Non – Formal Education for the Working Children

M/s. SKN, The Netherlands, an organization for the children came forward to provide assistance to undertake ‘Non-Formal Education for the Working Children in Sithayan Kottai Panchayat. The Programme was implemented in the villages – Alagarnayakkan Patti, Pudupatti, Sithayan Kottai and Sedapatti.

Non-Formal Education Programme was an effort to provide an opportunity to the working children to learn the Three ‘R’…. Reading, Writing and to do Simple Asthmatics and develop healthy habits and if possible provide vocational education and training.

The Project was started in April 1998 and concluded by the end of the March -2000.

Three hundred children were enrolled in five centres: Alagarnayakkan Patti, M.Pudupatti, Sithayan Kottai and Sedapatti.

Along with Literacy Skill Development, other efforts like Awareness Education on Health Care, Environment Education, Science and Technology, Arts & Culture, Personality Development and above all Family Life Education were included in the NFE Programme.

Eco Tour and Experience Sharing Review were conducted regularly to motivate the children to attend the centre without fail and encourage them to share their views and develop their ability to express their feelings, desire and likes and dislikes.

This kind of friendly approach promoted the participation of children in learning process. Nearly 50 children expressed their desire to join in the formal schools. Ten children completed their 10 standard studies and registered in the employment. Five of them have got employment in government service.

The Field Staff cum Animators not only concentrated on working children, they had given due importance to children who in the schools. They conducted coaching classes for these children.

The Youth Club and the Women Groups were more useful to implement the programme. They provided assistance like Providing Hall for conducting the classes and electricity for lighting.

The outcome of the project:

  • Every Year the School Enrolment Campaign were conducted.
  • The Working Children of the Centre too joined in this effort.
  • School drop out was arrested considerably.
  • Problems in the schools were settled.
  • Health Education and Family Life Education were conducted in the schools.