Educational Outreach



From the beginning we had determined that Kamala Nimbkar Balbhavan should not be merely an oasis in an educational desert but must be a resource center reaching out to other schools in the community and beyond. In 1989 when Maxine Berntsen was given a fellowship by the Ashoka Foundation we had an opportunity to take the first concrete steps towards realizing this vision.


Surveys Of Basic Literacy

We began by making a survey of basic literacy among third standard children in Phaltan Municipal schools and Zilla Parishad schools in 1990. The report, titled Collapse at the foundation clearly showed that in the municipal and ZP schools the majority of the children in the third standard had not acquired the basics of literacy which they are expected to acquire by the end of standard one. Later we did extensive literacy surveys in 1992 and 1999.


Reading And Writing Improvement Program

The Pragat Shikshan Sanstha is not only conducting surveys, it has been actively involved in trying to effect improvement by conducting Reading Improvement Programs in Municipal and Zilla Parishad Schools. We have conducted teachers' workshops and made our primer Apan Vacu Ya available to children in participating schools.

The Reading Improvement Program is a comprehensive project with the following measures.

  • Conducting baseline survey of reading/writing readiness in project and control schools

  • Provision of Apan Vacu Ya (the PSS primer) and ancillary teaching-learning materials (including library books)

  • Developing of additional Teaching-Learning materials

  • Production of film modules for teacher training

  • Conducting teacher training workshops

  • Regular visits to project schools by project coordinator and Educational Outreach staff.

  • Providing teachers with suggestions for covering lessons in time-bound manner.

  • Monitoring of children's progress.

  • Monitoring of children's health status.

  • Identification of physical and mental handicaps.

  • Observation of provision of drinking water, sanitary facilities in school.

  • Frequent visits to children's homes.

  • Maintaining contact with Village Education Committees.


Mobile Slide Library Program

For the last several years in cooperation with Centre for Learning Resources, Pune we have been conducting a mobile slide library program in Phaltan municipal schools and ZP schools. Two of our staff members go to these schools carrying a slide projector and sets of slides. The team shows slides on environment and social studies and conducts class discussions, which often become very lively. The programs are undoubtedly a real contribution to these schools, which otherwise have absolutely nothing in the way of added inputs.