We, The People Abhiyan (WTPA)

Partner From
01/01/2017 - On Going

https://www.wethepeople.ooo/


Supported by: Wipro

About WTPA

The Constitution of India envisages a society that is just, free, equal, and woven together with a sense of fraternity. In moving towards such a society, the citizen plays a critical role in securing his or her own rights, recognizing the rights of others and actively practicing his/her responsibility in personal and social spheres.

WTPA’s work is in service of this constitutional vision. We focus sharply on building citizens capacities to own, understand, and practice their role and responsibility to make their lives and communities better.

Projects

The main instrument of our intervention is the Citizenship Education Program. This is a foundational, capacity-building program for citizens aimed at enhancing attitudes, knowledge, and skills. We work with a targeted segment of citizens – middle and senior school students (ages 12-18) – from private and government schools. This target segment has been chosen for three main reasons:

First, the target segment is critical in that it consists of citizens who are at the start of their citizenship journey and are most in need of understanding the role, rights, and responsibilities that this citizenship embodies. Second, the guiding principles in the National Curriculum Framework, 2005 also focuses on citizenship education with emphasis on helping children connect knowledge to life outside school. Third, schools provide an institutional setting where the CEP can be embedded for sustained impact through teachers, training, and support.

New approaches adopted in response to COVID

The last year has been one of tremendous challenge in serving our target segment as COVID threat affected the functioning of schools. Schools struggled to provide online curriculum somehow but even then, government schools faced a big dilemma regarding equitable access. Given the situation, our team rallied around and started exploring ways to help.

We started helping teachers with content suitable for online dissemination. Then, we moved towards online training workshops for teachers and students in Delhi government schools. The biggest internal response we worked on is content development for online curriculum and creating new curriculum for use when schools start again. The work we have done on curriculum for DoE, Delhi and government schools in Gujarat are cases in point.

We also focused our efforts in reaching out to various SCERTs across the country, to establish connection and offer some assistance in terms of online teachers’ training. This has resulted in short-term and long-term benefits as a few SCERTs have actively become involved in our work.

Picking on what we could do quickly and tying into the efforts mentioned above, WTPA team started offering online workshops every week right from April 2020. These were widely attended by teachers and youth. As isolation became a common impact due to COVID, these online workshops kept spirits and interest alive, for us and for all those who participated. We used various interactive methodologies to keep everyone engaged and on that count, we have scored very well. The overall response to these workshops was that they were different and more interactive than any that participants were attending in other places. For us, that was a big positive feedback.

Meanwhile, the online medium gave us many lessons. We discovered its potential for reach. We also discovered its many limitations. We then focused on the few things we could do to help increase the reach. This led to the creation of a Foundation Education on Constitution (FEC) program that we have developed for online outreach. This is a basic foundational course on the constitution and citizenship, its essence gathered in a 6-hour workshop. We have tested this with adolescent and youth groups, and received a very positive response.

We have learned immensely from our experiences last year and are determined to act on these lessons in the coming years. We want to work with the government education system in a long-term program with a vision of sustainable embedding of citizenship education in school curriculum. We will focus on building capacities of teachers on constitutional perspective and project-based learning through contact training, while providing access to online content to help them in delivering the curriculum in classrooms. We will build the awareness component in our programs through innovative campaigns. Sustained efforts in this direction will be complimented by effective advocacy with key educational stakeholders for a wider amplification of this approach.