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Bridging The Gap For First Generation Learners - One Child at a Time

“Please make sure he studies well sir, his marks are terrible and I can do nothing for him”. These were the words of one of our parents at the Vipasana center when they first came to us. Growing up in a privileged background, it never occurred to me how much the support outside of school contributed to my growth inside it. There was always support, whether it was in the form of coaches/tutors or simply having parents quickly clear any doubts because they had been through the same system as well. I was always given various options and had the freedom to choose the path I wanted. Not all children have these opportunities however, and sometimes it takes everything for a parent to simply keep their child in school. These children become a source of hope in such families and must navigate their way through these extra pressures.

Children today face many challenges when it comes to learning. In today's world, learning takes place in a fast-moving environment and it is vital that children are equipped to meet these challenges. A lot of children don't get the support they need at home to develop the skills they need to succeed, but, with the right foundation, they can achieve their goals. This is where we help bridge the gap. At Vipasana, no child gets left behind.

Over 600 million children and adolescents worldwide are unable to attain minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, even though two thirds of them are in school.

- UNICEF Education

It is between ages of 5 to 10 that many of the holistic and foundational values develop for a child. It is pertinent for them to be supported in this stage of their growth. We at Shraddha Maanu Foundation provide these children with the support they need to keep up with their education at school. We help them with resources such as stationary and learner’s kits, and give them laptops for when online access is required. Our main focus, however, is the quality of education they receive, and the values imbibed in them to meet the challenges of life. Since 2018, Shraddha Maanu Foundation has provided at over 700 underprivileged children, many of them first-generation learners, with a fun and effective after-school program in English, Math, and Science. These children, who had previously learned using rote-learning pedagogy and limited infrastructure, blossomed in Vipasana's participative and engaging environment. At our centers, we group the children into batches based on their learning needs (through our own assignments) rather than their grade at school. This helps the child grow at their own pace, and build on their fundamentals without feeling rushed. They also feel comfortable learning with children at the same level and improve their confidence and social skills by working with children of different age groups. The end result is a happy and effective classroom where children recognize the freedom to express themselves and learn from their mistakes rather than avoid engagement due to the fear of failure.

All children have enormous potential, but only a caring and patient adult can nurture it. The theory of multiple intelligences proposes the differentiation of human intelligence into specific modalities of intelligence, rather than defining intelligence as a single, general ability. This means that one child may possess great retention through images and visual cues while another may possess a word smart intelligence and learns through written repetition. Our activity based learning approach caters to their different intelligences, and at our centers one can see first hand how engaging a child via activity can bring out vibrant engagement in even the most introverted child.

We believe in the influence the children can have on their community and our engagement extends to regular contact with the parents to ensure a healthy environment for the children.

“I see him revise his lesson on his own sometimes, it really surprises me”.

These were also the words of the very same parent at the Vipasana centre, only a few months later.

To learn more about what we do and how you can help, click the link below.

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