Before their first day at school in Grade-1, most children from poor families do not have any exposure to the alphabet, numbers, shapes, rhymes, or story books. Even after the children have joined school, their parents (being uneducated themselves) are often unable to provide any after-school learning at home. This situation presents an important barrier to the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) for most children from poor families. It creates a learning gap that prevents future learning in middle and senior school as well. As a result, many poor children drop out of school before they reach middle school.
To address this problem, Shiksha Sankalp has designed the 'Early Learning Program' (ELP), which is aimed at ensuring that all children have acquired proficiency in the 'three Rs' before they complete Grade-3. Under this program, Shiksha Sankalp empanels educated youth from the local community as tutors. We ensure that the empaneled tutors follow good pedagogical approaches and regularly monitor the children’s progress, while also providing feedback to their parents. We constantly monitor the work being done by the children at the tuition, and also assess the learning achievement through monthly class tests. Shiksha Sankalp provides monthly stipends to the children, while tutors charge fees directly from the children’s parents.
The Early Learning Program caters to children in grade-1, 2 and 3 across two cycles of five months each during the year. The first cycle operates from April to August, while the second cycle is held from September to February each year. The curriculum for each grade is repeated during the two cycles of the year, to ensure that students can revise and strengthen their proficiency in the basic 'three R' skills. Students are allowed to move to the curriculum for the next grade at the ELP tuition center only when they have attained proficiency for the current grade in the previous cycle.