Monday, February 11, 2008

Being Child-Friendly

The vision for this initiative has become clear: pursue ideas that will help to raise the standard of living of the future of India, namely, the children of India. The most effective strategy to do so, as of today, from our discussions seems to point in the direction of working at the level of school education. Also, we all seem to agree that there are many factors inherent in the idea of uplifting the standard of living that can be added upon as our initiative finds a concrete direction, but, first we must find that concrete direction, aka, a single focus. Hopefully, we are not too far off from achieving that goal. Intermittently, there is another point that might be worth addressing and that is being child-friendly. It encapsulates understanding the effects of parents, community, environment, health and education on a child in order to be effective. As we narrow down, what we specifically pursue, we can orient this concept of being child-friendly towards that goal. But, for now, for the sake of understanding lets say we were trying to establish child-friendly schools, what would that mean. Well, good thing you asked. Here is a framework of UNICEF defining what it means to them to have child-friendly schools:

And, if you actually read the UNICEF's framework, you will see it establishes points that can be generally used for other student related goals. I think this is a valid point to keep a perspective of. Wat say YOU?


Badhri said...

Went through the website link you said. Very insightful. Appears like it has put more questions in my mind than answers.

I guess this link only strongly supports the idea of us coming up with a varied curriculum (Sara's global warming, civic sense), (possibly your) health-related stuff etc.

As of participation of family in schooling, participation of children in surrounding community is not done at any level of schooling, let alone the govt. school. So do we restrict this only to schools catering to lower economic class?

Do we just restrict ourselves only to teaching? Not doing anything?

What about other ills like corruption etc? Save it for later?

I there is so much to think about!

Dhaval Patel said...

badhri, i m glad u found the unicef article to be thought-provoking. it was partly wat i was aiming at. i have emailed the grp trying to address ur concern.

roader said...

Great Ideas...... Great people..


I am just a passerby.. I read most of your blogs.. Happy to know that there are people out there who think about a new India..

Even though I don't personally agree with some of the ideas presented here, they seems to be in the right direction.

Helping children to attain the right education is always a good idea.. Now what is right education? For us probably it is something that makes good innovations, leadership. But for the parents it is something that enables their children to earn a living. I think there is a conflict here.

Also I think any new system will succeed only if it is based on human greed. The receiving end should see some immediate benefit in it.

Any way, thanks for giving me some good ideas ... and I will visit you guys often

ranjit nair said...

Thanks for visiting us Roader.

I agree with you when you say that for most of the people from the rural parts of the country, education is directly linked to obtaining a job that pays a monthly salary. We definitely would have that in mind. Having said that, it is also important that no child should miss out a so called 'high quality' of education just because his/her parents were poor.

It's a flat world which is increasingly becoming flatter. By this I mean that everyone could eventually can and be on the same level in the competition.

We would like to fill out those little gaps that are taken for granted in good schools but never are even discussed in 'not so well to do' schools.We would like to design a curriculum that would at least expose people to the world and the opportunities therein.Let them know that a higher quality of life is very much indeed possible.

We can at best ignite sparks.The power of an idea in a human brain is immense. Let the recipients of such ideas play with it and come up with it.

As my ex-boss put it, you and I would have a question to ask our kid the day before the maths test in school,but would the guy with no formal education have one to ask her? A small but often overlooked
So we pitch in and help them out in whatever little way possible.

Your next idea was actually brilliant. Children & People would definitely see what the immediate benefits of such initiatives would be. And unless we outline some tangible thing, the idea would become yet another futile exercise.

There has to some research in solving this issue.Again we have to look around the world to understand how similar projects were executed around the world.We are working in this direction and studying some methodologies.

The lessons that are taught should be always memorable to the kids. Both at the time of the class (to address the immediate benefit concern) & later (so that they remember that and apply). For example , Almost all of us in school have been taught to follow Queue . How many of us do that? Thats cause,whenever we break the Q , the lesson that our teacher gave us doesnt ring in our head. The message was just not powerful enough so as to make us remember it for the rest of our lives. So effective delivery mechanisms have to be researched. Some critical but simple rules that universally uplift the standard of living like safe driving, following Queues, respecting women, integrity and honesty have to be strongly delivered into the minds of kids while at school. They should never ever think about an option otherwise. This is not impossible..might be a bit difficult,but definitely doable.

And we would also think about the gains for parents and the community surrounding the children and give them a sound picture of the things that lie ahead.

Thanks for dropping by.Do keep giving us your valuable comments. We appreciate that !