Foundational Learning in Chennai Hubs

For the past two years, children in our communities have been attending online school. With hindrances like lack of phone or internet, they have struggled to attend classes regularly.

In Chennai, Prakash A, CBO & AHT Programme Coordinator, heads the after-school programme (ASP) in Kannagi Nagar, Kalyanapuram, Basin Bridge and Kannigapuram. When asked how childrens’ education has been affected during the pandemic, he says, “The ground reality is – not attending school has majorly affected the behaviour of children, especially because their routine and a disciplined schedule has changed. In the post-pandemic days, children are more casual about school or following a schedule for learning. Those that were able to do basic reading are now unable to even read a sentence or write. The major problem that has circled back yet again is the lack of foundational knowledge.”

In our ASP, we provide holistic education for children from 2nd – 10th grade. To address this issue, the team used a tool called ACER and assessed children across all hubs. This helped them understand each child’s learning level. Prakash says, “We found that majority of children were still in a beginner level. They were reading without truly understanding what they were learning. It is ingrained in them to study by heart that they have not developed the art of understanding what they learn.”

With a challenge as difficult as this, our team put together a specialised plan to tackle this issue. They began a 3-month retrieval class that will focus on the foundational learning. Prakash says, “The pandemic has caused children to lose their spark for learning. So in our retrieval classes, we introduced learn by play method to help them ease into their learning habits. For the first month, we focused on teaching multiplication tables, numbers, English and Tamil alphabets. Post 30 days, we conducted an assessment to check their learning progress and we were glad to see that majority of the students were able to understand and learn well. This proved that children ARE able to learn, provided the right tutoring and method of learning. Our goal is that by the end of the retrieval classes, they will be able to read and write. If they can do that, then they will easily study on their own. The foundation is important.”

Another issue children face is studying at home because they do not have the suitable environment for this. Prakash says, “We wanted children to also receive the support at home to study well. So we conducted focus group discussions with children and their parents separately to understand their needs and challenges. Through this, we were able to identify that there was a strain in the parent-child relationships which in turn affected the child’s desire to learn. Children were disappointed that parents were not giving them enough attention or affection while the parents were struggling through the pandemic to put food on the table. For parents, children took a back seat as they operated on survival mode through the pandemic. How can we mend these relationships? We had to understand both sides and offer solutions.”

Our staff conducted a parents’ meet where the parents were presented with this harsh reality of the relationship with their child. A brief session was conducted to help them understand the needs of their child and the importance of meeting those needs. Prakash says, “We hope that we will be able to lay a solid foundation for these children and provide a positive environment for learning in collaboration with their parents. It is not going to be easy but it will be worth it.”

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Dear Partners & Supporters,

 Greetings from Oasis India!

I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year! As we step in 2022, we thank you for what you have helped us accomplish this past year.

Oasis India has accomplished 27 successful years of empowering women and children in India. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful support and partnership that we have shared over the years. Even though we faced a great global distress in the past years, we have come out stronger. As we begin celebrating this season of joy and peace, I would like to thank you for your support and love towards Oasis India.

My sincere appreciation to the Board (Committee of Management) for their guidance and a special thank you to our funding partners. We are very grateful to our institutional donors, Mukthi Bike Challenge network & riders, volunteers, sponsors, donors, 500 club donors, community partners and everyone who has continued to support our work through donations, volunteering and professional services. You all make us who we are and we will never lose sight of that. Our teams in the field who work directly with the beneficiaries have gone above and beyond their call of duty in 2021 and have left me so deeply humbled by their self-sacrificing efforts and commitment.

You will be delighted to know that in 2021, we have received our Platinum certification from GuideStar India for one year. That makes Oasis India one of the selected 100 non-profits attaining the highest Transparency and Quality Standards. We are on track, making all necessary arrangements for our FCRA renewal. We have also received 12AB and 80G renewal for the year. Our biggest accomplishment this year has been the successful launch of our new hub at North East in Churachandpur, Manipur to help families in alternative skill training and holistic development of children, leading to a developed and socially conscious community. Mukthi Bike Challenge 2021 was nothing short of amazing and the different editions in the various cities and countries helped us to get the word out about human trafficking to people around the globe.

Thank you all for supporting the work of Oasis India and helping us make a difference in our community. Your dedication is what inspires each and every one of us. This season, I wish you all the best and success in life as we head towards 2022! Be blessed.

With Regards,
Mangneo Lhungdim
Executive Director
Oasis India