat Raj Institutions in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Besides our work on Educational Governance, Prajayatna has evolved a pioneering capability based learning initiative (Kalikayatna) for primary government schools. The Kalikayatna initiative looks at building a learner-centric environment for children by radically altering the assessment processes, introducing integrated curriculum and promoting learner groups between the classes of 1-5 in primary schools. The approach looks at a capability building approach where the teachers are strengthened to provide appropriate learning environments to children so that there is an overall development of their abilities in a non-threatening atmosphere through a continuous and comprehensive form of assessment.
The work with children led to the initiation of our work with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), with the understanding that it played a very important role in the lives of young children and built a strong foundation for them. This saw the starting of pre schools in low incomes areas where there was a lack of any ECCE facility, in partnership with the community. These experiences led to the work being extended to the government anganwadis. Here the focus has been on creating a conducive environment to ensure the holistic development of the children.
With a huge experience of direct implementation in varied contexts and challenges, the organization is presently taking forward its learning and insights to impact state and national policy and to support like-minded organizations in other states of the country.