Swanirvar - Shikshamitra

Project Brief: Shikshamitra is an open learning space and a resource center for children, teachers, parents and education practitioners, primarily for the elementary level (class I to VIII).
Project Type: Resource Centers (description)
Primary Focus: other (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: UFlorida
Status: rejected
Project Steward: Ajoy Saha
Project Partner(s): Sudeshna Sinha
Other Contacts: Proma Basu Roy
Project Address: , 62B, Alipore Road, ,,Kolkata,
Tel: (033) 2448-0018
Stewarding Chapter: UFlorida
Mar 2014UFloridaUSD 1496
May 2013UFloridaUSD 7721
Dec 2012UFloridaUSD 6850
Aug 2012UFloridaUSD 6600
Nov 2011UFloridaUSD 7400
May 2011UFloridaUSD 8000

Total = $38067

Shikshamitra is an open learning space and a resource center for children, teachers, parents and education practitioners, primarily for the elementary level (class I to VIII). The organization began as a school in 2005, catering to the first generation school goers, and also as a resource center (books, films, teaching-learning material, teacher trainings, and information center). It was an experimental school, trying out different curriculum and a different syllabus for different learners using different methods, instead of one syllabus and the same method. In 2011, the school closed down. Thereafter, it took shape of an organization and moved into teacher education, popularizing specific programmes like library, language, mathematics and art; the focus was also on developing teaching-learning materials.
The key areas of the organization are:

1) Teacher Education and Consultation: The organization offers teacher trainings for the elementary group in language (English and Bengali) and mathematics, across West Bengal, to government and non-government school teachers and also to other organization working in similar fields. The trainings facilitate teachers in dealing with pedagogy practices that contributes to quality education and addressing individual differences through the curriculum. It helps teachers locate teaching within a larger social change. Trainings that are currently offered are- Accelerated Reading, Creative Writing, Foundation English, Primary Mathematics- Bridge and Art and Craft. Along with training, consultation is also offered to children and teachers regarding coping strategies, school management techniques and more.

2) Library: The organization library runs programmes for children of age group 8-15years by offering activities that supplement their school education and enhance their creativity. Art holds a significant place here. Through various activities like drawing their thoughts on paper, watching films, reading, story-telling, discussions and reflection, children enjoy the library time. The objective here is to offer resources to children which will supplement their learning.

3) Production and Publication: Design and production of teaching learning materials for mathematics and language has been a core area of the organization since it adds more interest to teaching and learning, adds to quality enhancement of the process and makes the classroom less textbook centric. The materials are designed and produced in-house. There are also publications in English, Bengali and mathematics for teachers, education practitioners and children.

Shikshamitra is a consolidation of ideas and a small group of people. There is room for ex-students, visitors and well wishers. Together, the organization moves forward to bring about a desirable change in society.