Project Roshni going places

Govt. to extend migrant children’s education scheme to schools across the State

Published - February 01, 2020 01:19 am IST - KOCHI

Illustration for The Hindu

Illustration for The Hindu

Three years since it was launched on a pilot basis for enhanced academic performance of migrant children through improved language proficiency, Project Roshni has won accolades from all corners and the Government’s decision to extend it across the State is the latest feather in its cap.

The proposal for the State-wide expansion of the project found mention in the Governor’s policy address on Wednesday.

The project is being implemented jointly by the Education Department, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the district administration using the corporate social responsibility funds of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.

“It remains to be seen whether the Government plans to make use of our expertise in expanding the project across the State. We have already assisted in running the project in two schools in Pathanamthitta and a school in Kannur,” said C.K. Prakash, general coordinator of Roshni.

The project using code-switching as the main pedagogical tool, which involves a speaker alternating between two or more languages in the context of a single conversation, was first introduced in four schools covering about 110 students in lower and upper primary classes during 2017-18. “Since then it was extended to 20 and 40 government and aided schools covering 670 and 1,230 migrant students respectively in the next two years,” said Mr. Prakash.

Students under the project are given classes for an hour before the normal school hours. Forty-five volunteers having completed Plus Two and proficiency in at least one language other than Malayalam have been drafted in with a monthly remuneration of ₹10,000.

“Besides, we have now deployed multiple student volunteers in each school from among both migrant and local students with good linguistic skills,” said Mr. Prakash. A performance analysis conducted by SCMS at the end of 2018-19 academic year had noted increased proficiency of migrant students in Malayalam and English languages. Post-Roshni, students were generally found to secure better grades in English reading, writing, and speaking compared to their grades prior to it.

The beneficiaries were mostly from West Bengal followed by Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, and Rajasthan with a smattering of students from Lakshadweep, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, and even Nepal.

The analysis found that more than 90% of parents, a majority of whom daily labourers, were supportive of the project and the dropout rate from the project was “minimal overall and none in most of the schools.”

The analysis observed that proficiency in Malayalam was 83% in the 10-to-12 age group and 84% among those between 13 and 15 years of age and attributed the trend to a great deal to Roshni as most children aged between 10 and 15 years were part of the project for more than 10 months.

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