E-journal of All India Association for Educational Research (EJAIAER)

 

    VOL.20                            Nos:  3 & 4                 September & December, 2008

 

LITERACY WORK THROUGH NATIONAL SERVICE SCHEME

 

Indrani

INTRODUCTION

National Service Scheme is a programme run by government of India to development the personality of undergraduate students through social service. Young people are the power of a country. They have energy, enthusiasm and time to work for the welfare of society. If once motivated they can take the difficult and challenging duties. Their calibres can be utilized to enhance the literacy rate by adopting ‘each one teach one’ programme. Researcher, as Programme Officer of N.S.S. tried to adopt this programme for N.S.S. volunteers.

 

OBJECTIVES

1. To make aware the undergraduate students the problem of illiteracy in Ghaziabad;

2. To encourage the undergraduates to undertake the project of literacy as ‘each one teach one’;

3. To guide them and to make them able to undertake the project;

4. To evaluate the output of the project.

 

SAMPLE

100 undergraduate students registered in National Service Scheme, Vidyavati Mukand Lal (PG) College for Women, Ghaziabad, were the sample for the study. These students belong to B.A, B.Com., B.Sc. (Home Science) Courses. These students reside in different rural, sub-urban and urban areas of Ghaziabad. They adopted persons to educate, from their residential locality.

 

METHOD AND PROCEDURE

The study was conducted in following manner. Two essay competitions were organized to focus on the problem of illiteracy. The topics were ‘Literacy:  Why so Essential’ and ‘Ways to Solve the Problem of Illiteracy’. After these competitions several aspects of problem of illiteracy have been pointed out and ways to get rid of the problem were discussed with the students of undergraduate classes. After this the volunteers were asked to conduct a survey regarding the number of illiterate persons near the locality in which they were residing. The volunteers prepared a list of illiterate persons of their locality. The volunteers were encouraged to adopt one illiterate child or adult and to teach.  As undergraduate students are not trained to teach any person, Orientation Programme to teach the illiterates was provided to the volunteers. The background of each case proposed by volunteers was discussed in depth and way & techniques of teaching were discussed with the volunteers. Expert help was taken from other teacher educators whenever required.  Volunteers taught the illiterates from Sep.2004 to Feb. 2005.  The progress and problems of each adopted person was discussed weekly and undergraduates were further guided to continue the work. After the completion of the project each adopted person was tested to judge the competency in three Rs i.e. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. The observations and reactions of N.S.S. volunteers were taken.  N.S.S. volunteers were encouraged to continue the work and to teach the adopted persons to obtain higher level of knowledge i.e. knowledge for class III or above level according to the age of the person.

 

FINDINGS

Government of India run a very important and useful programme for social welfare called National Service Scheme. Every year lacks of undergraduates are registered in this programme for two years, even C.C.S. University, Meerut (U.P.) itself registers thirteen thousand students. Every student registered in this programme has to work 120 hours (minimum) in one year for social welfare. In addition to this, the NSS volunteers also participate in one ‘10 days special camp’ (Day only/ day night) every year. In these camps they carry out several activities for the welfare society. These activities are generally related to cleanliness, awareness literacy environment conservation. It is the observation of the researcher that very temporary and less productive work has been done in the name social service by these registered undergraduates. There is no follow-up programme to evaluate and continue the work of student. As the students are registered in this programme for a period of two years, we have sufficient time to follow-up the work done by students and continue it in next year. If properly planned and motivated the volunteers of national service scheme can do very productive work for the welfare the society. Especially in the case of literacy the volunteers can change the picture of the country. With this belief the researcher started working on the project. The results of the study are as follows. 100 students of N.S.S. has been taken up the project of teaching one illiterate person, but due to the change of residence/work place of the adopted persons, and some other causes 13 Volunteers could not complete the project. Only 87 volunteers completed the project. The numbers of volunteers covering various categories of learners were: (a) 5 to 11 years -75; (b) 12 to 19 years -09; and (c) 20 to 50 years -04. The occupation (of parents) of learners were: (a) Labourer-41;  (b) Gardener-02; (c) Milkman-02; (d) Thela Puller-06; (e) Tailor-01; (f) Sabji Vikreta -12; (g)  Plumber-01; (h) Riksha Puller-10; (i) Driver-01; (j) Washer man-03; (k)Painter -02; and (l) House wife -04. All persons selected to literate belonged to very low socio economic status. After measuring level of achievement of competencies in Three Rs (Feb.2005) by the persons adopted for teaching by NSS volunteers, 12 N.S.S. volunteers continued the project. They taught the syllabi of classes I & II to 12 children. These 12 children admitted to school situated in there locality.

 

Problem faced by N.S.S. volunteers to take over the project:

Most of the volunteers faced the problem to convince the illiterate person or the guardian of illiterate child for starting the literacy programme. The irregularity in attendance of the illiterate person was also reported by many volunteers. Financial condition of the family of educationally adopted persons was also an obstacle in the literacy programme due to which the adopted child or persons has less time available for the programme. N.S.S. volunteers had to adjust the time according to the availability of the person/time schedule was very much irregular with these persons. Lack of retention was also reported by the volunteers in the beginning. Sometimes, volunteers had to face the criticism of the society and her family for this work.

 

Results Related to the attitudes of N.S.S. volunteers:

Most of the volunteers had taken the project as an assignment/ fun in the beginning but after they involved in the activity of teaching they started realizing the need to teach every person in the country.  They realized the problems of illiterate persons while teaching. Volunteers realized the social economical problem of weaker section of the society, they also realized the problems of different professions as the adopted persons belongs to the families of truck-driver, Rikshaw-pullers, grocers, labourers, thela-pullers etc. during teaching them. Volunteers were very much conscious and crazily ready to help the families after taking the project. Need to make aware these families about proper nutrition and sanitation habits were felt by most of the volunteers.

 

Ways suggested by the volunteers to help such families

Some vocational training along with literacy programme should be provided to these people. Urgent need for making the families aware about health, nutrition, and sanitation was felt by the volunteers and they suggested organizing camps for this purpose. Awareness about right and duties of these persons were observed very less by the volunteers. They suggested that individual counselling or talk should be there with these persons.  Volunteers suggested that the information about the deferent welfare schemes run by government, bank etc. should be provided to these families.

 

IMPLICATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS

The findings of the research can be used by policy planners. To provide the guidelines to programme-coordinators, programme officers to take over the project of national literacy.  The principals and teachers can use the finding of this result for solving the problem of indiscipline as the students creating the problem may be encouraged to take the responsibility to educate one family. In this way the energy of students can be channelized, which would help to solve the problem of indiscipline. The findings of the research can be used by curriculum planner. This type of community extension programme of higher studies. The findings of the research can be used by voluntary organizations and NGO to utilize the calibre of youth for the purpose of upliftment of the community. Literacy along with craft programme may be developed and executed. Health and hygiene should be a part of these types of programmes. Government and bank schemes should be informed to all N.S.S. volunteers so that they will be able to help the families of weaker section.