Our Programs -:
In Mumbai, Door Step School’s mantra is to ‘serve the underserved’ to ‘provide education – where the children are’. Mumbai is an expensive city with broad differences of income capacity and literacy rates. Crossing one road may change the literacy scale of the population living there drastically.
The two major focus points for us are -
1. Access – to direct educational services and quality alternative to education offered in urban slums and pavements.
2. Retention – Educating is the key, but so is consistency and absorption. Hence we focus on not only providing primary education but ensuring that the child remembers and uses the education in their daily life.
Following are our projects -:
Community Based Educational Programs -
Focus age group- 3years to 18 years
‘Community’ is the strongest stakeholder in education as they push, inspire and grow all together.
Our community based educational programs are designed after identifying the realities and needs of children for the last 30 years.
TIME-PLACE-PACE – as per the convenience of the child has been our core reason to design our programs.
These include -:
● Balwadi programs
● Study Classes
● Non formal education
● School on Wheels
Supportive Programs –
● Community Learning Centres (CLC’s)
● Door to Door Libraries
● Computer Centres
● Bal Samuha
● Mobile Libraries
● Science and Math Lab
1. Balwadi Program ( Preschool preparation program) ( 3 years to 6 years old)
The most neglected category of children are the ones who have not entered school yet. Motivating children and convincing their mindsets to join the education system rather than labour is essential. Hence our balwadi program focuses on shaping children between the age of 3 years to 6 years through physical, cognitive and socio emotional development activities and motivating them to enter the education system when they reach the eligible age. Through community interaction and regular surveys – preschool children are identified and motivated to join balwadis.
2. Study Class ( supportive measure) ( 6years - 14 years old)
First generation learners tend to drop out of the academi structure due to lack of motivation or academic frustration among various other reasons. Our study class program provides extra coaching support through our uniquely designed education toolkits – before or after school timings , in and around the convenience of the child.
Our English Study Class program successfully completed 5 years in 2020. What started as a small pilot project has now reached 3 communities, more than 358 children through 16 classes. It is a robust program including spoken English IT labs . Through sign and letter toolkits- talk charts etc. children are motivated to learn English uniquely.
Science and Math Labs-
Through innovative activities , learning, games and experiments designed by our team , children were encouraged and did successfully participate in our math and science labs. This lab is created to make math and science fun and easy to grasp.
3. Non Formal Education ( 7 years - 18 years old)
This program addresses the need of out-of-school children, serving as a remedial measure , giving these children an opportunity to gain literacy skills which they would have otherwise not have had.
The curriculum is made flexibly layered where the content and teaching style can be altered as per the level of interest and understanding of the child. Emphasis is given on languages and mathematical skills- skills most needed in a daily living routine.
4. School On Wheels -
School on Wheels has been our pioneering flagship program. It is a bus designed as a mobile classroom. This model of education on wheels was created to reach out to the children that are out-of-school because of them living on the streets or pavements. In a space-crunched city of Mumbai, The School on Wheels acts as an emergency class room taking no space but still providing education.
In one day we conduct 4 classes of 2.5 hours each ,catering to approximately 25 out of school children per class per location.
We started our School on Wheels in 1998 and since then run 6 schools on wheels at 20 different locations in Mumbai. One bus travels to 4 locations per day.
5. Community Learning Centres (CLC’s)
Providing a safe space for reading and learning is essential. Our community learning centres are pioneered as resource banks for reading and audio visual material to engage children in the learning process. It is now supported by our alumni students and secondary school students. Children come into these centres, pick up resources andlearn at peace. Our mobile libraries and vans also run around providing these age appropriate – attractive and fun learning resources to children.
In one day we conduct 4 classes of 2.5 hours each ,catering to approximately 25 out of school children per class per location. We started our School on Wheels in 1998 and since then run 6 schools on wheels at 20 different locations in Mumbai. One bus travels to 4 locations per day.
6. Computer Centres -
All the children of our programs are involved and allowed to join our computer centres. Thes comfortable air conditioned centres become a comfortable and easy space for children to pick up computer skills and learn about computer aids. Programs like that of MS Office are taught so as to equip children to gain better employment opportunities.
School Partnership Programmes -
Partnerships help catalyze the growth of literacy through communities. We designed an intervention to address the common problems of non enrollment of children into the education system , low attendance and low performance levels. Our program works with municipal as well as low cost private schools. We enable the teaching staff with quality educational techniques – extending academic support to develop the child’s creativity and learning cognitivity.
First Step Forward -
This program aims at acclimatizing the child who enters grade 1 of the Municipal School. It equips the students to read alphabets , consonants along with simple words,poems, and songs – preparing them to absorb the school curriculum. Making language skills fun learning is our focus.
Remedial Class -
Coping with school and academic work is difficult. Recognising this problem, we designed the remedial study class to develop students& language and math skills. These students are referred to us by school class teachers for additional support.Through our pre and post test monitoring, among other techniques, we support the child to lower the burden of learning through easy learning tool-kits.
Reading Promotion Program -
Reading is at the core of Door Step School. To inculcate a habit of reading and encouraging children to enjoy reading and explore languages, we partnered with schools to provide school library programs. Competencies of students in listening, picture talk, speaking, reading, punctuation and self expression has exponentially increased.
Home Lending Programs -
Our home lending program is conducted for children from 5years to 7 years of age, once every fortnight. We give children access to story books, biographies, literature works , which would otherwise not be available to them. Our facilitator carries level wise books to each session which are borrowed by the children. These sessions promote a reading habit along with freedom to the child to browse, choose and read as per their convenience.
Bal Samuha -
Children from grade 5 to grade 7 as well as our alumni and youth of the communities are focused on to develop their leadership, self management, decision making and life making skills through skills training and skill exposure activities and visits.. Groups are divided into 5 committees – Health, Cleanliness,Discipline, Games and material distribution. This aims to empower children with life skills.
Our Bal Samuha programs are designed to bring our alumni and youth together. These groups of youth come together to raise community issues and find solutions along with work on issues of child protection and child rights. Allowing them to be change leaders and motivate other youth to work on community issues too is our goal.
Children from vernacular medium schools are introduced to the English language with the help of multimedia content based mediums. Making the English language easy and fun to learn is focused on.
Mental Health Project -
The realities of the children we teach are difficult and may create hurdles at a wholesome growth. Through our mental health program, we aim to reach out to children who are at risk of having serious development issues. Counsellors work with children in groups as well as in one-on- one sessions supporting them in coping with troubles. Training team members as well as municipal school teachers is undertaken to help them build and understand children & needs in appropriate ways.
School Bus service -
With an objective to increase and improve enrollments in schools as well as removing the burden from parents of making the child reach schools , we provide our school buses for easier reach. In remote locations, we provide our school on wheels program to bring education to the child.
Training Cells -
One of our core elements and working force behind our success have been our teachers. DEsignated field trainers and lead trainers focus on training and teacher growth management. The teachers are trained into understanding the development of children, how children learn,
classroom processes , content and curriculum delivery, and teacher-student interaction. Through the support of coordinators, core education related topics are inculcated within our teachers. Management skills are also covered. On field and off field training of teachers is included.