New Delhi, December 11- A joint press conference was held by Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals and Chennai-based NalandaWay Foundation to highlight their achievements of the project of Art in Education through Apollo Hospitals which is operational in four Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools in Badaprur since 2016, here yesterday at Apollo Hospital.
With the number of children enrolled in schools constantly on the rise, there is great pressure on the schools and teaching staff with government and municipal schools under even more pressure due to the large number of students. There are 15,22,346 schools in India and 14,27,02,298 students enrolled in government schools until Grade XII as on 2016 (Department of School Education and Literacy).
Children from marginalized backgrounds are deprived of a joyful learning experience. Uninspiring curriculum, insufficiently skilled teachers, coupled with socio-economic problems and family issues have resulted in a high student dropout and absenteeism rate.
Though school enrolments have increased over the last few years, it is a matter of concern that key learning outcomes among school children in India have been showing a declining trend. This is borne out by the 2019 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which shows that among children surveyed enrolled in Std VIII, about 73% can read at least a Std II-level text. This number is unchanged from the 2016 ASER survey. Std VII is the last year of compulsory schooling in India, by when children are expected not only to have mastered foundational skills but to have proceeded well beyond the basic stage, the report states.
This, among other such findings, indicates there is a need to employ more effective and creative techniques to improve the learning experience and retention of knowledge taught in schools, thereby enhancing the learning outcome, especially among underprivileged children.
Arts in Education Programme
Arts in Education is a programme for children from disadvantaged communities in government Schools. A pioneering concept by Chennai-based NGO, NalandaWay Foundation, it reaches out to 47,000 children every year in south India and Delhi NCR and has won acclaim in the educational arena.
By employing artistic techniques, children engage with curricular subjects by doing clay modelling and drawing pictures, thereby making the learning experience joyful and through team work, they develop self-confidence, learn co-operation and conflict resolution skills.
Towards making a qualitative and long-term improvement in learning among underprivileged children in the Badarpur area proximate to the hospital, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals decided to support NalandaWay’s start of activities in the Delhi region in 2015.
The Arts in Education (AiE) project operates out of 4 Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools in Gautampuri and Molarband, reaching out to over 1600 primary school children from Standards 1 to 5 and training 43 school teachers in innovative artistic methods.
These children are first generation learners from disadvantaged backgrounds (illiterate to semi-literate parents), with little or no educational support at home.
NalandaWay Foundation, with the support of Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, has provided arts in education activity cards in unique Fundango boxes for each classroom, art materials for conducting the activities, training and orientation to teachers and curriculum mapping with school syllabi.
Art projects and Art in Education sessions have led to an exponential increase in creativity among children in the four schools and they have shown consistent improvement in learning outcomes as has been borne out in annual Baseline and Endline Evaluation reports.
-Baseline-Endline data comparison (2018-19)
-Consistent improvement in vocabulary (26%), and modest improvement (4%) in verbal cognition.
-Introduction of Maths workbooks in the four schools has led to significant improvement in Mathematics scores (64%).
-Teachers say children perform better on math and have greater clarity of concepts.
-Art projects and AiE sessions have led to an exponential increase in creativity among children (216%)
-Art projects to encourage children to collaborate in a group and develop objects using origami/paper folding techniques and collage making.
All AIE activity takes place in groups.
-Children who were earlier excluded due to social barriers and lack of confidence are now included in all activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sriram, Founder & CEO, NalandaWay Foundation said, ‘‘We have received immense support from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in continuous monitoring and handling our efforts towards a better future of these children. As, we nourish first generation learners, who come from a very disadvantaged backgrounds, with little or no access to educational support and art resources. Our interventions have helped them become creative, learn life-skills and build self-confidence to create the lives that they truly want to lead. Apart from this, we also encourage the students to learn new things in a fun way, the focus is to dwell their minds with the belief that learning is a fun activity.’’
Mr. P Shivakumar, MD, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals said, “Art is a catalyst for positive transformation in all areas of human development and personal growth. The AiE project, apart from improving learning outcomes in children, has the potential to raise awareness about our individuality and humanity, our relationship with others and our bond with the environment. It gives us immense pleasure to facilitate the development of school children under our CSR project with Nalandaway Foundation. This project is important to us because it is different from other CSR activities. We noticed that such intiatives were becoming confined to distribution of study materials, installing ceiling fans or RO water filters in the name of utilising CSR bugdet. So when we were at the planning stage of this project, we decided to do something which may not produce immediate results but in the long-run, our decisions should have positive impact on the lives of our beneficiaries or the society as a whole. I believe that NalandaWay has worked hard in the part three years to being about change in the lives of children from economically poor background and their families. What we have achieved here is the fundamental change in the outlook and learning behaviour of the children and it has now become one of their skill sets. Now when these kids will go to colleges, they will definitely take the experience of their learning through art and will see their lives through the prism of enhanced creativity and a positive, confident outlook.”
About Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals:
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, India’s first JCI accredited hospital, is a joint venture between the Government of Delhi and Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited. Commissioned in July 1996, it is the third super-specialty tertiary care hospital set up by the Apollo Hospitals Group. Spread over 15 acres, it houses 57 specialties with more than 300 specialists and more than 700 operational beds, 19 operation theatres, 138 ICU beds, round-the-clock pharmacy, NABL accredited laboratories, 24-hour emergency services and an active air ambulance service. Apollo Hospitals Delhi has the leading programme in kidney and liver transplant in the country. The first successful paediatrics and adult liver transplants in India were performed at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals. The hospital is at the forefront of medical technology and expertise. It provides a complete range of latest diagnostic, medical and surgical facilities for the care of its patients. The Hospital has introduced the most sophisticated imaging technology to India with the introduction of 64 slice CT and 3 Tesla MRI, Novalis Tx and the integrated PET Suite. Indraprastha Apollo has also pioneered the concept of preventive health check programmes and has created a satisfied customer base over decades. The Hospital has been consistently ranked amongst the best 10 hospitals in India by The Week survey for the past few years.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals is the first company to support under its CSR Programme, award-winning Art in Education Programme of NGO NalandaWay Foundation in the Delhi region.
NalandaWay’s Art in Education programme won the Millennium Award (instituted by Govt. of India, USAID, UKAID, FICCI & World Bank) for best innovation in education in India (2015).