Since 2012, Tejasvita has been on the job to develop a working model for the preschool program in a fast changing landscape related to school admissions in low income areas of Bangalore. In order to do this we are piloting our preschool program in different locations. As of March 2017, we have delivered our program to nearly 300 children for at least one academic year. About 50 children among them have received our program for two academic years.
We have used our pilot preschool program to learn from our experiences constantly and modify and fine tune the program accordingly. Read about our exciting journey below.
2012-2013 academic year
Our first ever attempt to implement the preschool program was in partnership with SOS Children’s Villages of India, South Bangalore. At SOS, we conducted it as an after-school program for 15 children between the ages 3 – 5 yrs. While we saw the children make several gains in their overall development, we were not able to continue our program here in subsequent years, due to several issues related to the availability of 3-5 years old children within SOS.
2014-15 academic year
With the permission of the Department of Women and Child Welfare, we conducted our program in two anganwadis in South Bangalore. We again saw several developmental gains made by the children and the anganwadi workers greatly acknowledged the progress that they were seeing in the children due to our program. However, we started to spot abnormal amount of attrition from anganwadis. We believe that due to the onset of RTE, parental aspirations in low-income communities to send their children to private English schools may have skyrocketed which could have contributed to this. In addition, at around the same time, the Department of Women and Child Welfare decided to cut back on partnerships with NGOs.
At Tejasvita, we decided to follow the children and go where they were most likely to be.
2015-16 academic year
We partnered with two affordable private schools that serve low income communities in South Bangalore. We worked in 4 classrooms with about 110 children in these schools during this academic year. Having found partner schools with a lot of children we could serve, we began to grow our capacity. We developed our teacher hiring model and started to develop a teacher training process and a scalable curriculum.
2016-17 academic year
2016-17 has been a significant milestone in our journey. Having worked with 110 children in 4 classrooms in the previous year, we continued in the same classrooms but with full capacity this year. We maintained a teacher student ratio of 1:10 and worked through the year 3 days a week with a total of 66 sessions of 1.5 hours each, in each of the 4 classrooms. We also refined our teacher hiring model, our training processes and developed an assessment methodology to measure the progress of the children. What’s more, we were able to see measurable impact of our program on the children.
All of this is described in our Annual Report for 2016-17.
You can also get to know about the impact of our program here.
2017-18 academic year
Having refined our model over the previous academic year, we now believe that we have the kernel of a scalable model. During the academic year 2017-18, we have set goals for ourselves to make further improvements to our preschool program as described in Annual Report for 2016-17. Our intent during this academic year is to validate the assumptions around scaling and fine tune all of our operational & curriculum processes, as we prepare to scale in the future.
As we set out to refine our program further in order to scale it to more schools, we request your support to make this a reality. You can support us by donating here.