“I have never thought learning civic education could be this interesting and useful until Civic Schools classes were run in our school” as we have spent 11th week in schools, one of the students shared. With a new vision for civic education in which civic skills and understandings are integrated across the curriculum, embraced in all aspects of school governance, and built on strong connections with the community, we have partnered with four secondary schools ( two public and two private) early this year . For three months,select 8 volunteers were trained to conduct classes based non-formal education supplementing their social studies course in four schools.viz Shree Child Vocational Secondary School, Shree Tangal Secondary School, Shine Model School and Sudesha High School.
Before conducting classes we did a civic health assessment in all 4 schools asking questions about students interest, schools civic mission, opportunities for students and available resources in schools for civic education activities etc. The survey conducted with 178 students revealed that schools have very limited programs and course offering that reflects civic mission. Some students were able to relate with activities that promote civic mission but large number of students didn’t know if such activities were being conducted in school. Regarding the participation and opportunities the survey showed that students have participated in activities like debates but not mock trails, government simulation etc. They haven’t had chance to interact with any civic role model or government officials or political leaders. In all four schools students showed keen interest in learning and being part of community service and the 16 weeks non-formal curriculum was designed including cooperative games, civic bingo, skits, role play, group work, field trip, audio/visual display and finally small do-able school/community initiative.
In few weeks, we will be completing our activities with the schools and will be assisting and providing mentorship to the students with regard to their community projects. Furthermore, we will be celebrating the schools/students and volunteers work inviting all the schools and students in one platform. We will come back with the new post in August.