Aseema Charitable Trust

Partner From
03/01/2016 - On Going

https://www.aseema.org/


Supported by: Wipro Cares

About Aseema

Aseema Charitable Trust is a non-governmental organization established in 1997 with a mandate to protect and promote human rights of underprivileged children. We see education as a right of every child and as an instrument of change; we recognize the urgency with which quality education must be made available to all. The word ‘Aseema’ means limitless. This is how we view the child’s potential – as a great strength that can soar in the right environment. We strive to create that environment and sustain a nurturing relationship with every child. Each of Aseema’s projects is rooted in a child-centric approach, where learning is holistic and is made relevant to the child. Our work directly affects 2,761 children and indirectly 1,135 more, bringing the total number of children impacted through our initiatives to 3,896.

Projects

Aseema’s mission has been to equip children from marginalized communities with high quality value-based education enabling development of their limitless potential. Keeping this in mind, Aseema has collaborated with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) over the past 20 years to reach out to children living in urban slums in Mumbai. Prior to our partnership with the MCGM, these municipal schools offered low quality education, with physical environments in deplorable conditions, large shortages of teachers, and negligible support from parents and communities.

In MCGM schools supported by Aseema, the medium of instruction is English and the state curriculum is taught in a meaningful and fun manner. Currently, Aseema has adopted 3 municipal schools, namely Pali Chimbai Municipal School, Santacruz (W) Municipal School, and Kherwadi Municipal School. In each of these schools, Aseema supports the MCGM by providing teachers who are oriented to Aseema’s child friendly approach, making the learning environment stimulating and safe, and creating a culture that respects the child and promotes learning. Across these schools in Mumbai, Aseema reaches out to students from pre-primary till Standard 10th.

In Igatpuri, Aseema’s Bal Shaikshanik Kendra (ABSK) is dedicated to the children from the tribal communities of Awalkheda. These children come from families who struggle for their daily existence. As a result, education tends to take a back seat.

In addition to academics, at Aseema, we give equal emphasis to co-curricular activities. With 1 hour of sports daily, every child is introduced to a range of sports such as judo, football, basketball, handball etc., which also helps in improving agility, endurance, and overall physical development.

Location

Through our direct and indirect education programs, we reach out to approximately 3,800 children from marginalized communities in Mumbai, Igatpuri, and Kanpur.

Adapting to COVID by Transitioning to Remote Learning

From April, our team has taken a range of measures to adapt to the new context created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This process has been challenging, particularly given our students’ home environments and limited access to technology. We have taken the following steps to meet our goals in the face of these constraints. As a first step, our social workers carried out a thorough audit of the children’s access to smartphones. Based on the audit, they found large number of students with extremely limited to no access to smartphones. Hence, in a phased manner and on a priority basis, we distributed 600 devices i.e., smartphones and laptops to our students in Mumbai and Igatpuri. We are also providing support to selected families with data packs. Over the medium term, once schools reopen fully, the distributed devices will be used for blended learning.

Textbooks and stationery packs were distributed to the children at the start of the academic year. Given that our students have very limited access to smartphones during the day, it was necessary for us to adopt an asynchronous learning model. Lessons include a mix of audio content, video content, reading material, and quizzes or assignments. In the second term, we slowly shifted in a phased manner from asynchronous to a synchronous teaching model via Google Meet and Google Classroom for classes starting from Standard X and moving down to Standard IV.

As we move ahead, we realize that the pandemic has reimagined learning and we foresee the shift in education towards a blended learning model. Blended learning (also known as hybrid learning) is a method of teaching that integrates technology and digital media with traditional instructor-led classroom activities, giving students more flexibility to customize their learning experiences. We are committed to empowering our teachers and students with the tools and knowledge for a brighter future by increasing digital accessibility to the marginalized communities in Mumbai and Igatpuri.