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The modern man caught in a world of crashing values has become a part of the madding crowd. He is wholly, ignorant of his power to shape his own destiny and that of society. Only individuals who have developed their own potential can contribute to the welfare of others. History is replete with examples of persons who cultivated their qualities of head and heart to be able to help their fellow countrymen. Their life is judged by how it touches the life of others.
Community Outreach is the practice of conducting awareness activities, the way how we influence the individual units of society by strong helping the weak and the fortunate helping the less fortunate. It can encompass a range of intervention and approaches including community meetings, training sessions with people, street plays, cultural activities, marches and demonstrations. Evidence shows that these mediums can produce positive change in the attitude and behaviour of society. It is basically many projects with a single goal: creating concrete practical differences in the lives of those who are down trodden, struggling for those who could pull themselves up out of destitution if only someone would extend a helping hand.
Providing financial aids for widows and victims of poverty and disability, establishing Care Homes for the Elderly can entrench a tranquil, supportive atmosphere for those who have no one else to look after them. Extending hope and solace to the prisoners helps to restore faith in their own goodness, making them realize that someone might still accept them, regardless their past. This faith gives them hope for the future and strength to persevere in their efforts to join the main stream of life.
'Community Outreach' in true sense should be beyond the rhetoric of the word outreach providing the various resources with a significant role and resilient environment, away from legal limitations, so that they could function efficiently.
Due to globalization, imperative values of yester years have taken a backseat. Informal agencies like family, community have realized the explosiveness of the situation. Educational institutions especially schools are playing a vital role in sensitizing the children towards social issues like Global Warming, Corruption , Increasing Population and so on â€¦â€¦â€¦ Exhibitions, Nukkad Natikas and plays organized by the school stand apart from the crowd in the sense that they do something different by creating a conducive environment.
Yes, our school children can be the living harbingers of change by developing propinquity with the society.
'Satyamev Jayate' being telecast on Star Plus recently stands testimony that conscience of the general folk is not lost somewhere, but it is deep rooted in the subconscious mind lying latent dormant awaiting a spark. The social issues raised by Amir Khan have not fallen from the clouds but were lingering around us languished in silence. The way it touched the heart of people the way it aroused the curiosity of every age group is incredible, reinforcing the influence of emphatic outreach.
It takes years to change the society but it takes a fraction of second to change the mindset. The clarion call is on. Lets all be driven away by the passion to single mindedly pursue our vision for the upliftment of the society. Lets embark upon a new horizon of co-operation because we shoulder the divine responsibility of social change.
DAV CENTENARY PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROHTAK, HARYANA
AN ARTICLE FOR CENBOSEC
The verbal meaning of it is to reach community for awareness and health. The education empowers us with a lot of capacities to bring a change in society. If the society is aware with the recent trends of education it can give drastic change. As per the past periods the education couldn't be scored by everyone and they couldn't reach to their proper destinations. As a result they couldn't understand the meaning of life and its importance.
Now the education is directly linked with life. Even teachers and students can play a major role in it to give the best result to communicate easily with the community.
CBSE has already initiated lots of programmes through which the educational institutes can enrich the community. In today's date the recent name is 'Smart classes' through which everyone is aware of the upholding and outgoings in the community. With the help of this the adults of today's generation are able to get complete education by this we can eradicate polio, we can secure environment protection programmes to keep them safe and sound. Community and its harmony are inter-related.
Firstly, the students should get to know the meaning of community. They shouldn't have the feeling of hatred and poison to inject their body badly.
It should be in their inner conscious that community is today and will be tomorrow for ever. Awareness of each and every topic should be taught to them.
Secondly, after getting the knowledge they are trained to distribute their known acknowledgements. We all love to have democracy so the society members like to have community.
CBSE with its full effort has well maintained the graphic level of community as in comparison to the past. A child should have the proper knowledge of education, adolescence; safety rules its all with the help of community but its outreach.
So to capture it we should be like an eagle as in search of its food.
Gain the love of community without any pain.
Today's generation members are patience less and aggressive natured so their capturing power of harmony is decorating. They have less peace of mind. With the help of CBSE Programmes it helps community in the awareness traffic methods, vigilance awareness, Sadh Bhawna Programme, Quomi Ekta Programmes and Road Safety.
Younger generation can make a big impact on social awareness. If both the teachers and students plan a systematic programmes then the whole world will be benefited as they are the pillars of the society.
Mass awareness programmes for adverse impact of population increase literacy also can bring up positive change in society. It is very essential now that communication outreach should; be a compulsory agenda for all the Institutions.
The future citizens of India are studying in our school and they must take a pledge to reach community by street place competitions like poster Exhibitions and Public Meetings.
The people of India can be enlightened as the major of the population lives in villages and slum areas. It is the need of time that we should reach to communicate to bring out the change. If the young people take the challenges to outreach to communicate and be in favour to do the selfless service.
If we all follow the footsteps of good will and welfare to be in community then not only a child but even a young and adult can have the fruit of it. Which is very tasty and free of cost.
India will be converted into a happy and prosperous community, which will be included in every aspect of human life. Because if peaceful mind, co-operation, mutual understanding and other practical potentialities then it's a moral giving community. Because we all love to have a keen gathering and communal harmony.
That is the dream of our leaders and stakeholders. We must appreciate the major efforts taken by the CBSE to make Students and Teachers aware about community outreach.
"So join hands together to have together a good community because it's our major Duty."
Dr. S. V. Sharma
COMMUNITY OUTREACH FOR BETTER HEALTH
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan
A school cannot be an island in society. It is an integral and indispensable part of the society. The school has to cater to the needs and aspirations of the society though it is primarily meant for educating the young ones. They should connect themselves with the society around them and have a fruitful symbiotic relationship. It is not a new phenomenon and the past is replete with instances of such happy outreaches. Sometimes it is only the infrastructure of the school put into use for the community and at other times, the teachers serving for the cause of society beyond their call of duty.
At recent times, it is the turn of the students to reach out to the community. The learning has taken new meanings and it takes place outside the four walls of the classroom. Nowadays, the students reach out to the community as a part of their learning experience. The students come into contact with people and their interaction helps them build knowledge. Learning is rooted in their surrounding environment. The learning in the outdoors could be an extended activity of the classroom or application of the knowledge gained inside the classroom.
The society is facing numerous problems, some very closely affecting the health of the people. One such problem is fluoride levels in ground water and soil. At minute levels, the fluoride strengthens the enamel in our teeth but a slight excess can cause debilitating effect on the human body. Flourosis can make the bones deformed and brittle. The people are not even aware that they are consuming the toxic water and when they realisation dawns it is too late to reverse the process. No corrective measures are possible after a stage of the onset of fluorosis.
When the organisations 'Arghyam', along with 'Oracle Thinkquest' launched a project related to involve the school students in detecting fluoride levels in drinking water resources around their immediate environment, a new initiative of community reach was in the offing. The organisation provided kits to test the level of fluoride in different water samples and report them systematically. A manual containing all the details was also provided. The tests were easy to perform and a fun filled activity for the students. The students came forward to involve themselves in this project.
The results poured in from different parts of the country and the student volunteers had become members of a great enemy fighting the scourge of fluorosis. The kind of survey could have been carried out by health agencies of state governments or some other professional bodies. But the involvement of the school and the children had a greater purpose. The children had to be sensitised over issues that affected the society. As it is aptly said, we have not inherited this planet earth, but we have borrowed it from our future generations. It is our prime duty to understand that over exploitation without sustained development can cause havoc to this fragile planet.
The project was carried out by teams of students under the guidance of a teacher. The analysis was carried out as per the instructions in the manual supplied. The results were loaded on to the web site in the prescribed manner. The students uploaded photographs also of the activity carried out. The experience was a memorable one for everybody participated as they were not only learning something but had the satisfaction of reaching out to the community.
The students had enthusiastically talked about this project amongst their friends, family members and the people. They themselves were aware of the problem of fluorosis and they succeeded in spreading the message. Students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Khanapara, Guwahati went a step ahead. They did not stop at finding the fluoride levels of different water sources around the city. They extended their project to find solutions. They developed a simple method of reducing flouruide levels by treating the polluted water by using indigenously available material. They had gone into the chemistry behind the process and tested several materials before discovering the right one. They presented their project in children's Science Congress and also at other conferences and won kudos for the good work.
The team had used rice husk charcoal as an adsorbent material to remove the flouride ions from the affected water. The rice husk is abundantly available to the people in their immediate environment. The rice husk had to be pre heated to a particular temperature for optimum results. They need not go for some costly chemicals which they cannot afford. The device model conceived by the students can be easily mass produced and distributed to the needy people.
This project is a very good example of community reach. More such projects which take up the task of mitigating the sufferings of people can go a long way in redefining the roles of schools in society. The students are benefited by the study and the society too is immensely benefited. We have to identify areas where the help of students to be enlisted. Proper guidance can be provided so that the project is systematically carried out and the results beneficial to th society.
Reference: "Comparative soil and groundwater analysis for fluoride content and its removal in Guwahati region.' A paper authored by Abhilasha Lahkar, Debarshi Raj Borah, Kakoli Roy, Kasturi Sarma and Uddipana Kakati under the guidance of Mrs Remya Parameswar Iyer, KV Khanapara, Guwahati
SEEMA VIJAY NAIR
ALL SAINTS HIGH SCHOOL, KALYAN
"Education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living. We cannot separate education from life: The connection of the two is the point" - Dewey (1933)
The school, the family and the community are three major contexts in which students live and grow. These overlapping spheres of influence are extremely important because they directly affect children's learning and development.
The school and the family both, obviously share responsibility for children's learning. This relationship between the school and the home is based on mutual respect and acknowledgement of the assets and expertise of each member. But this partnership can be extended further, schools can emphasize a broad base of community involvement. Here it is essential to understand that schools are communities unto themselves because they don't exist in isolation. They reside within the communities they serve and must cultivate relationship with them.
The community should have a vested interest in what schools offer and in the outcomes of the education process for their children of the community and in turn schools should have an obligation to be sensitive to the community they serve, to care for and protect the children entrusted to them and be accountable to the local community in their governance and management.
And when such mutual relationships exist, the result is improved learning for all students and strengthened schools, families and communities. Research shows that parent and community involved in education is associated with improved student outcomes (Ballen and Moles, 1994).
Thus connecting with families and communities can help students, families, teachers and school leaders to better understand each others perspectives and create a more open, diversity - friendly school environment in which all students have a better chance to succeed. Linking schools and communities is widely recognized as a good pedagogical practice and is considered to make children indulge in more meaningful and engaged learning.
Some benefits of community collaboration can be summed up as :-
Schools get help from multiple sources
Community partners can offer a variety of mentoring experiences to students.
Community business can benefit from the positive public relations of working closely with schools.
Students can see the connection between the curriculum in the school and the skills that are required in the real world.
School - family - community partenerships will enable students and families to produce their own successes.
HOW TO BRING ABOUT A COMMUNITY COLLABORATION
Assess the diversity of families in your school including diversity in culture, socio economic status, language. Knowing more about students families and background will enable in identifying the goals and strategies for an effective partnership with family and the community. This can be done by survey questionnaires, telephone, interviews, meetings and discussions.
Developing effective communication: Effective communication from home to school and school to home. Strategies for personal contact included home visiting, establishment of a parent center and a parent liasion to co-ordinate involvement efforts, parent teacher conferences. Strategies for written communicate can include introductory and year end letters to parents and students, classroom newsletters. Hence special consideration must be given to communication and care to be taken that the content in the communication is jargon free. Also CDs can be used instead of written material to communicate.
Encouraging parents and community member, groups to participate in the school events. For this, plan regular events sometimes in informal gathering. Have staff personally distribute leaflets in the community concerning school events, meetings or other activities. Volunteers should be valued for their efforts in whatever capacity they are able to participate. Offer classes or workshops to parents on various strategies or parenting skills, helping children learn at home, skills improvement, etc but here it is needed to be emphasized that once is not enough. It should be an ongoing process. Preferably a timeline should be given to brief them when to expect actions.
To encourage the participation, schools should create positive experiences so that the parents and community members realize that they are welcome to school and are free to suggest, recommend and initiate.
Include families as decision makers, advocates, members of school councils and committees.
Collaborating with community organizations and agencies. These partnerships promote sharing of information and resources that are helpful to students and families. Some cultural organizations and religious organizations can provide cultural recreational and extra curricular activities so that children's lives are enriched
Partnerships with community agencies can make health and social services such as medical care and counselling available to students and families through the school.
Hence it is important for the school to become acquainted with the social service agencies in the community, set up one-on-one meetings or group meetings with service providers and learn more about what service are available to students and their families. Community member and parents may be invited to talk about their skills and experiences, talents to students every fortnight. Build a community network of concerned aduts, to talk about and publicise issues of concern to the schools and to the community.
Make students sent appreciation notes, thank you notes to the service providers in the community like the police, fire fighting squad, etc.
Thus by reaching out to the community, school can address a wide range of problems and issues that students and families face. They can in fact serve as a hub for the delivery of services that complement and support education. Above all, effective school and community link can strengthen education because it is undoubtedly the key to a strong local economy, a good quality of life and a brighter future for everyone.
"Communities that work to make education better are communities with bright
Richard W. Riley
Dr. Dharam Veer Singh)
Sri Guru Harkrishan Sr. Sec. Public School
G.T. Road, Amritsar.
"When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die."
"What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give"- goes the popular adage. Major traits of a child's personality are developed during the very early stages of life. A child learns an endless amount about life at its formative age; like how to treat others and what is right or wrong. It will be mainly the parents, along with other members of the family and teachers who will teach these traits. So setting a good example for children, be it parents or teachers is very pivotal. Trying to teach them positive lessons they can carry on through life, is equally essential. The more good habits they develop at a young age, the easier it will be as they grow up to teach them. And the more good qualities the child possesses, the more he or she will be able to contribute to the world.
'Community Outreach' is synonymous with contribution and service. Community outreach is the practice of conducting local public awareness activities through targeted community interaction. It means giving back to the surrounding community -- not only through contributing time and money, but also by sharing our expertise. Outreach activities are those efforts that can directly affect the behavior of the driving public through local interaction. They are designed to educate the public about a particular issue using respected and locally relevant channels of communication. The term outreach generally refers to 'efforts to increase the availability and utilization of services, especially through direct intervention and interaction with the target population'.
All 'Outreach Programs' must provide students with educational support and services. Some examples of educational support include personal and career counselling, conflict resolution and anger management techniques, time management and study skills, parenting skills, learning strategies and addiction counselling. These services may be provided onsite or in coordination with community agencies. Each Outreach Program is unique and is designed to meet the individual needs of its students. Outreach Programs are, by definition and practice, different from regular school programs.
Here, students are able to follow a customized education program. For example, the school may open later in the morning and stay open late in the afternoon, it may be open only in evening or it may be open only during the summer break or on Sundays.
The student/teacher relationship is more meaningful at such classes as teachers have the opportunity to provide more personal attention thereby allowing them to get to know the individual needs of students including their personal lives as well as how they are performing in their school work. This results in students believing that teachers care about them as individuals. Flexible scheduling and attendance requirements provide for low student/teacher ratios during the school days. As a result, students have a learning environment that provides additional individualized assistance to meet their learning needs. A low student/teacher ratio provides teachers with the opportunity to focus on the individual needs of students.
In an Outreach Program, teachers have the opportunity and responsibility to work with students to address their behavioural, mental and physical health issues. These issues frequently arise during group discussions or one-on-one discussions with the teachers. Teachers have a chance to assist students to realize their goals and have confidence in their own abilities. Teachers work with students one-on-one and, through discussion and support, show that the goals which students have, are possible to attain. When students meet their goals, they start to believe in their abilities. Teachers have an opportunity to change students' negative school experiences into positive ones. Some students find their time in a regular school to be a stressful and negative experience. These students often find that Outreach Programs provide an environment that is positive and supportive.
Community outreach typically originates from the initiative of highly motivated faculty. Socially committed faculty members, who believe that community engagement creates learning opportunities for their students, take the lead in establishing outreach activities. Changing academic traditions is a major reason and consequence of 'Community Outreach'. The longstanding traditions of academia also present significant obstacles in institutionalizing outreach where the requirement is to change institutional norms, to encourage more interdisciplinary and applied work and to adopt new forms of scholarship and pedagogy.
Executive leadership, exercised by heads and administrators, can provide powerful support for community outreach and collaboration. Leaders at this level can articulate a vision of community outreach, advocate the values of partnerships, and promote discussion and debate about new approaches to teaching, research and civic responsibility across the campus.
Since teaching is the primary business across all types of institutions of higher education, integrating community outreach into the curriculum puts it at the heart of the institution, shaping the activities and experience of both faculty and students. Numerous institutions with professional degree programs such as urban planning, business, law, social work, and various health professions have added to their curriculum clinical experiences or pre-professional workshops that were developed with community partners. Educational institutes can provide a focal point for community outreach, elevate the visibility of outreach in the academic institution, and provide a recognizable home for these concerns for the community. They can surely build community issues and concerns into the core of the academic institution's teaching and research agenda.
Connecting with the community is an important fabric of our moral ethics and the teaching profession. The whole theme of community outreach believes in reaching people where they are, no matter the what condition or place in life they are at. Remember that your life, your story and your daily interactions effect other people's lives. Do something for somebody every day for which you don't get paid.
"Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve."
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Swami Vivekananda aptly said, "To serve mankind is to serve God."
Social service is the best prayer, perfect deed and can bring something very simple , a smile on somebody's face and spread kindness which in return can form a chain of humanity that will benefit one and all. Every single person on this planet Earth is engaged in some form of activity and tries to strive towards excellence .In this technology driven world which is full of hatred, ego centricity, selfishness man is circling over material gains and prosperity and hardly has a time to spare for others. Richness or highly social status doesn't represent the true self. The perfect self is the one that follows the community services, with heart that beats forever for others. But sadly human beings have lost faith in one another and also in the established community principles. They have forgotten service before self. Men themselves are not their enemies. The primary culprit of the social fabric is illiteracy, ignorance, unawareness, poverty and unemployment. In fact Poverty is not only the result of the changing labour market but is also linked to household structure and demography .The only question that matters is in which direction we are moving. In fact , Goodness in human beings does not die , it only sleeps which can be aroused by love. Love , which is neither taught nor learnt but cultivated in our daily routines. Through reaching the weaker sections of the community services the seed of right ideas, noble and courageous aspirations get the right channel and are received by the minds of the same nature.
Community outreach programs are an important supplement and complement to a solid social infrastructure. A wide range of community services can reach the wider section of poor people and can do important social services such as child care, home care , nature care etc. As Stephen Spender says in his poem:
" Show the children green fields and make their world,
Run azure on gold sands, and let their tongues,
Run naked into books, the white and green leaves open." which gives the message that Community initiatives build on the ideas and strength of individuals , recognize their ability to apply unique talent, creativity and hard work to improve their lives.
Communities can outreach the weaker sections by :-
Meeting the basic needs : Food, cloth and shelter.
Removing barriers : working towards health care services.
Building skills : Removing illiteracy, academic up liftment .
Promoting economic development : Training in self employment.
The dark clouds of filthy air of ignorance , invisibility can be purified by community outreach programs. Who can forget the works of Baba Amte , Mother Teresa, Dr Abhay Bhang, Dr. Rani Bhang who really worked for the up liftment of the poor and the downtrodden.
C. Gopalachari words still echo in nook and corner that the real essence of life is " Pain instinctively felt for other's sufferings, Pleasure felt instinctively in others joy". Community Outreach programs comprising of students and young teens can work for the holistic development of the under privileged and conservation of environment. Useful distribution of Free Cycle ride in the Delhi University is a great drive and an effective step to make Delhi pollution free . Schools also hold a prominent role in creating awareness like holding rallies to make the neighborhood aware about the sensitive issues like Save Planet Earth, Save Environment , Say No to Crackers etc which can be instrumental in bringing change and transformation in the society. Distribution of free pamphlets on AIDS Awareness, Say No to plastic bags , fire Safety tips can widen the mental horizon of the people. One Cannot forget the Times Of India initiative of 'Each One Teach One' and the Hindustan Times effort of 'You Read and They Learn'. Such initiatives through volunteering can go a long way in eradicating illiteracy , ignorance and unawareness. Fund raising events, charity shows for the upliftment of the poor , for collecting money for the flood effected victims if tackled with proper honesty and sincerity can bring a great change and smile on people's face.
Community Outreach Programs have also played leading roles in sending the message of unity , brotherhood and service to mankind. Be it the most devastating floods in Assam, cyclone in Orissa , earthquake in Gujrat, We find hundreds of people associated with different community programs jump to lend their helping hands to the victims irrespective of their caste , color or creed. Without waiting for Government to act first these people voluntarily do rescue operations, relief work, free distribution of cloth, food, rehabilitation, health care etc. Community Outreach is a medium and invisible force that binds humanity together just as a force of gravitation binds all matter together into a single fist. Endeavors like interaction with slum children to know their root problems and to take necessary steps by the different communities and NGO's can sort out the cause of their miseries. Visit to old age homes by different schools can uplift the morale and the will to live among the elderly. Book contribution , donation of old clothes , is a welcome idea which is being taken and adopted by some leading fashion brands to reach to the weaker sections of the community.
Promoting communal harmony through " AMAN KI ASHA" an Indo-Pak project an initiative taken by The Times of India is a unique example of community outreach. Not only the students but each and every youngster of the nation should try to promote unity and forget enmity which is the need of the hour. Community programs like Cleaning of slum areas and incorporating Health and Hygiene, personnel cleanliness and community sanitation can help to remove the cultural and social backwardness of the neglected part of the society. Unfortunately the materialistic pursuits and competitive spirit has rendered man completely selfish. People hardly remember great legendary figures like Mahatma Gandhi who in Champaran was never contended with large or political or economical solutions. He saw the cultural and social backwardness and tried to mould a new free Indian who could stand on his own feet . That was the spirit â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..
Various Blood Donation camps by Lions Club, Rotary Club to name a few are marching ahead in the world of humanity by arranging different Blood Donation Camps for different blood groups for the sick and dying. The Doctors and social workers thus can volunteer themselves to eradicate diseases , sickness and become the role model for the youth of 21st century. These community programs will develop in them the appreciation of moral values like helpfulness , ready to cooperate, awareness of responsibility , tolerance , caring and sharing so that they become responsible and conscientious citizens of the nation. The problems which the various community programs come across and not let them target the weaker section of community are lack of motivation, encouragement, incentives , recognition and benefits which the volunteers deserve. The Government and other civic bodies play a great role in promoting and encouraging community programs. Free meals to impoverished, to needy is one of the major step for which Government can provide monitory funds to various NGO's and other community centers who work for the up lift ment of the poor. The plight of the young children which is very well depicted in Stephen Spender's poem :
"Far far from gusty waves these children's faces.
Like rootless weeds, the hair torn round their pallor:
The tall girl with her weighed -down head. The paper-
Seeming boy, with rats eyes. The stunted , unlucky heirâ€¦â€¦" reflects the message that there is an urgent need to aim to break the ice in this selfish world and to start to serve the mankind. Community Outreach is just a thought away from you, a thought to spare a piece of bread for these malnourished children, a thought to drop a coin daily in a piggy bank and spend the collection for the community service if instilled in the children right from the beginning, the day will not be far when the nation would again be a golden bird with birds chirping the songs of prosperity and happiness. Aamir Khan's show "Satyamev Jayate" is indeed a drive to eradicate the poisonous gases of corruption , female infanticide, feticide, dowry system, negligence of medical field from the community. It is a hope for the affected common man that he will also breathe the fresh pure fragrant air of freedom and bright future of which Mahatma Gandhi had once envisioned of.
Thus, it may be safely concluded, that the best self is the one who is willing to serve others for nothing. It is the eternal duty of the self to serve community with the ultimate aim to equip the human race with goodness, nobility, peace and prosperity like Mother Teresa. Service before the individual self, should end only with the last breath , and service before the social self should end with the acme of human perfection. The present apocalyptic world is a challenge before every human being and his earnest endeavor should be to reach the remote parts of the community to make it as a beautiful world before it turns into ugly reality.
Thus Community Outreach gives the message ,
" A sincere contribution to the society
Reflects man's services and loyalty."
Ms Rooma Pathak
M.M. Public School
Confines have to be changed into medium of interaction. Usual advices exist; yet pertaining to the present scenario, the outreach to community is one of the major parts of revival of society. As well said, advices exist, but change surrounds them. The duty begins when the clock strikes and awaits a revival.
Students of an institution are not only the players for revival and time, but also the link towards a developing and enduring growth of the community. For example, 'PLASTIC' the worst hazard for mankind, till date remains underestimated and ignored by one and all. Campaigns, processions, rules, regulations, ban etc., what not has been done, but the danger lies hidden behind curtains of comfortable support, which is lurking every moment. Mass movement, by the students will surely turn this lurking danger upside down and thereby bringing prosperity for humans. Here, community outreach provides the giver an issue to assess and support, with enthusiasm and reality to promote. In turn, changing those ways which look supportive to the community.
Children interact and deliver more effectively than the adults, who are otherwise professional in their approach.
Issues which need urgent attention on the platform of community outreach are -
Tension and pressure
Declining traditional and moral values
Community outreach even fulfills the social link, devised in the pattern of education. It is as an outlook, with the advantage of being included in terms of grades into the present system of education by CBSE. However, satisfactory solutions are available when each and every link receives the awakening factor. We seldom try to revamp a system that has lost faith, just because of being out of track in sense of giving and use. Yet we can look upon the same system as a basic tool to develop another on regional and current basis. Thereby selecting to distinguish our society, as one which is always tuned with time.
Community outreach handles the open side of the issue - 'education'. Its vast and acquirable, steps to outreach are not always welcomed, as there may be conflicts, regarding culture, region, religion, etc. But these steps are always fruitful, if success has to be counted along with them. Mass motivation is not a one - man process, it's by the mass, and for the mass. The remote areas and corners are rarely taken into the insight of outreach, because they nee a lot of effort and time. But, these two should not be interruptions towards the achievement, which awaits to 'unlearn' and start afresh for the present.
Contribution by -
PGT - English
Agra - 282007
Public education can play a vital role in the development and proper implementation of any community outreach programme. Public Education and the local community support are the two sides of same coin for the success of any community outreach programmes. Sri.Kumaran Public School is situated in a place where humpty numbers of dyeing factories are in operation in and around e Tirupur and Erode Districts of Tamilnadu . Of late due to the strict implementation of several stringent rules for the erection of Effluent Treatment of Plant for recycling the chemical water wastage from the dyeing factories by the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board, there is huge reduction in the release of chemical waste water into the riverbed of Noyyal. But still there are many dyeing industries functioning without the proper licenses and chemical water is being released. As a pilot community outreach programme of our school, we will be undertaking a programme to create awareness among the local community in and around Chengapalli and to teach the possible impact of the release of chemical waste water into the riverbed and how it is seeping into fertile lands and how the potency of the land is affected. How the students can help to have a green and pollution free environment.
Our school believes that the community out reach programme helps to promote the integration between our students and local community. We also believe that the education should bring about holistic development of children including awareness about the community and the environment. We encourage the students to come forward and to take responsibility in this regard. We are planning to undertake several activities related to social networking, functional integration and community services.
1. To create awareness about the environment.
2. To understand the local culture.
3. To interact and exchange culture and tradition with the local community.
4. To become conscious and help the underprivileged people around us.
How to build community support
For the success of any project and for the benefit of the community it is very much essential that the project should have the communities consent and necessary support. This particular community support can be built by the following:
1. Start student community outreach and education plan early
2. Involve student community in making important decisions
3. Use student community's or village's local traditions and culture to increase the impact of your message
4. Keep student community involved through public meetings, newsletters and advertisements
WHAT IS PUBLIC EDUCATION ?
Public education is a method of providing information to the people of local community on issues of particular concern. In the case of release of chemical water from the dyeing factories, public education provides information on where, when, why and how to stop the release of chemical water from the dyeing factories and how this environmental project can be implemented, and provide community members with simple instructions on how to participate in the management of the program.
Information developed and distributed as part of a public education program can take a number of different forms. Briefings and presentations, media coverage, newsletters, and special events can all be used to educate the community members about chemical water release management. The type of public education program that the students develop should depend on the goals of the program and other special considerations which are unique to that particular community.
The content, information and material used in public education must create interest among the community members towards making decisions on how to implement and reap the benefit out of the program for not only the student community in particular but also the local community in general. And, when community members become interested in the student community programs, they frequently want to be involved in the planning and decision-making processes. Student community should anticipate such interest and develop procedures for involving the public. When community members are involved in planning and program design, it helps them to ensure that programs run smoothly and that there will be community support for implementing such programs.
Public education plays an important part in implementation of community outreach program. It doesn't just provide community members with important information; it also contributes to the development of an educated community that can actively participate in the development and implementation of an effective solid vast program for your community. By educating members of student and local community about environmental pollution created by the release of chemical water from the dyeing factories by giving options to eradicate it completely and collecting feedback on these options, you can determine which options are most acceptable to local residents and businesses and develop the program which is beneficial to all accordingly.
"A successful environmental management program requires widespread public participation. Such participation can best be obtained through early and effective public education programs, which must continue even after the program is in full swing."
Success of Community Outreach
Well-planned public education and outreach activities can definitely help in generating a better understanding and support for the environmental management program in the local community. Students can also be used to teach the community members on how to fulfill with the environmental management program and recycling activities to benefit the community.
PRINCIPAL, SRI KUMARAN PUBLIC SCHOOL, CHENGAPALLI
At the outset it is interesting to quote Mahatma Gandhi- The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" Well , and the happiest people are those who give and give generously.
The schools can generously contribute in their own way by engaging in social outreach initiatives enabling children to be the "change agents" to contribute to the development of the country and improving the quality of life of the local community that we live in. This can be done when the schools partner with the community in carrying out various projects and activities. Education should teach us the purpose of life which is to achieve a harmonious co-existence between ourselves and societies because ultimately all are related and inter connected and share the same ground of being In order that the youth reach out to the community, it is important to create a feeling of social graces, empathy and expose them to lives of the underprivileged, orphanages, handicapped, old age homes and bring them closer to the realities of life . Somewhere in our pedagogy we have to inculcate in children a sense of the present times in which they live, to create sustainable pathways to enhance their self esteem, confidence and to lead their country to greatest heights. The schools can envisage a unique outreach methodology.
Orientation Programme : The students' faculty and parents should be sensitized about the importance of the community outreach programmes at the regional, national and global environment in which we live. They should also be enlightened about the economic, social and political order of the place and this should be followed by tangible services.
Pragmatic Approach : The faculty and students should be empowered to associate the community with resources, services and opportunity and should devote quality time to Community Services.
Case Study method - Students should be involved in live projects as case studies that are aimed at empowering the society.
Feed back - Both teachers and students should evaluate their work in an exercise of natural, development and promotion of services.
Self & Peer Assessment - This will help the students to gauge the extent of their services and scope for improving the quality of services extended to the society.
Besides, we can integrate our social sensitization programme with the future studies programme under work experience groups , extensive parent and student orientations, films, visits etc., In the assembly, special events, guest lectures and extra curricular activities can further our commitment to society.
The schools can contribute in areas of educating the slum dwellers ,environment, HIV/AIDS, adult education programmes, I.T. based education to illiterate adults, climate change , green house gases, environmental hazards and developmental planning of social services during the outbreak of epidemic or natural disasters. Besides honorary service can be provided in old age homes , for special children, day care services, distressed youth, women groups etc. The educational institutions can partner with orphanages and like NGO's to ensure adequate care and support for the needy.
Let us reweave our educational fabric with such syllabi and curricula that produce a complete human being to enhance the wealth of the nation. In this weaving lies the solution to problems of Indian Society. This will provide our nation, a progressive stance. We should continue to reach out to the community so that, our children, get several opportunities to make a difference because, we know together we can create a better tomorrow.
VEDA VYASA DAV PUBLIC SCHOOL
A Community Outreach at Khaira Village
Dr. Devendra Prasad Pandey
Chitrakoot, Satna, MP
I revisited Khaira village along with faculty members and students of MSW and MA-Rural Development courses from December 5 to December 8. Our visit included meeting with members of Watershed Committee, visit of Gabion structures, trenches, contour bunds, etc constructed in the hilly tracts of Khaira village, visit of various activities of Komarnala milli watershed committee including a stop check dam, meeting with members of SHGs and members of food grain bank and learning the community organisation and tribal culture.
Our team was warm welcomed by Banspati Singh, Chairman Khaira Watershed Committee and Bhupal Singh,Chairman of Kanchanpur Watershed Committee along with Project Implementing Agency(PIA) members Ragini Mishra and Kedar Ji at the Dubri railway station, where we reached by Katni- Chopan passenger train after 23 hours journey from Allahabad. After having a cup of tea in the community hall of Khaira Watershed Committee with the members of village panchayat and watershed committee, we discussed on issues like conflict resolution, social harmony, livelihood system and many other issues of social significance. During the discussion Rajendra Singh, secretary of Khaira Watershed Committee told with proud that there is no legal case pending in between the villagers of Khaira village in lower or high court. Mr. Bhoopal Singh described the social process of conflict resolution in the project area.
On 6 December, we visited various watershed development activities of Khaira Watershed Committee including trenches, stop check dam. The team was surprised to see the Bhagirath effort of Jagjahir Singh to irrigate his field from the water of stop check dam. He along with his wife constructed 60 meter long 7 feet deep small canal to take water to his field. Now he takes two crops in his field. We visited the mass plantation activities of watershed committee promoted by Gram Sudhar Samiti in Khaira village. In the night members of watershed committee organised Saila folk dance of Gond tribe and Karma Folk dance of Baiga tribe.
On 7 December, we met with the members of SHG and visited Kanchanpur watershed committee. Farmers are taking crops of ginger, potato etc and Safed Musli as result of the exposure visit of members of watershed committee.
Socio-economic development of a country depends on the proper utilization of natural resources. Besides having a strong base of natural resources, condition of tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh is dismal. Government of Madhya Pradesh started "Rajiv Gandhi Watershed Mission" in 1994, based on the recommendations of Hanumant Rao Committee, with the objectives to reduce poverty, unemployment and maximize agriculture production (Patel 2004).
Watershed management in India was started way back in 1880 with the Famine Commission Report, and then furthered by Royal Commission of Agriculture in 1928. Realising the importance of participatory management of land development and water management programmes, Ministry of Rural Development adopted the approach developed by Central Research Institute for dry land agriculture in 24 locations in 1984. From 1985, some NGOs joined the watershed development programme. A large scale National Watershed Development Programme for Rain fed Agriculture was launched in 1992-97 period. During the Eighth Five Year Plan period an area of 4.23 million ha in about 2,554 watersheds covering 350 districts in the country was treated and developed with an expenditure of Rs. 9,679 million. In the Ninth Plan, the outlay was raised to Rs. 10,200 million to treat 2.30 million ha. (Arya 2007).
A watershed is generally defined as a geo-hydrological unit or land area, the run-o0ff of which flows in defined surface drains or streams to a common drain process. The watershed approach to the development recognizes the inter-relationships between soil and water, and between upstream and downstream areas in the development of water harvesting and conservation, appropriate land use, vegetative cover and other potentials of natural endowments to promote the socio- economic welfare of the people (Arya 2007).
With the assistance of ACTIONAID, Gram Sudhar Samiti started education, health, women empowerment and other programmes. But considering the problem of the area and locally available resources, GSS volunteers came out with a conclusion that land is not productive due to excessive soil and water erosion. Water level was very low since there was no structure to harvest water, crop was dependent on rainfall. Malnutrition was usual phenomena; due to seasonal migration community didn't take care of common property resources. In summer season, villagers have to bring drinking water from 3-4 kms from live rivers / nallahs. Community survived on Mahua and other forest products during slack period. Community always demanded programmes for sustained livelihood and management of their land and resources. GSS started watershed programme and now with this initiative there is 24 hours automatic flow of water throughout year through a natural outlet in village Khaira. The village enjoys improved livestock and agriculture, drinking water education of their children, taking care of health, sanitation and other factors towards sustainable and better human development.
The Watershed Programme
M.P. government started Rajiv Gandhi Watershed Mission for the watershed development in the area. Gram Sudhar Samiti (GSS), an NGO, was selected for the implementation of watershed development programme in Sidhi. It has been working in the area adopting 14 villages under the watershed development programme supported by DRDA, Sidhi.
Watershed management is an 'area development strategy'. In this strategy, the area being developed is a watershed area, and the subject is water and soil erosion. Watershed management is harmonious development and management of soil and water resources within the natural boundaries of a watershed area, on a sustainable basis, for the equitable benefit of the people, while delivering clean and controlled water flow downstream. It is also to prevent the depletion of the water table by ensuring that each year the rainwater and the ground water meet so that the rain can recharge the ground water and stabilize the water table level (Pandit 2003).
I first visited Khaira village in 1998-99 on the invitation of Gram Sudhar Samiti to help in the planning of watershed programme. GSS organized PRAs for ascertaining community, group and individual problems, resource mapping, identifying commonly acceptable solutions and formulating time-bound action plans with their own and outside resources. To fulfill the felt needs of the community within the watershed boundary, an integrated programme of resource conservation, development and management was implemented to solve the problems of the community. These programmes included land leveling, staggered contour trenching, contour bunding, construction of loose boulder check dams and gabion structures. GSS has done demonstrative work in the promotion of agro and social forestry and pasture development, conservation of natural resources and socio-economic development of the community.
A watershed area is a geo-hydrological unit or piece of land that drains at a common point. Watershed areas are considered as the basic unit for planning and development. In this approach, developmental work starts from the highest point in the area, and progresses downwards to the natural stream or lowest point. The watershed approach is a project based, ridge to valley approach for in situ soil and water conservation etc. Unit of development of watershed area was about 500 ha each in watershed development projects. However, the actual area of project may vary keeping in view the geographical location. The size of village etc. the thematic maps generated from satellite data for different themes such as land use / land cover, hydro geo-morphology, soils etc. helped for selection of a watershed area.
GSS believes that the farmer and producer (in the village) not only have a deep understanding of past traditions but also the capacity to respond to changes. But changes do not have to be forced or induced artificially. Arun Tyagi, President, GSS clarified it with an example. Water being the source of life, the villager knows best how to conserve water; and depending upon the geographic contours of each locale, the villager knows also how to improve the moisture holding capacity of the soil and to adopt farming techniques appropriate to the available resources.
Impact on Human Development
Watershed development programme has increased the per capita income and checked the migration of the community. The increased income and increase in production in cultivable and irrigated land motivated community for their need of better education and health services. Now the children of the area are studying in nearby schools. The farmers are growing two-three crops on their land even vegetables, which has reduced malnutrition and helped in the improvement of health. The results of watershed development programme are visible with the increase in the agriculture output and increased expenditure on education and health care by the parents.
This outreach programme helped students in the identification of problems being faced by villagers and develop their skill in eradication of area specific problems.
(The author acknowledges sincere gratitude to Gram Sudhar Samiti, Sidhi for their heartiest cooperation and facilitation to revisit Khaira village to learn on watershed management under community outreach programme).
WHAT'S THE CORRECT TEACHER STUDENT RATIO?
We talk, talk and talk of preparing global citizens, better individuals etc. etc. for our country which is still considered developing even after 66 years of independence. We, the teacher community, shoulder the maximum and the most vital responsibility of doing so. But, we are not in a position to do justice with the present young generation studying in different schools, affiliated to CBSE. If the strength of a class is 50-60, then one cannot and in no case be able to impart the subject knowledge, diminishing values, ethos and the much sought after life skills/soft skills. It can be seen in the entire nation that the schools affiliated to different boards admit the students in schools in abundance to fill the classrooms up to maximum due to over commercialization. At places, the number is almost 70-80 in a single classroom. One can visualize where are we heading and leading the students of our country. In my opinion, and many may also agree with me, that in a classroom of 60-70 students, a teacher cannot do justice with teaching as well as with the students. A professional teacher must understand that it is not only the teaching of subject content which is important but it is equally important to impart the life skills, values etc. to produce better citizens. But in a brimming classroom, it is next to impossible. It is suggestive that if the number can be restricted to maximum 30, then a teacher can take care of each and every pupil very well. The teacher can without difficulty identify the shortcomings and other obstacles pertaining to learning process.
The board must ponder over the prevailing problem and must take some corrective measures to keep a check over this issue. Affiliation should only be given to those schools which fulfill the board norms as far as number of students in a classroom are concerned (if it can be included in the bye laws).
It is high time now that the teachers & the people who run the schools think over the deteriorating system of imparting education.
By Chetan Chauhan
Sensitizing young mindsâ€¦.
Part of being a person is about helping others!
Is it possible to teach empathy and compassion to children? Is it realistic to ask Middle school students to think about people whom they might never meet? Is it easy to make children realise that they are worthy of positive contributions to the society irrespective of their age?
Cliches, aren't theseâ€¦! But are we in the process missing out on inculcating an extremely important life skill in our students? The following few pages will trace the importance of making community outreach programmes a part of the school curriculum and their consequent benefits.
Each time an individual involves himself in community service there is an opportunity to learn new ideas , understand new perspectives and ultimately grow as an individual. The areas and the ways by which the community can be impacted by outreach programmes are numerous. The significance of these programmes at school level is immense as it is a place where both the head and the heart of a nation is developed. Secondly when large no. of students in a school participate in such programmes a perceptible change happens.
SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMMES FOR STUDENTS
They learn that they have a responsibility as future citizens to know about the world around them and to respect and appreciate diversity.
They also learn to identify problems and find resources to address these problems.
Through these programmes students are introduced to new places and people and educated about issues in their community.
Students develop heightened awareness and sensitivity to the needs of others in their community, and may develop a conviction to serve.
Students apply academic, social and personal skills to improve the community.
They are involved in making decisions that have tangible results.
They develop Leadership and Team Building Skills.
IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF PLANNING A WHOLE SCHOOL OUTREACH PROGRAMME
Planning is an integral component of any successful programme. Following factors can be considered during planning:-
Availability of multiple options enabling students to choose projects corresponding to their interest.
Integration with the core curriculum.
Age appropriateness (Grade wise)of the project
Time duration required to complete the project.
Other engagements of the students