We at Bhumi strive towards providing holistic education and sustainable livelihoods for all. With over 12 years’ experience in handling classes at shelter homes, we have recently forayed into urban slum communities and low-income schools; for we believe education must prepare a child to become a well-rounded adult by tuning to each child’s unique needs and skills, and and influencing emotional, cognitive, social, and physical spheres.
In 2017-18, over 1,500 children honed essential life skills along with 57 teachers in Chennai and Uthiramerur. It is observed that across these 53 classrooms, there is a 48.98% increase in the children’s ability to interact with others, 66.91% increase in solving problems, 65.05% increase in taking initiative, and 63.38% in managing conflicts and 50.90% increase in understanding and following instructions. We believe that continuing this effort in the classrooms for one more year will only strengthen this foundation, and help children transition into individuals sensitive to their needs and those around.
Teacher development programme is a major component of the programme. The workshops equip teachers to acknowledge and develop inter-personal relationships, self awareness, empathy, coping with emotions or stress, critical thinking, decision making and more. It also promotes personal development through focused conversations, facilitated and driven by trained professionals.
A facilitator’s testimonial narrates the impact of the programme. “I was apprehensive when I attended the first workshop and wasn’t sure if the children would be involved. After several classes of life skills, when children were asked to thank the one person who has been their pillar of strength, many children came forward to recount and share their memories and gratitude. My moment of pride and joy however was when a physically challenged child, who is withdrawn and mostly quiet otherwise, shared his story voluntarily. I was touched to see this transformation.”
Why Life Skills:
Life skills are essential abilities that enable an individual to deal effectively with demands and challenges encountered in everyday life. Bhumi’s school transformation programme in partnership with the Learning Curve Life skills Foundation, aims at integrating socio-emotional development into the school’s schedule, thus transforming a classroom into a collaborative, fearless space for children to foster in. Positive social and emotional skills can impact how children function at home, school and in the community. For a child, this includes:
- Being in control of his/her own feelings and behaviours
- Possessing the ability to understand the feelings of others
- Getting along with other children
- Building meaningful relationships with adults
Overall, the school transformation programme has raised the edifice of an ideal classroom environment in which everyone has an opportunity to learn and improve.