The vision of the SmartCamp program is to create a society in which every child is celebrated as a unique and valued creation of God and is encouraged to fulfil his or her full potential.
The objectives of the SmartCamp program are to (1) improve enrolment (particularly of girls) & attendance; (2) raise learning levels of students in the target schools by a significant percentage to bridge the knowledge gap and (3) identify students keen on pursuing higher education, for sponsorship with financial support, as necessary.
The objectives are achieved through (1) active direct interventions in Government and Government aided schools catering to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category students; (2) direct interventions in SAF managed premises, mentoring and coaching the eligible students for academic excellence as well as for achieving success in competitive and professional exams and college admission tests and (3) improving awareness and practice of values and general personal hygiene.
Daily two (2) hours of direct in-class intervention.
Assessment of individual student’s learning levels of classes VI, VII & VIII through a baseline test. Segregation and merging of students across classes into A, B and C sections based on baseline test performance.
Lesson Plans customised, developed and appropriate learning instructions given to teachers.
Use of Play-way method of learning.
Use of educational course related soft-ware, instructional videos, graphics and third-party school software, apart from printed materials and books.
Conduct of Maths and English Workshops.
Dual/Multiple teachers in a single class.
Weekly Tests and a Formal Monthly Formative assessment to track each
individual student’s learning and provide feedback to the teachers (use of “HotSpot” visual graphics charts).
Summative assessments to track absolute improvement of each student.
SAF deploys various computer and technology aids and kits and modern play way and participatory methods to make it an immersive experience for the students. Extensive utilisation of Computer Lab and Mobile Technology/Apps is also resorted to.
To inculcate desirable values amongst the students, it is a regular practice for the teachers to start each day with an anecdotal narration highlighting a particular value. The students are also encouraged to share their experiences.
Additionally, innovative approaches such as educational excursions to Science Centre, Math Lab and Planetarium, art and craft activities, dance classes, science projects and exhibitions are carried out to increase awareness, interest and improve attendance.
In order to address the issue of dropping out of school, particularly for the girls after class VIII, awareness campaigns and counselling sessions are conducted for the parents to encourage them to support educating their children.
The plan is to get tablets for individual deserving students for self learning and improvement. Use of “Flipped Classroom” is planned for addressing challenge of getting good qualified teachers in remote locations, as well as to ensure standard instructional quality across all the schools.
We enter into a partnership with the District Education Department and seek full access to the partner schools during the school hours as well as cooperation of school teachers and management in daily operations and management of the program.
SAF hires qualified and experienced teachers along with teaching assistants selected from the community to deliver formal education to students of classes VI, VII & VIII in Gujarati, English and Maths. The daily two hour intervention is rendered within the school timetable and in the school premises.
The main focus of our teachers is to provide the right environment, methods, compassion, tools and technology to enable the students to inculcate a liking towards studies while strengthening their foundational understanding of the subjects. The intervention is carefully and regularly monitored and evaluated. Based on the evaluation and feedback, regular orientation programmes for the teachers are organised, often by involving professionals and experts.
The program is run for a full year. At the end of the year, an evaluation is done for the success in achieving the intended outcomes as well as the maturity of the school in continuing the intervention with minimal oversight from us. Depending on the evaluation, at that point, a decision is taken whether or not to continue the intervention for another year.
The interventions are administered by a Project Officer, who has a deep experience in management, administration and teaching preferably in government schools and governmental educational offices. The SAF management is closely involved for identifying and hiring the teaching staff as well as technology and other teaching aids. The trustees are closely associated in the operations and personally participate in the activities at the schools. The Project Officer maintains an effective communication with the teachers and Principals of the partner schools. Daily updates on the operations are provided by the Project Officer to the Managing Trustee.
Close coordination with partner schools and the school management is the key to ensure operational sustainability of the programme beyond the initial years of hand holding. Choice of the right blend of appropriate technology and teacher involvement will ensure consistent quality delivery of instructions while reducing reliance on availability of good subject matter expertise.
We recognise that documenting the progress and reporting regularly, transparency in operations by means of open access to our reports, evaluations and classrooms and close interaction with teachers of the partner schools are essential to instil confidence and gain acceptability of our approach. The teachers of the partner schools are provided inputs on methods, psychology, technology and also the subjects on a need basis through participation as well as formal training.