Quality Education For Every Child In Punjab

A project of Sanjhi Sikhiya
japnik_singh.JPG Japnik Singh
WEST SACRAMENTO, California, US
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  • 08/16/2023

    What We Have Been Up to This Year!

     

    Sat Sri Akal Ji!

    As we approach the second half of this eventful year, we are excited to share our progress in achieving two primary goals: fostering the next generation of youth leaders dedicated to transforming Punjab and ensuring access to quality education in government primary schools.

    Let's take a look at some 2023 highlights, where key themes include growth, collaboration, and systemic shifts.

    1.We won an international award!

    The Punjab Education Collective (PEC) was endowed with the Collective Social Innovation Award at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, presented by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

    2. We signed 8 MoUs with colleges across Punjab.

    To develop many more young people as system thinkers and engage many more people in academia with grassroots-level work.

    3. Sent out the 3rd cohort of Youth Leaders to serve Punjab!

    PYLP’s Cohort 3 (2021- 2023) completed their 2-year journey in May 2023. They worked in 5 blocks of Ropar – Anandpur Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Ropar 2, Morinda, and Takhatgarh. Post PYLP, all of them have joined different education-focused non-profits in Punjab.

    4. We teamed up with three organizations for Inclusive Education.

    We collaborated with Jai Vakeel Foundation (JVF), Mumbai, NeoMotion (incubated by IIT Madras), and School for Differently-abled (Pingalwara, Amritsar) to bring about a transformative change in the education of Children with Special Needs (CwSN). The initial focus will be on teacher professional development, student assessments, and the establishment of improved mobility infrastructure.

    5. Students are now included in every School Management Committee (SMC) across Punjab.

    This significant step taken by the Punjab education department signifies a great leap towards promoting greater student participation in decision-making processes. This latest mandate brings students to the forefront of educational governance.

    6. Empowering Education System with Gram Sikhiya Sabha.

    We partnered with Samarthya to achieve the successful adoption of the 'Gram Sikhiya Sabha' within the education system. The Punjab education authorities recently issued a state-wide instruction to all teachers and school heads, sharing a comprehensive SOP for implementing the 'Gram Sikhiya Sabha' (a key process innovation by Sanjhi Sikhiya). This approach has been recognized as a best practice for enhancing parental participation and fostering community ownership. This milestone is gratifying, particularly considering our previous efforts to organize 300 such sabhas.

    7. Balley Balley! We went Dutch through dance!

    We conducted a Bhangra workshop in collaboration with Amsterdam Bhangra and hosted a dinner in collaboration with TastyTalks in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

     

    Stories That Keep Us Going...

    Ek Sarpanch Aisi Bhi - A Movement In Herself

    Nestled in the heart of Punjab, India, lies a quaint hamlet named Chak Karma. Within its confines stood the Chak Karma Government Primary School, an establishment attended by 64 students and and managed by a single dedicated teacher. The School Management Committee (SMC) members were scarcely involved, and the panchayats remained oblivious to their roles in the school’s advancement.

     

    In the midst of this scenario, Bhawna, a dynamic young leader, crossed paths with the Head Teacher and was informed of the challenges of this school. Recognizing the urgency, Bhawna initiated Read More...

     

    From Bihar to Punjab - Raja's Journey Back To School

    Manya Jain, a Young Leader at Sanjhi Sikhiya, during her visit to government primary schools in Chamkaur Sahib, crossed paths with Raja, a migrant student from Bihar, who was struggling to understand anything at school. Manya’s curiosity led her to his teachers, and she got to know how Raja was struggling to attend school. On one hand he wanted to study but the financial condition at ho Read More...

    READ MORE HERE!

  • 05/15/2023

    Our Vision & Our Process

     

      The Sanjhi Sikhiya Foundation is a nonprofit organisation with a vision of transforming Punjab into a land of hope, courage and possibilities. We understand that the issues facing Punjab today: substance abuse, migration, declining water and soil health, etcetera, can not be tackled in isolation. The solution to these problems is Systemic Change, a holistic approach to shifting the population’s priorities towards socially significant subjects over time. Our work revolves around preparing the landscape for this Systemic Change through two avenues. 

      The Punjab Youth Leaders Program (PYLP) is a one-of-a-kind leadership development programme which identifies young leaders in the community and prepares them with the mindset, skillset and network to bring about Systemic Change. The preparation is conducted in the context of a two-year fellowship (compensated) with the simultaneous objective of improving the quality of education in the primary government-schools of Punjab. With a heavy emphasis on personal learning (frequent learning sessions) and practical experience (intensive fieldwork), the young leaders graduate the fellowship, equipped with the essentials, to make our vision a reality.

        The Cluster-Transformation Process (CTP) is an education reform initiative which currently focuses on ‘elementary government schools’ in Punjab. In Punjab, every district (ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ) is divided into blocks (ਤਹਿਸੀਲ)) which are further divided into clusters, each comprising 10-15 schools. The CTP initiative has two parallel verticals operating at the cluster level: a learning path and a governance path. The Learning Path hosts discussion platforms for teachers to collaborate and improve learning outcomes in children. The Governance Path hosts discussion platforms to activate the School Management Committee (SMC) and local-government authorities (Panchayats). This is done by informing the SMC of its rights and responsibilities in SMC Meetings; and, seeking participation of the Panchayat in Gram Sikhiya Sabha (GSS) Meetings.

     

    Cluster-Transformation Process

    Summary of our efforts in 3 districts of Punjab since the beginning of 2023.

    Learning Path 

    The Learning Path is oriented towards the engagement of teachers to improve learning outcomes in children. This is accomplished through teacher collectives, also known as Cluster Academic Meetings (CAMs). 

    a) Cluster Academic Meetings (CAM)
    Purpose

    • To provide a space for teachers to collaborate (by sharing their best-practices and solutions to challenges).
    • To plan monthly academic goals effectively.

    In-Practice 

    Twenty-eight meetings were conducted.

      Governance Path

      The Governance Path is oreitned towards the engagement of the community to raise awareness on the rights and responsibilities of the SMC (school administration) and Panchayat (village administration). This is accomplished through three platforms of discussion:

    a) School Management Committee Meetings (SMC)
    b) Gram Sikhiya Sabhas (GSS)
    c) Panchayat Collectives

     

    a) School Management Committee Meetings

    Purpose

    • To activate and empower the SMC (by raising awareness of an SMC’s rights and responsibilities).
    • To create a School Development Plan.

    In-Practice 

    Eight meetings were conducted.


    b) Gram Sikhiya Sabha (GSS)
    Purpose

    • To empower SMCs (by giving them access to a community discussion forum).
    • To activate the Panchayat in carrying out its responsibilities.
    • To create an ecosystem which values and supports government schools.

    In-Practice   

    Twenty-three meetings were conducted.

     

    c) Panchayat Collectives

    Purpose

    • To initiate conversation around foundational education in local government. 
    • To provide for Panchayats to collaborate (by sharing by sharing their best-practices and solutions to challenges)

    In-Practice 

     - Six meetings were conducted.

  • 05/15/2023

    The Need for Systemic Transformation in Punjab

      As Punjab struggles with a flux of emigration which can only draw parallels in zones of civil-turmoil, a question arises: why, despite not being such a zone, is Punjab so afraid to stay at home?

      The primary rationales behind this tide of emigration are dim employment prospects and vulnerability to substance abuse; these ‘push’ factors have implications for two sets of stakeholders. Firstly, there is a direct impact on the youth, which,  in the search of better job opportunities and a secure environment, leaves the country. Secondly, there is an indirect impact on families, which, seeking the same opportunities and security for their children, leave the country. Considering the present-day conditions of Punjab, the validity of these reasons is undeniable.

      However, the concerns lie elsewhere, and are not easily foreseeable because they present with a time-delay, a few years after immigrating . As the rush of skyscrapers and lights, as the excitement of new cars and new houses begins to settle, one finds several pieces missing. The communication and cultural gaps between parent and child seem insurmountable. The distance from parents and the guilt of long lost-time away from home scrapes away at the heart. The absence of a constructive social-circle triggers splurges on shallow shows of splendour. Yet, the puzzle remains unsolved. 


      Tracing this sequence of events back in time: it started with the ‘move’ away from home; which was a result of Punjab’s imperfect circumstances. Therefore, it is very clear that the root of the ailment lies in India as we take symptom-masking pills across the globe. Fixing the root problem requires generation of employment opportunities which would inversely impact substance, crime, poverty, etcetera. Sustainable-Employment which starts today and persists into tomorrow is the way forward for a nation which seeks genuine prosperity.

      Punjab Youth Leaders Program (PYLP), a social-initiative based in the state, is an endeavour which checks both criteria of Sustainable Employment: opportunities today and opportunities tomorrow. Promising young leaders are selected and offered compensation to work in education reform. Along with this, their personal development is supported to inculcate social responsibility and a true sense of leadership. These values are what will carry forward to create employment opportunities in the future. 

      As young leaders of Cohort-3 graduate from the PYLP Fellowship, the Cohort-5 selection process is also coming to a close. This year, around 620 aspirants completed the online PYLP application. After intensive review, shortlisted candidates were invited for the in-person selection rounds in Bathinda and Jalandhar. Both selection days saw an exceptional turnout of 160 future leaders from diverse backgrounds. The selection process engaged the aspirants in four screening components: an interview, a counselling round, a group activity and a group discussion. Regardless of what the selection outcome will be, the candidates got a first-hand experience of what the world of leadership looks like.

     

    Here is a glimpse

  • 01/31/2023

    Updates from Quarter 3 (October- December 2022)

    Updates from Quarter 3

    Our operations in the field are divided into two categories:

    1. Teachers Development
      -Cluster Academic Meetings (CAM)/ Teacher Collectives
      -Implementation observed post-teacher collectives
    2. Community Participation
      -Gram Sikhiya Sabhas (GSS)/ Community Collectives
      -School Management Committee (SMC) Meetings
      -Panchayat Collectives

    Following are some updates from the last quarter:


    I. Teachers Development

    Cluster Academic Meeting (CAM)/ Teacher Collectives 
    Number of collectives held : 24

    Purpose of Cluster Academic Meetings:

    To create a space for a cluster’s teachers to

    -Understand the importance of collaboration amongst them;
    -Share and innovate new practices that would help students attain LOs.
    -Brainstorm on the common challenges and design their solutions.

    Some of the topics of discussions during these meetings were:

    1. A conversation on how Storytelling can be used in teaching language skills was initiated. Discussion on the following themes took place:


    -What is storytelling? Why is it important?
    -How can it help children in language learning?
    -How to design storytelling sessions with the children?

    2. Oral comprehension:
    -How to build upon the children's existing knowledge in helping them become fluent in speaking?
    -A discussion on our focus on comprehending oral expression vs focus on the accuracy of pronunciation was also held.

    3. Discussion on the baseline assessment conducted in the month of July with the teachers, and address the gaps.

    4. Teachers discussed the areas where they face challenges with the students such as letter identification, vocabulary, reading and comprehension, face value and place value, and word problems.

     

    II. Community Participation 

    1. Gram Sikhiya Sabhas (GSS)/ Community Collectives
    Number of collectives held: 57

    Purpose of these community collectives:

    -To enable an effective dialogue between the community and the school;
    -To raise awareness on the community’s involvement and responsibilities in the school, 
    -To discuss the community’s vision of their school and planning the next steps for it.

    Some highlights from the Community Meetings:

    • The roles and responsibilities of the SMC and the Panchayat towards school were discussed.
    • There were certain infrastructural issues that were discussed in the meetings.
    • The parents also agreed to help in the provision of quality education to their children by actively engaging their children post-classroom and providing a learning environment at home. 
    • Issues related to low enrollment and how to improve enrollment were also discussed.

    2. School Management Committee (SMC) Meetings
    Number of meetings held:30

    Purpose of SMC Meetings:

    -To encourage parents and SMC members to participate in the school development plan & support its effective implementation.
    -To discuss the progress of the outcomes and tasks discussed in the previous meetings.

    Some highlights from the SMC Meetings held:

    • Discussed the importance of parents spending time with their children, importance of storytelling in their child’s lives;
    • Importance of having a healthy home environment and parent-child relationship for a child was also discussed;
    • Supported the teachers in facilitating the ‘Child Sexual Abuse’ aspect in the Mother’s workshop. Since this was an important topic of discussion, we invited all the parents (i.e. of all the grades);
    • Discussion on their roles and responsibilities and their significance to the school was held;
    • SMC & Parents were encouraged to frequently visit the school to discuss the school and their child’s needs with the teacher.
      SMC, Sarpanch, and Teachers volunteered to pay a salary of Rs. 3,000 for their computer teacher volunteer;
    • SMC agreed to meet monthly for discussing the school’s needs;


    3. Panchayat Collective
    Number of Collectives held: 01

    Location: Chamkaur Sahib, Rupnagar


    Purpose of Panchayat Collective:

    To bring different stakeholders from Panchayati Raj and Education Department together, namely BDPO, Panchayat Members, Panchayat Secretaries, BPEO, and CHT to discuss infrastructural issues in the schools of the cluster.


    Issues Identified and Discussed:

    Challenges put forward by the Panchayats:

    Way Forward:

    • More Participation of Panchayats in SMC meetings, Student Enrollment Drives, Child-friendly schools, and a community environment is needed to fulfill the initiative of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994;
    • Need for cordial cooperation between Concerned Teachers and Panchayats;
      Panchayats need better guidance on different types of funds available and how to avail them.
Name Donation Date
A. S. $10.00 July 2024
H. S. $50.00 June 2024
A. S. $10.00 June 2024
H. S. $50.00 May 2024
A. S. $10.00 May 2024
H. S. $50.00 April 2024
A. S. $10.00 April 2024
H. S. $50.00 March 2024
A. S. $10.00 March 2024
H. S. $50.00 February 2024
A. S. $10.00 February 2024
H. S. $50.00 January 2024
A. S. $10.00 January 2024
H. S. $50.00 December 2023
A. S. $10.00 December 2023
H. S. $50.00 December 2023
Radhika Kumar $200.00 November 2023
Nitin Bhat $501.00 November 2023
Match Fund $150.00 November 2023
Ashveer Singh $10.00 November 2023
Match Fund $400.00 November 2023
Jasvinder Singh $500.00 November 2023
Deep Singh $200.00 November 2023
M. S. $18.00 October 2023
H. S. $50.00 October 2023
Anonymous $75.00 September 2023
H. S. $50.00 September 2023
Gurdas Dhadwal $15.00 September 2023
H. S. $50.00 August 2023
Ajit Sharma $500.00 August 2023
R. D. $400.00 August 2023
H. S. $50.00 July 2023
Avtar Dhaliwal $1,500.00 July 2023
Anonymous $100.00 June 2023
J. K. $10.00 June 2023
H. S. $50.00 June 2023
H. S. $50.00 May 2023
H. S. $50.00 April 2023
Tarun Deep Singh $450.00 April 2023
Anonymous $50.00 March 2023
H. S. $50.00 March 2023
L. J. $21.00 March 2023
Administrator Dasvandh Network $100.00 February 2023
H. S. $50.00 February 2023
L. J. $21.00 February 2023
SURINDERJEET SINGH $100.00 February 2023
H. S. $50.00 January 2023
L. J. $21.00 January 2023
INDERJEET CHAWLA $51.00 December 2022
Sachin Halbe $250.00 December 2022
Angad Gumber $100.00 December 2022
H. S. $50.00 December 2022
L. J. $21.00 December 2022
Prasanth Nair $50.00 December 2022
Anonymous $200.00 December 2022
H Bedi $250.00 December 2022
Ajay Choudhary $100.00 November 2022
H K $100.00 November 2022
Prisca Mohabir $50.00 November 2022
Gurbinder Randhawa $100.00 November 2022
Pritpal Kohli $100.00 November 2022
Jaspreet Singh $300.00 November 2022
Navinder Dhir $1,000.00 November 2022
Sudeep Singh Sahdeva $100.00 November 2022
Jasvinder Singh $500.00 November 2022
Hardeepak Munday $500.00 November 2022
Luna Das $80.00 November 2022
Primal Dhillon $100.00 November 2022
avneet Sharma $75.00 November 2022
ajmer randhawa $100.00 November 2022
Anonymous $11.00 November 2022
Bachitter Singh $50.00 November 2022
Vandana Prakash $50.00 November 2022
Vijay Bhardwaj $50.00 November 2022
Param Puneet Singh $100.00 November 2022
Varun Nasery $300.00 November 2022
Anonymous $8,500.00 November 2022
Match Fund $150.00 November 2022
H. S. $50.00 November 2022
Japinder Chawla $200.00 November 2022
Gurdas Dhadwal $20.00 November 2022
Dev kant Sharma $150.00 November 2022
Match Fund $150.00 November 2022
Jivitesh Singh $150.00 November 2022
Jagmeet Singh $1,000.00 November 2022
Ananthanarayanan T V $100.00 November 2022
Match Fund $400.00 November 2022
Tarun Deep Singh $450.00 November 2022
Match Fund $150.00 November 2022
Jaspreet Singh $250.00 November 2022
Match Fund $250.00 November 2022
Jaspreet Singh $250.00 November 2022
Match Fund $100.00 November 2022
Anonymous $100.00 November 2022
Prakash Chacko $1,000.00 November 2022
Match Fund $30.00 November 2022
Anonymous $30.00 November 2022
Match Fund $200.00 November 2022
Mayuri Pethe $200.00 November 2022
Match Fund $250.00 November 2022
Anonymous $250.00 November 2022
Match Fund $200.00 November 2022
Satbir Dhaliwal $200.00 November 2022
Match Fund $50.00 November 2022
Mandeep Singh Buttar $50.00 November 2022
Match Fund $50.00 November 2022
B. B. $50.00 November 2022
Match Fund $21.00 November 2022
L. J. $21.00 November 2022
Match Fund $50.00 November 2022
Tony Virdi $50.00 November 2022
Match Fund $50.00 November 2022
Baljinder Uppal $50.00 November 2022
Match Fund $75.00 November 2022
Navneet sahota $75.00 November 2022
Match Fund $75.00 November 2022
Japnik Singh $75.00 November 2022
Match Fund $100.00 November 2022
Pawan Sharma $100.00 November 2022
Match Fund $200.00 November 2022
Anmol Sharma $200.00 November 2022
Match Fund $50.00 November 2022
Anagha Mahajan $50.00 November 2022
Match Fund $400.00 November 2022
Anonymous $600.00 November 2022
Match Fund $31.00 November 2022
P. N. $31.00 November 2022
Match Fund $85.00 November 2022
Anonymous $85.00 November 2022
Match Fund $100.00 November 2022
Puja Gupta $100.00 November 2022
Match Fund $10.00 November 2022
Jai Saini $10.00 November 2022
Match Fund $400.00 November 2022
Anonymous $1,000.00 November 2022
Match Fund $10.00 November 2022
Mandeep Singh $10.00 November 2022
Rick Pal $1,500.00 November 2022
J. R. $100.00 November 2022
Prabhjit Singh $700.00 November 2022
Daizy Maan $50.00 November 2022
Kuljit Randhawa $100.00 November 2022
Priyanka & Anurag Sagar $101.00 November 2022
M. K. $100.00 November 2022
Anonymous $200.00 November 2022
H K $100.00 November 2022
Gurmeet Chahal $750.00 November 2022
Gurmeet Chahal $750.00 November 2022
Simranjeet Singh $100.00 November 2022
Jessica Pruthi $35.00 November 2022
Bhavya Nayna channan $30.00 November 2022
Aman Bhullar $200.00 November 2022
Anonymous $100.00 November 2022
Dj Singh $25.00 November 2022
Ashmita Randhawa $50.00 November 2022
Radhika Kumar $250.00 November 2022
KAMAL JULKA $100.00 November 2022
Anonymous $10.00 November 2022
Prabhjit Sandhu $50.00 November 2022
Nitin dogra $500.00 November 2022
sheetal uttreja $100.00 November 2022
Gundeep Kaur $500.00 November 2022

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