- Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals is the first company to support under its CSR Programme, award-winning Art in Education Programme of NGO NalandaWay Foundation in the Delhi region.
- Art in Education through Apollo Hospitals is operational in 4 Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools in Badaprur.
- NalandaWay’s Art in Education programme won the Millennium Award (instituted by Govt. of India, USAID, UKAID, FICCI & World Bank) for best innovation in education in India (2015).
With the number of children enrolled in schools constantly on the rise, there is great pressure on the schools and teaching staff with government and municipal schools under even more pressure due to the large number of students. There are 15,22,346 schools in India and 14,27,02,298 students enrolled in government schools until Grade XII as on 2016 (Department of School Education and Literacy).
Children from marginalized backgrounds are deprived of a joyful learning experience. Uninspiring curriculum, insufficiently skilled teachers, coupled with socio-economic problems and family issues have resulted in a high student dropout and absenteeism rate.
Though school enrolments have increased over the last few years, it is a matter of concern that key learning outcomes among school children in India have been showing a declining trend. This is borne out by the 2019 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which shows that among children surveyed enrolled in Std VIII, about 73% can read at least a Std II-level text. This number is unchanged from the 2016 ASER survey. Std VII is the last year of compulsory schooling in India, by when children are expected not only to have mastered foundational skills but to have proceeded well beyond the basic stage, the report states.
This, among other such findings, indicates there is a need to employ more effective and creative techniques to improve the learning experience and retention of knowledge taught in schools, thereby enhancing the learning outcome, especially among underprivileged children.
Arts in Education Programme
Arts in Education is a programme for children from disadvantaged communities in government Schools. A pioneering concept by Chennai-based NGO, NalandaWay Foundation, it reaches out to 47,000 children every year in south India and Delhi NCR and has won acclaim in the educational arena.
By employing artistic techniques, children engage with curricular subjects by doing clay modelling and drawing pictures, thereby making the learning experience joyful and through team work, they develop self-confidence, learn co-operation and conflict resolution skills.
- Towards making a qualitative and long-term improvement in learning among underprivileged children in the Badarpur area proximate to the hospital, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals decided to support NalandaWay’s start of activities in the Delhi region in 2015.
- The Arts in Education (AiE) project operates out of 4 Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools in Gautampuri and Molarband, reaching out to over 1600 primary school children from Standards 1 to 5 and training 43 school teachers in innovative artistic methods.
- These children are first generation learners from disadvantaged backgrounds (illiterate to semi-literate parents), with little or no educational support at home.
- NalandaWay Foundation, with the support of Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, has provided arts in education activity cards in unique Fundango boxes for each classroom, art materials for conducting the activities, training and orientation to teachers and curriculum mapping with school syllabi.
- Art projects and Art in Education sessions have led to an exponential increase in creativity among children in the four schools and they have shown consistent improvement in learning outcomes as has been borne out in annual Baseline and Endline Evaluation reports.
Encouraging Outcomes – Baseline-Endline data comparison (2018-19)
- Consistent improvement in vocabulary (26%), and modest improvement (4%) in verbal cognition.
- Introduction of Maths workbooks in the four schools has led to significant improvement in Mathematics scores (64%). Teachers say children perform better on math and have greater clarity of concepts.
- Art projects and AiE sessions have led to an exponential increase in creativity among children (216%)
- Art projects: encourage children to collaborate in a group and develop objects using origami/paper folding techniques and collage making.
- All AIE activity takes place in groups. Children who were earlier excluded due to social barriers and lack of confidence are now included in all activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sriram, Founder & CEO, NalandaWay Foundation, ‘‘We have received immense support from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in continuous monitoring and handling our efforts towards a better future of these children. As, we nourish first generation learners, who come from a very disadvantaged backgrounds, with little or no access to educational support and art resources. Our interventions have helped them become creative, learn life-skills and build self-confidence to create the lives that they truly want to lead. Apart from this, we also encourage the students to learn new things in a fun way, the focus is to dwell their minds with the belief that learning is a fun activity.’’
Mr. P ShivaKumar, MD, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals said, ‘‘Art is a catalyst for positive transformation in all areas of human development and personal growth. The AiE project, apart from improving learning outcomes in children, has the potential to raise awareness about our individuality and humanity, our relationship with others and our bond with the environment. It gives us immense pleasure to facilitate the development of school children under our CSR project with Nalandaway Foundation.’’