“I will arrange for a van to send these 12 kids to your school from June,” says a construction site manager referring to the children of the migrant labourers working for him. This is a big win for the Government school teachers and the Mantra4Change team who managed to convince the site manager during an Enrolment Drive conducted earlier this month for Government schools in the Dommasandra cluster.
The first round of the Enrolment Drive for Government schools in the Dommasandra cluster was concluded earlier this month with a lot of fanfare. Mantra4Change, in active collaboration with the school teachers, SDMC members and community leaders, canvassed door to door to increase the student intake in 14 Government schools in the cluster. It was the first time that the locality was seeing a drive on such a scale. The wide-ranging community participation was also a first.
The highlight of the Enrolment Drive was that all the funds for the drive has been completely mobilised from the Yamare Gram Panchayat. The three other Gram Panchayats, who along with Yamare GP are responsible for the 14 schools, have also been extremely supportive of the Enrolment Drive.
The first phase of the Enrolment Drive began on March 28 and ended on April 10. A follow-up Drive for all the schools will be organised in the month of May before the schools reopen.
Click here to read all about the preparations for the Enrolment Drive.
The idea for the Enrolment Drive originated from the local community leadership and Mantra4Change was entrusted with the job of executing it. Banners enumerating the various advantages and facilities offered by Government schools were printed and put up at prominent places thanks to the efforts of community leaders like Manjunath, President of SDMC (School Development and Monitoring Committee) of the Santhebeedi School in Dommasandra.
Pamphlets were distributed as teachers, other community volunteers and the Mantra4Change team engaged people and campaigned for Government schools in the surrounding villages. Children too actively participated in the Drive by carrying placards and banners and shouting slogans about the facilities available in the Government schools.
The main aim of the Enrolment Drive was to build credibility of Government schools in the eyes of the public. The Drive was also organised to help the schools understand the idea of seeing the cluster as a distributed school and working collaboratively to help bring about school improvement.
“Many people have no knowledge of the facilities offered by the Government schools. Through the Enrolment Drive and the pamphlets, we have been able to make people aware of all the facilities that is offered at Government schools. We have been able to tell them that the facilities in a Government school are at par with those at private schools. We have been able to convince the parents and factory owners to send about 10-12 children of migrant workers to school from June. We are very happy,” said Ms. Roopa, a teacher at Government Lower Primary School, Kommasandra.
Another success story from the Enrolment Drive is how the team managed to convince the large number of migrant population in the locality to send their children to schools. In B Hosahalli, since the teacher was from the same village, she was able to personally convince the community to consider sending the children to the school.
Mantra4Change will work on a process to capture the enrolment at school in June to understand the effect of the Enrolment Drive on students intake levels. We will also work to help teachers understand the enrolment trends and gain a scientific understanding of the various factors that contribute to it through a greater understanding of data.
The Enrolment Drive has reignited interest in Government schools and created a healthy buzz around them. News of the Enrolment Drive has spread to other Government schools, who are taking inspiration from the Dommasandra cluster to organise such drives in their locality to increase student intake. We are happy to see the ripple of change beginning to take on a life of its own.
By Shalini Nair, Field Manager at Mantra4Change