Key Responsibility Areas for an NGO in Education
Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) extend education to underprivileged children in India, and develop innovations that improve the quality of primary education. This is crucial as in a country as varied as India, it is impossible for government agencies alone to reach out to every child in every corner and provide the right inputs. Also, government agencies will also need to be looked at critically to ensure they stay on course in achieving what is mandated for them.
Let’s look at the responsibilities that NGOs operating specifically in the area of education:
- Targeting under-served children: The Government could support the efforts of NGOs to bring out-of-school children into schools, through timely supply of teachers, classroom space, and other resources. Targeted action is needed to reach different types of out-of-school children – those who work, those who live in slums, those on the street, those who are members of tribes, or of migrant families, and those who live in places without schools. To encourage young, first-generation learners to stay in school, requires a supportive, and nurturing environment. To help make learning interesting, and worthwhile for such children, teachers in government schools could receive special training in new methods developed by NGOs. It also requires reaching out to meritorious students within these sections of society and equipping them with right resources to help them take the leap to inspire others around them.
- Enhancing quality: Improving the quality of education requires working closely with key agents of change, such as teachers, school heads and school management committees. To develop a cadre of trainers for primary school teachers, teacher training institutes would do well to evaluate, and learn from NGO models for teacher training. Teachers need a range of knowledge, and skills to teach underprivileged children effectively. Here again, NGO models would be a useful tool for teacher training institutes. NGOs could collaborate with schools in developing appropriate, and flexible learning assessment tools, in line with innovative teaching, and learning methods. PREF is one such NGO that has invested a lot in teacher training to help them create responsible citizens of tomorrow.
- Right skilling – While education is good, in an economy like India, the education alone may not be enough to get child a job. Therefore, it is important that the students are given the right skills to help them become employable. These skills could be a supplement to education or may be used as a substitute to formal education helping such kids learn skills and start earning as young adults. Right skilling is also challenging for government agencies to achieve due to implementation challenges and NGOs have typically taken up these responsibilities.
It is important to understand that the best results are achieved by NGOs when governments support their efforts. NGOs help in connecting with the neglected communities as they enjoy a better trust than government agencies due to historical reasons. PREF is one such NGO, who is spearheading a movement towards meaningful education through trust and technology, guiding students in remote areas of Uttar Pradesh.