Misaal’s inception is rooted in the experience gained through the work with the victims of Muzaffarnagar riots in 2014. It started off as an attempt to reorganize the communities by developing local level leadership within the community and reinstalling the lost faith in the system and encouraging the assertion of rights and entitlements. Misaal fellowship was started to promote such local leaders who were trying to support and help their own community to overcome day to day issues and problems and at the same time guiding for better socio-economic status.
With the progress on the field level and our engagement for more than one year, it was realized that connecting with schemes and ensuring entitlements was helpful to a certain extent. We saw it as an “ointment” which helped in healing, but wasn’t the actual thing that was required to bring real change. We also realized through the baseline surveys, community meetings and engagement with beneficiaries and volunteers, that, education level was drastically low. Most of the children were either out of school or enrolled in government schools, and not getting proper education. It came out that lack of education was root for many other problems that communities are facing including awareness, employment and ability to take informed decisions.
Misaal, building upon this felt need, started Misaal Taleem and a section of work was focused on education. We started a few pilot programs based upon the specific needs of a particular site and the availability of existing resources.
Journey so far
Currently we are running three programs under the umbrella of Misaal Taleem in Banda, Shamli, Rudauli in Uttar Pradesh and Patna along with Madhubani in Bihar.
Coaching for Competitive Exams in Quality Schools:
Under this program, a set of students have been mobilized, screened, shortlisted and then enrolled for coaching so that they can be prepared for the competitive exams in quality schools like Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) and Vidyagyan.
This program is running in Banda, Patna, Shamli and Madhubani. For this Misaal has appointed a teacher at the local level. The back-end support with required literature and other resource and monitoring is done by Misaal fellows.
Misaal Tuition Club:
Currently this program is operational in a small hamlet of Naraini tehsil in Banda district and Rudauli in Faizabad district. Soon we plan to replicate it in other places. This hamlet is on the outskirts of the village and lacks basic amenities like electricity, water and proper roads. This hamlet doesn’t have a school either, due to which students have to travel to other villages for going to school. It affects the enrolment as many parents do not want to send small children so far.
Under this model, we have tried to setup a small tuition cum remedial classes club for the children who are either out of school or need assistance in education. This school is run by peer to peer learning model and one of the boys, who is studying in higher class is taking care of this club. Misaal is providing the backend support and monitoring for this club.
Financial Assistance to Dropout Children:
Misaal had also been able to reconnect some students who dropped out of the school due to the lack of finances. We mobilized some money and contributed a major part of the fee for these students who are now back to their schools and colleges.
As an attempt to keep the cycle of good practices going, some of these children have volunteered to be a part of Misaal Tuition Club and teach younger children.