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The Journey towards Transforming Chennai Schools

 

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240 stakeholder engagements were organised, meeting more than 3000 stakeholders

Understanding the needs of the stakeholders was the first key step taken by the Chennai CITIIS team towards designing a comprehensive approach to holistic transformation of Chennai Schools. During the maturation phase, consultations with various stakeholders such as Head Teachers, Teachers, Parents, and Engineers at Region/ Division/ Blocks led to identifying the key challenges faced by the project schools.

The parents - teachers consultations were held in June – July 2020 to understand their views on GCC schools. 

The majority of the children in GCC schools are from lower socio-economic group. Most of the parents are educated up to Class X or Class XII only. Many of the Parents are engaged in informal employment (painter, electrician, auto driver, cab driver, etc.) with uncertain income.  Most of them mentioned that they had no other choice than admitting their children in GCC schools as they couldn’t afford fees in private schools. It was also observed that, at least 30% of the parents who participated in the consultation were single parents. The children’s households often have family issues (domestic problems) – financial, social, crime, etc.

Expectations of parents were largely on the look and feel of the school with a holistic transformation. Parents were happy with the teaching at the GCC Schools. Most of them felt that teachers treat all children equally and take additional care on children.

During parent and teacher consultations, perceptions regarding infrastructure gaps were collected. From the perspective of parents, the major gaps in the schools were identified.

Based on the findings from these consultations and further assessments, and discussions, a detailed project report was devised that aims to transform the schools holistically. The plans were designed for each of the Schools after carrying out the need analysis through extensive research following a participatory approach.

The ‘Maturation Phase’ under the CITIIS Program was an innovative approach to allow the projects to comprehensively prepare on project structuring mainly through stakeholder engagement and capacity enhancement, mainstreaming the CITIIS values of relevance and feasibility, innovation, integration, and adopting participatory approaches. 

Firstly, during the implementation phase, the GCC-CSCL team identified three sub-projects or ‘quick wins’, including revamping of infrastructure in three schools established in 2 campuses and capacity building of Teachers on ICT for Education.