An Exclusive Programme for adolescents:
Adolescence, a vital stage of growth and development, marks the period of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is characterized by rapid physiological changes and psychosocial maturation. There are some key issues and concerns observed among adolescents relating to forming a self image, managing emotions, building relationships, strengthening social skills, and dealing with or resisting peer pressure. Adolescents at this stage are more prone and vulnerable to high risk situations and may easily succumb to it. How well an adolescent deals with these issues is decided by a host of factors that include their personality, psychosocial support from the environment (that includes parents, teachers and peers), and the Life Skills that they possess. Life skills are understood to be an efficacious tool for adolescents to make informed decisions, solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, empathize with others, and manage their lives in a healthy and productive manner.
Bhartiya Grameen Mahila Sangh (BGMS) through its sub-unit State Resource Centre, Indore have been working in collaboration with UNFPA and RMSA to integrate life skills education into the school education system in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It started as a small initiative in the form of a pilot project covering 4200 girls in 43 RMSA hostels located in 8 districts of Indore Division. Based on positive results from this pilot project, the state initiated the introduction of LSE in school settings in a phased manner in the year 2017. Similarly, the Directorate of Skill Development, MP also initiated the integration of LSE in all the government ITIs from the year 2018. The present thrust is at providing support in institutionalizing Life Skills Education in all Government High Schools and Higher Secondary Schools in the state by making use of standard-specific modules for class 9th till class 12th and also, in all the Industrial Training Institutes, ITIs, by way of a manual specially developed in order to promote an enabling teaching-learning environment in schools and ITIs that results in informed, responsible and healthy behavior among adolescents and youth.
The project is providing support in implementing the basic Umang manual (developed for 9 th , 10 th , and 11 th grade) in all 9228 government high and higher secondary schools in the state along with implementing the manual developed for grade 12 th in 1874 schools situated in the district headquarter blocks. Thereby, the program will impact approximately 2.5 million adolescents enrolled in schools.
The project also aims to provide support in implementing the LSE based module developed for the government industrial training institutes in 46 ITIs of 8 districts – Alirajpur, Barwani, Burhanpur, Dhar, Indore, Jhabua, Khandwa, and Khargone – of Indore zone.
Orientation of Principals of Govt. High and Higher Secondary Schools
To ensure active involvement of Principals of schools, 2 nodal Principals were trained from each district who in turn conducted orientation programs for Principals of schools in their respective districts. This resulted in their increased participation in monitoring and subsequently, there was marked improvement in conduction and reporting of sessions by teachers in their schools.
Launching of Umang Mobile Application
A Mobile Application for real-time reporting of sessions was developed and launched on 28 th June, 2019 which has proved to be extremely useful in monitoring processes. Field situation has been analysed using the App data, also helping to take corrective measures and refining program strategies.
Review of program and information sharing with District officials
Mechanism was set up to regularly review the program at state level through video conferencing and at district review meetings. Data from mobile App on session reporting has been shared with district officials and MTs on weekly basis which was highly beneficial in ensuring follow-up and building accountability. It also inculcated a spirit of healthy competition among the districts which again has benefitted the program.
Monitoring by teacher mentors.
Rigorous monitoring of the program by the officials, MTs and Principals greatly contributed in ensuring effective implementation of the program at school level. Mentoring support was also provided to such nodal teachers who were not able to take the LSE sessions properly. This led to enhancement in their ability to take sessions.
Development of Umang manual for 9, 10,11 and 12
Manuals on LSE were designed with the help of subject experts based on need of adolescents. The sessions have been designed in user friendly manner and act as step-by-step guide for the teachers. These contain a variety of activities for evoking active participation of students. Printed copies are available with nodal teachers whereas softcopies are hosted on portal of Education Department ‘Vimarsh'.
Handouts for Students
Based on the findings of Implementation Research conducted in 2018, handouts were developed for ready reference for students complementing the classroom sessions.
As part of audio-visual material, a set of 24 videos as part of 2 D animation series was developed on various themes included in LSE to substantiate the classroom sessions using Umang manual for imparting LSE.
Development of Career Guidance Book ‘Avsar'
A book containing information on 16 different career streams and associated courses was developed based on need expressed by students to help them choose a stream and access relevant information about career options and courses available. Schools have been provided copies of the book for reference of students and teachers.
Setting up tele-counseling services Umang Helpline
Tele counselling was initiated as an off shoot of the LSE program based on demand from the field owing to increasing awareness and confidence among students and teachers due to LSE sessions. It was realized that students had issues and queries that could be handled only by trained and qualified counsellors and mental health professionals and therefore, this initiative was taken.
The UNFPA and BGMS have initiated to fulfill the need of imparting the Life Skills Education in most organisd manner. The programmes have been articulated by the subject experts esnuring transfer of core essence for direct and lasting benefit of adolescents.
Life Skills Education program Umang is being implemented by Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, School Education Department of MP, in collaboration with UNFPA and BGMS since 2017 in state board schools of MP for class 9th to 12th standard students. A graded curriculum containing participatory activities has been introduced to build life skills among students..
The Umang LSE programme has one of the biggest coverage. It reaches to all Govt. schools across the State of Madhya Pradesh for students of class 9 to 12. Teachers have been specially trained to impart the course.
Books have been specially designed, printed and distributed. These also include practical exercises for the students to make the learning interactive. In addition, the students are also made available handouts for quick reference.
It has been considered throughout, to make sure the imaprting of Life Skills is done scientifically and methodically. Teachers have therefore been specially groomed to delievr the education for best results. This is an ongoing process.
In a major step taken by BGMS, LSE with the Department of Education, Govt. of MP, the LSE has been also launched Online owing to Lock Down in the country. The programme has going on most efficiently through internet delivering same LSE, online.