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Weekend
Programme

The programme is designed to address the needs of learners from adjoining villages who are unable to access additional sources of learning: be it libraries, extra academic help or extracurricular activities.

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How we began

The Learning Center is based on principles of democracy, co-operation and interdependence and to fully realize this, widening our reach and making learning experiences accessible is integral to our practice at TLC. 

Post pandemic, students entered schools in a rush: tuitions, bridge courses, monthly term exams bogged their schedules with teachers rushing through the curriculum to finish it in time. The two years (now being termed the ‘zero years’ in relation to the learning that happened through schools) had also led to large learning gaps, especially in the younger learners, with those from no English speaking backgrounds being put at a  greater disadvantage.  

Within such a context emerged the Community Learning Programme at TLC. The programme was designed to address the needs of those learners who were unable to access additional sources of learning: be it libraries, extra academic help or extracurricular activities. Through the lens of experience based learning, we designed the sessions to encourage all learners to explore, understand and engage with the world through their own individual styles, at their own pace.

Vision

1. Our program is rooted in the three R’s: respect, responsibility, and reciprocity.

2. Our space will serve as a conduit for ideas and opportunities to emerge and take form.

3. The space will be inclusive in every sense.

4. The space will encourage and support expression. It will provide the processes to be felt, heard, and supported.

5. It will be a forum for all stakeholders of the community to be included: children, parents, educators, natural world.

6. The space nurtures new ways of seeing.

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Our Journey

The Community Learning Programme started in September 2022 began to provide children from the adjoining villages access to more diverse learning opportunities. Being fully funded and supported by the families of TLC, we had the freedom to explore and take a more participatory approach in designing the program. 

We started by providing sessions in math puzzles and reading games, nature walks and craft. In a few months, children were coming to the center an hour early to ask for papers and art materials to do craft projects before their sessions started. Some would come early to play football in the fields or take walks around the garden and play games in the shaala. ‘Who is coming today?’ would be followed up with what they would like to do.

 

The children who come for the program have guided us and transformed what we offer them. The families of the children drop in to have conversations and have a picnic in the fields across us till late in the evening, after our doors have closed. Requests and suggestions are often made along with asking for more time to spend at the center to play an instrument or paint another picture. The community program has blossomed into what we hoped: a safe space for all people to feel welcome, the openness to share and question as well as to partake in the joy of learning.

What we offer

Our sessions have undergone changes based on the conversations we have with the children, families and facilitators. From these interactions, the program has streamlined into an Arts based Learning Program with a focus on developing skill based projects, collaborative learning opportunities and democratic spaces where the rights of children are upheld and valued. 

Our sessions include a diverse array of activities: bookmaking, sculpting, capoeira, carrom, sports, plenty of storytelling and much more. We ensure that the children have the space to explore new skills and opportunities, while being empathetic of the complex dynamics that come with working with families from diverse backgrounds. Our most valuable interactions have been the personal conversations we have had with the children who share their dreams, fears and their hopes, inviting us into their world for a short while, opening up the space for deep listening and compassionate support. 

The program is now acknowledged amongst the staff in school and most importantly, the families of the children. It is always a pleasure to have parents join us for a session or share their questions and delight at what their children made. The principals from the local schools also reach out for support and through this we have offered sessions in reading, theatre, chess and media&sexuality. 

We often get calls from people willing to volunteer for the program as well. They are happy to play board games, tell stories or help a facilitator in their session.

In this way, the Community Learning Program has become a space for people to come together to contribute to the educational space in a more informed and collaborative manner. 

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If you feel curious about our program and would like to know more about how you can be involved, please contact
Afshan @ +91 7708467986 / afshan@furtheringeducation.in
All contributions are meaningful to us.
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