In the 30 government schools where our libraries already run, children from underprivileged backgrounds not only read, discuss and do activities around books but also manage the libraries. In the evenings,the community runs the libraries and involves the youth. Panchayat heads have volunteered help, and teachers and HMs have asked to be trained to teach better. We have a team working with schools to improve classroom processes and there is extensive data to show that the libraries are leading to improved learning. Now, we intend to expand to 30 more schools - your help will make all the difference!
IGNUS is a group of professionals working on improving the quality of education from pre-school to secondary levels, with a focus on the needs of underprivileged children. Most of us have been active in the field from 1980s, on intensive small-scale efforts as well as large-scale programmes. We define 'Ignus-ness' as a commitment to children first, and to equity. Within this broad frame, we run a consulting firm (IgnusERG), the profits of which support Ignus PAHAL, our non-profit effort. Ignus PAHAL implements a library-based school improvement programme in 30 government schools in Varanasi district.
Over the last 20 years, IgnusERG has worked with state governments in developing school curricula and textbooks (8 major states) and in-service training of lakhs of teachers within DPEP, SSA, RMSA (16 states). Subir Shukla, the Principal Coordinator, was Educational Quality Advisor to MHRD and facilitated the development of the Quality Framework for RTE. With major INGOs and NGOs we've worked on girls' education, addressing the needs of tribal children, and Inclusive Education for children with special needs, across India. We partnered with Pratham Books to develop the Adikahani series, which are the first children's books in four tribal languages of Odisha. Our Pahal Pustakalayas in 30 schools are serving as a forum to bring the different stakeholders together in helping improve learning processes and levels, and form the basis of a long-term school transformation programme.
We intend to use the funds specifically for books. We already have an office and a 6-member team active on ground, being funded by our own resources. As our team members have learnt from working on the first set of 30 libraries over a year, they are now ready to take on another 30. Our extensive (and growing) network in the area and the goodwill generated by the effort till now provides us the basis to expand - we just need the books!