Learning to Engage

Confident, firm and motivated.Mrs. Kanchan Wadhwani, a Karyakarta (worker) of Heera Path Anganwadi, Jaipur, is all these qualities rolled in one. She has been working for the past 7 years in the Anganwadi system after clearing her 12th standard. As one of the cohorts of Anganwadi Workers (AWWs), she is being trained in new pedagogical practices adopted at the Nandghars (Anganwadis) for the last one year. “I never thought that the school will undergo so many changes and my Anganwadi children will get an opportunity to learn according to the 21st century learning and like in a Montessori school,” she said.

Earlier, she was running the Anganwadi center from a small rented room for the last 7 years. Enrollment and attendance were consistently low. The community preferred to send the children to private, low fee-paying pre-schools in the neighborhood instead. Lack of proper infrastructure, appropriate teaching and learning materials, and AWWs’ limited knowledge and skills were some of the major constraints. On the other hand, Anganwadi workers were saddled with a number of non-teaching, administrative work. Consequently, the learning of children suffered.

“By God’s grace, Vedanta adopted my Anganwadi under its Nandghar project to make it a model Anganwadi centre”, she said.

Now it has a new building with modern amenities like toilet, kitchen, solar light, television, etc., along with other health, nutrition and education related services. Schoolnet India Limited as early childhood education solution partner of Vedanta is providing end-to-end pre-primary education solutions to more than 250 Anganwadis in Rajasthan, U.P., and Odisha.

Capacity building of Anganwadi workers and supervisors, Smart kits (toys and materials for development of teaching and learning aids), Adding Dimension Boards, e-learning videos (stories, rhymes and thematic concepts) help turn these Nandghars into a rich learning environment as a part of the education solutions. The training and handholding provided by Schoolnet India Ltd. has given the AWWs new confidence in multi-sensory teaching with new techniques using TLMs, television, four corners approach and manipulatives. “In the past one year, my children have learned a lot. Now they are singing rhymes confidently, can name fruits, animals and vegetables. They like to play with toys and write on AD boards,” said Kanchan Wadhwani with a beaming face.

“Enrollment and attendance increased due to pre-primary activities. Children like stories, rhymes and toys. Unlike earlier, now parents are keener to send their children to Anganwadi (Nandghar)”