The Akanksha Foundation has always held a strong value system with regards to holistic development of children. We believe that the learning of a child goes beyond the walls of a classroom and our efforts are focused on helping them to maximise their potential.
Our school model also includes parents as our partners wherein we engage with them through volunteerism and community-wide efforts which ensure both, the development of their child as well as their own well being.
The current pandemic situation has given rise to extreme turns in the education system and forced children out of schools. However, our existing mechanisms worked to our advantage and allowed us to propose a course of action, which is, collaborating with parents to ensure the education of our children continues.
Setting the foundation
No sooner than the national lockdown was declared, our teams promptly set to putting together an action plan. All of Akanksha plunged into action to ensure the learning of our students continues even at home.
The central teams at our organisation have formulated a blueprint to conduct learning processes efficiently at home during the lockdown.
Our structure involves passionate mentors who are in charge of assembling a monthly schedule of learning experiences which is immediately passed on to the teachers. The teachers then drive this entire operation by communicating various activities to parents every week. In a nutshell, our teachers act as planners and parents are now responsible executors of education, taking ownership of children’s education.
Our approach emphasizes on “learning through play” which enables us to facilitate teaching processes through creative learning experiences by simply teaming up with parents. Not only have we redesigned our curriculum for numeracy and literacy but also created a setting which incorporates a holistic learning experience with resources that are available in households. Activities for K-2 grades include tasks like role-playing with parents, creative storytelling, learning through art, etc This not only drives the gross motor skills, listening, observation, memory and speaking skills in kids but also strengthens the parent-child bond and imbibes value education.
We are making education meaningful by weaving socio-emotional and ethical learning and inculcating values through such creative teaching techniques.
Enabling Parents to be co-educators
We believe that free and crystal clear communication is an essential part of every step that we take during our schooling procedures.
In order to support our parents consistently as co-educators, our teachers conduct parent meetings online on a regular basis. Weekly discussions allow for an exchange of information and also serve as a space for parents to give feedback about day to day activities that are given as children’s assignments. Teachers communicate clear cut instructions of the assignments in like Marathi, Hindi so that parents can understand the tasks properly.
To add to this, our teachers are available 24/7 to offer aid to parents, answering their queries and solving all their doubts. This has also given rise to a personal bond between the two parties and teachers are making sure to not only follow up but also check in on the well being of student’s families. Moreover, we have a weekly appraisal story which features parents who have performed extraordinarily as co-educators, paving their way to become a “Supermom” or “Superdad.” This is our little way of appreciating the immense efforts of parents who have enthusiastically taken up ownership for their child’s future.
Stepping up for many roles
Parents as collaborators: The idea here is to empower parents and lead them on a path which grants them to form a close-knit community. Along with the guidance from teachers, our parents are teaching aids for children. As collaborators, they have the power to move collectively in a direction which provides them with an opportunity to connect on a deeper level with their child and simultaneously attain the goal of teaching and learning without any interruptions.
Our parents and children bond over activities like Rakhi making, making cards together, etc.
Parents as teachers: The pandemic has posed challenges for everybody and one such challenge has been for parents who are now playing the role of teachers. It is their job to prepare worksheets for their children as well as systematically submit assignments after completion. Not only are they acting as teachers but are making active efforts to understand multiple technological processes.
Many of our parents attend classes with our children and ensure they understand the tasks and take the onus of completing them with the children.
Parents as investors: As a result of our partnership with parents over the years and our existing family-like relations with them, our mission of educating every single child studying at Akanksha has continued even amidst a pandemic. This very act of uninterrupted teaching and learning has been possible mainly because of parents who are highly invested in securing a bright future for their children. As individuals, they have managed to become multitaskers and are currently juggling multiple positions at once, first, their own profession, second, being that of handling an entire household and third of transforming into a co-educator to guide children with a purpose.
Our efforts are to strengthen the connections we’ve made with our parents and ensure that our children stay on the path of education.
Afreen Shaikh, a parent of our senior kg student shares, “I am grateful to Akanksha for recognising the importance of education since no other school has been as observant as Akanksha during these tough times. Akanksha’s support has motivated me to take my child’s education into my own hands and I do not want them to lose touch with the idea of studying especially in these early years of their learning journey.”