White Lotus works in rural areas mobilizing villagers to participate in the renovation of their village schools while collaborating with local and up to State level governance, education departments, BEO, DEO, SPO, DOE and etc in creation of education campaigns and state wide training for elements of the RTE Act; SMCs, CCE, Enrolment and Retention campaigns.
WLT has led the way in providing access to education for girls at Mewat, one of the worst gender-equality wise districts in India.
Blossom Bus program has kept almost 100% of its 300 riders in school till year 12 and now has 40 young women College. Most of these girls are 1st generation learners and therefore first to enter high school, graduate 12 and 1st to attend College from their villages!
White Lotus operational approach to mobilising communities and getting schools functional, in detail:
- Survey local schools, identify problems and meet teachers. Call meetings, establish relationships between parents and teachers.
- Meet villagers, mobilise & establish trust with parents and local governance.
- Educate villagers to present grievances, to agitate for rights on basis of RTE. Ensure government programs understood by parents and delivered; cash transfers to bank accounts, uniforms, books, especially for girl children.
- Establish relationships with Education Departments while raising issues with schools, brought by parents/teachers. Attending to infrastructure; water, toilets, boundary walls - creating the right atmosphere for education
- Ensure attendance: Identification of school age children, ensuring school rolls are correct, out of school children identified. SMCs ensure all children are identified and counsel parents in cases of non-compliance.
- Collaborate and sensitize education departments to devise plans to address lacunae in schools and conduct education campaigns to bring local community into the process.
- Have meetings with parents and all levels of governance to sensitize about and discuss problems with access to education for girls. Establish community based, government and donor based systems to ensure safety of girls. Establish School Bus, Community conveyances, Bicycling in groups with chaperone and etc.
- Partner with Education departments to deliver training in accord with RTE such as School management committee and Continuous Comprehensive Education procedures. Train the trainers to deliver relevant and community sensitive training programs
- Fully establish SMCs and CCE approaches to create the ground for working on quality of education. SMCs at this point know about the budget and bring transparency to outlays. CCE establishing monitoring/evaluation and accountability in learning outcomes.
- At this point a responsible attitude in parents, community and governance will have evolved and all social, departmental and political levels are fully aware and sensitized to their roles and responsibilities toward education of the children.
Challenges WLT faced in the past
Low priority with States in terms of compliance with Right To Education Act.
we have moved the Haryana government from an attitude of carelessness to one of compliance and proactive, collaborative partnership. As part of NCPCR and RTE Forum, we leverage these outcomes at every forum and encourage civil society and governance to take up this highly innovative and successful model.
Lack of donor interest in replication and scaling of White Lotus work in Haryana which has led to total renovation of the government school system and government attitude to importance of education for all.
We have developed a 10 State proposal for SMC and CCE training at Block level for which we are seeking funding. We are writing a Handbook for governance and NGO's to replicate and scale this work.