Now I Can Read And Write Fluently

Sonalkumari Munnabhai Vasava prefers to be called Sonalben. She is in Grade 6 at the Pardi-Kande School on the outskirts of Surat, Gujarat. Her parents are farm laborers and Sonal is a first-generation school- goer. She diligently attends the Learning Enrichment Program (LEP) conducted at AIF’s Learning Resource Center (LRC) where regular classes are conducted, outside of school hours, to close the gap in learning deficits.

Since 2003, AIF has provided 514,871 migrant children with access to quality education for an otherwise neglected population through its Learning and Migration Program (LAMP). Addressing fundamental learning deficits in early education, LAMP provides a comprehensive suite of educational interventions that together create a full spectrum of quality education opportunities.

Often, children starting LAMP’s classes have never experienced consistent learning and the adjustment period can be quite challenging. LAMP’s Learning Enrichment Program (LEP) provides the tools and curriculum children need to learn basic skills like reading, writing and arithmetic, and also helps them to build new skills such as problem solving and critical thinking. Children, who otherwise, could not cope with regular academic curriculum, show significant improvement in performance after attending the LEP classes.

Sonalben enrolled last year in LEP classes near her school. When she joined, she would struggle at simple arithmetic. With LEP support, Sonalben began to improve her numeracy skills and no longer feels intimidated with math problems. “Attending the LRC is great fun,” says Sonalben, adding, “we get worksheets which help us to understand concepts that the school teacher has covered.” At school, her teachers have observed a positive change in her class participation. Sonalben is delighted at the encouragement from her teachers. “I want to become a teacher and pass on the benefi   from LAMP classes to more children”, she says.

While LAMP’s focus has created a meaningful impact for migrant children and their communities, children living in remote areas of India lack similar access. A significant area of LAMP’s recent focus has been on advocating for all children by raising awareness and promoting discussion over the Right to Education Act, thus  ensuring  that  parents, teachers,  government officials, and community leaders are equipped with the knowledge to support and can take charge of their children’s education. Part of LAMP’s outreach involves informing village councils and training community members to improve school management building trust between community leaders and parents, establishing a way for parents to realize their aspiration of education for their children.

As Director of Communications and Advocacy, Rowena Kay Mascarenhas holds the global responsibility for overseeing the development and implementation of AIF’s marketing, communications, and advocacy strategies across the Head Office, Country Office and Regional Offices.

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