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SEEKH - An Innovative educational intervention during Covid and beyond

December 7, 2020
Target Audience:
  • Academic faculty – ATIs, State Innovative Councils, National Training Institutes, Central/ State Universities
  • Government – District Authorities, State/ Central Line Ministry Officials, Headmasters/teachers of Govt. and aided, non-aided schools, Education Officers (Directors, Joint Directors, Dy. Directors & Asst Directors, Project Directors, Project Officers DEOs, BEOs, Samagra Shiksha Officials)
  • NGOs, CSR Foundations, CSOs & CBOs
  • Principals/faculty of schools
  • Elected representatives
  • Students & Research Scholars
  • Citizens
Centre for Innovations in Public Systems (CIPS)
It takes a village to raise a child” –this proverb seems to be even more relevant today due to the existing scenario throughout the world. The pandemic offers us the opportunity to reimagine education and learning. The key objective of the Seekh program is to ensure the continuity of foundational learning for primary school-aged children in the State of Chhattisgarh, through both online and offline means.
In Chhattisgarh, Seekh is UNICEF’s rapid response in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic to promote and nurture learning in children in a manner which is not burdensome and boring. Based on the learning outcomes committed by the State to its children, Seekh works in two complementary ways to reach the child. One, it uses digital platforms such as WhatsApp groups anchored by the teacher at the school or community level, to communicate easy, simple and fun to do activities in language, mathematics, basic science and sports. These activities are in the form of short, focused videos which aim to explain basic concepts in an attractive manner. They are meant for parents as much as they are for children. Both parents and children are expected to watch these videos together and do the few things that are suggested. These things range from discussing a picture together, listening to stories, reading, writing, engaging with counting, adding, looking for patterns, as well as enjoying physical activity, with all precautions taken. Seekh is nudging a cultural shift within families in the districts of Sukma, Dhamtari, Raigarh, Jashpur and Bastar towards nurturing children’s learning. Five more districts – Raipur, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur and Surajpur, will soon be added.
Difficulties & Challenges:
  • Digital connectivity in Chhattisgarh is a big challenge, so any program which relies on this will have a limited impact, not covering more than 20-25% children in any case.
  • Digital initiatives in education, as studies have shown, have not been successful or at best have had limited success. For young, primary school going children, human guidance and support is essential.
  • This is the reason why in the Seekh program, a non-negotiable element is the involvement of community based volunteers who want to contribute something positive to their communities and who, with some support, can do this in their neighbourhoods.
  • Our experiences so far show that the idea of mobilizing volunteers on a large scale is working, with complete ownership of the District Administration. This is helping to bridge the digital divide and also address issues of educational equity, which have been exacerbated in the wake of the pandemic.
  • The other lesson is that learning resources, when communicated using digital pathways and also involving volunteers at the community level, must be kept simple, short, interesting…for both parents, teachers and volunteers to be able to use them effectively.
  • The Seekh program also shows how decentralized decision making can make a difference – we have seen this in the way the district administration has worked…and also on the ground, through the involvement of School Management Committees and Panchayats.
The reason for replication and expansion is that this program fills a critical need in terms of strengthening foundational learning Seekh is also turning out to be an exciting online repository of learning resources for parents and children. On YouTube, you can find the Seekh channel by typing ‘CG Seekh’. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuYQSTWW_19nHZReA7diuIA
Learning Objectives
  • Ensure continuity of foundational learning among children.
  • Learning is ensured through fun-filled games and interesting activities.
  • Promotes learning of students along with parents.
  • Role of community/volunteers in teaching children.
  • Document effective and innovative practices and outcomes.
Key Speakers:
  • Mrs. Namrata Gandhi, IAS, CEO Zilla Panchayath, S Dhamtari Distt., Chhattisgarh
  • Mr. Sheshagiri KM Rao, Education Specialist, UNICEF, Chhattisgarh
Moderator: CH NV Ashish, PO, CIPS
Time Session Title Speaker
03:00 P.M. Welcome &Agenda Overview Mr. Ashish &Team, CIPS
03:15 P.M. Introduction to CIPS and setting the context Dr. Harsh Sharma, Director -CIPS
03:30 P.M. Seekh -An Innovative Educational Intervention during Covid-19 and Beyond Mr. Sheshagiri KM Rao, Education Specialist, UNICEF
04:00 P.M. Seekh’s effectiveness in maintaining learning levels of children in the State – A testimonial Mrs. Namrata Gandhi, IAS, CEO Zilla Panchayath, S Dhamtari District, Chhattisgarh
04:20 P.M. Q&A/Closing Session Panel/participants
  • Mr. Vasudev,vasudev@cips.org.in
  • Mr. Akshith,akshith@cips.org.in
  • Ms. Shivani Akku,Shivaniakku1997@gmail.com
Webinar(s) [14]
2020 [14]