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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Equipping children in India for a better life!

“Earlier, I never used to like coming to school as I was not able to understand what the teachers were saying. Now, I love to come to my school. I don`t miss a single day,” says Nafiya, 9, from India.

Just a year ago, this fourth-grade student was finding it hard to understand simple maths and recognise the English alphabet. Today, she is not only able to solve maths problems in her class, but is also doing well in all of her other subjects.

Nafiya`s improved learning capabilities are thanks to the special care she has received as part of the Enhanced Education Quality Improvement Program (EQuIP) that ChildFund India runs in 100 schools in Tamil Nadu, with support from Caterpillar Foundation.

“Now, I find things are very easy to understand. I will study more and become an engineer,” she adds, while neatly arranging the text books she has received from ChildFund.

Since 2011, EQuIP has directly reached more than 4,800 children identified as ˜slow bloomer students`. These children have received individual care and their performances have been monitored so that no one is left behind.

Nafiya’s teacher Jayabharathi was recently awarded for her outstanding contribution to improving the learning ability of more than 60 children in two schools.

J Bhasker Raj, Nafiya`s principal, says: “I am very happy to see the progress of Nafiya and her classmates. Last year, when ChildFund began its EQuIP program, we identified 30 children as poor performers. Twenty-four of them have now improved and caught up with their peers due to the extra care given to them by Jayabharathi.

“It is due to her dedication and commitment to enhance their learning capabilities that most of those children have improved significantly. They are now on par with other children in their class in every sphere €“ comprehending, reading and writing.

“I am very proud of the students, as well as Jayabharathi,” he adds.

Over the past two years, ChildFund India has recruited 45 teachers to assist with the program and 15 different workbooks have been developed and distributed among children to enhance their learning practice.

“We use activity-based methods and our special curriculum to develop interest in studies among the slow learners like Nafiya,” says Jayabharathi. “Some children don`t pick up the pace during their regular classes, but if special attention is given they can be at the same level as others.

“My job is to give as much time as possible to those kids and help them become as capable and confident as their peers in school.”

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