Recognize Rise and Empower Association (RREA)

Partner From
11/01/2019 - On Going

https://rrea.co.in/


Supported by: Wipro

Why?

Lack of basic learning levels in Math and Language (including grade-level reading, 21st century skills i.e. Critical thinking, Communication, Creativity, Social Emotional Learning etc.) coupled with huge influx of drugs in the remote border regions of Manipur has affected children’s right to quality education. As per ASER Report 2018, more than 70 percent of the children in Manipur study in private schools, despite the poor economic background of their families. The biggest issue surfacing today is the choice and opportunity left for children in such conflict-ridden areas.

What are we trying to do/doing?

  • Bridge the learning gaps of at-risk tribal children through remedial classes.
  • Improve children’s attendance in schools through regular home visits and community outreach.
  • Equip children’s social-emotional learning competencies.
  • Ensure children’s right to play and recreation through sports programs.
  • Training and capacity building of schoolteachers to enhance classroom teaching and sensitivity towards children at-risk.
  • A network of educational leaders working towards sustainable education in the region.
  • A growing network of invested teachers in government schools.

The Approach

RREA employs a dual pronged approach wherein children have opportunities to learn both inside and outside the classroom. The first aspect of its approach is an early literacy program intended towards supporting children to achieve basic learning levels in Math, Language and Science. This is done through our initiative called “TEACH FOR NORTHEAST” which is a 2-year teaching fellowship program intended to put children on a transformational learning path in schools, while growing as leaders invested in education and development of the North East. Through this initiative, we support children to achieve improved learning levels through remedial classes. We try to ensure regularity in school for irregular schoolchildren through home visits and community outreach. We help students through enrolment and remedial support. We try to develop a culture of reading amongst children through libraries.  Teach for Northeast program recruits teaching fellows for a period of 2 years to support the learning needs of at-risk children in under-resourced government schools of North East.

The second aspect of our approach is ‘Sports for Social Development’. This initiative tries to provide children with an atmosphere of inclusive education wherein they feel the need to attend school regularly. It tries to ensure access to play spaces and recreation in schools and community, improved attendance in schools, and improved social-emotional learning. The Sports for Development program is implemented by our Community Sports educators (local community youth experts in sports) and Sports Coordinators (Qualified Sports Professionals) to create different play spaces in schools and community and encourage all children to play certain games and sports. The sports educators also conduct sports sessions, which consist of life skill sessions like self-awareness, effective communication, and good and bad touch etc.

IMPACT OF COVID-19

The COVID-19 induced lockdown, which forced the closure of schools in the state and entire country last year, turned the world of children upside down. It dismantled their daily routine and restricted their interaction within four walls to just a few family members. This has had a monumental impact in the lives of children in the remote border regions like Manipur.  We could witness the behavioral changes among children, including aggression, distraction, and irritability.

It had a major impact on our ongoing interventions with children in schools. We were left helpless on how could we continue the momentum of engaging with children to support their learning consistently. It was really a tough time for us in the borders where access to internet, smartphones, and laptops still is a distant dream for many in our beneficiary community. With the support of our team, District Administration, our donors, other CSOs and community volunteers, we were at the frontline serving the last mile communities through our COVID Relief Program. The intention was to cater to the most basic needs of the marginalized families through dry rations, PPE kits to frontline health workers, training and capacity building on COVID-19, and sanitization kits.

With the COVID Relief program, we could also identify that engagement with children was necessary. The ways we used to engage with children during the pandemic were –

  • Home visits of community children to distribute worksheets and reading-learning materials.
  • Periodical visits by fellows to recheck the worksheets and clear doubts of children.
  • Call children to nearby schools, in small groups with proper COVID protocols, in partnership with the District Administration to conduct remedial classes.
  • Text messages and sharing of video learning materials to children with access to smart devices in their homes.
  • Introduction of non-contact sports in schools post lockdown phase to create platforms for children to channelize their energies and frustration efficiently.

Location

The organization works in Kamjong District in 3 sub-divisions – Kamjong, Phungyar, Kasom Khullen.

Plan for the Next 1-3 Years

The larger goal in the next three years is to upscale the interventions in 3 new schools whilst consolidating the work in the existing 3 project schools. Over the next 1-2 years, we plan to strengthen and make the early literacy program more robust. We aspire to make libraries as one core component of the early literacy program rather than a separate program. We will also try to bridge the academic learning gaps of children in 3 government schools. We will also structure the sports program for more organized intervention and widen the scope of library-related interventions.