This program is testing two approaches with the aim of improving student learning achievements and of increasing enrollment.
One approach is to introduce Peer to Peer (P2P) learning at selected public schools in grades 6 to 8. Community Outreach Education Officers (COEOs) selected by IRM identify the three best performing students in each of the target classrooms by assessing them in English, Math, and Urdu. These students (from Grade 6 to 8) are coached to become student mentors and are assigned peers whom they assist with their studies. Coaching takes place on a monthly basis, in-between classes, and follows regular textbook material in order to improve student performance according to the school curriculum.
Three resource corners are established in each target class (grade 1 to 5); each corner contains supplementary learning material for one of the three subjects. The resource corners are regularly maintained by members of the peer group and teachers.
The second approach being applied is to enroll out-of-school children through the active participation of the community in the form of mothers' groups, which conduct door-to-door enrollment campaigns. The mothers are selected after an initial assessment based on set criteria, particularly focusing on engaging those mothers whose children are already enrolled in school. They are then provided with training and orientation on the roles and responsibilities of seeking to increase children's school enrollment through dialogue with parents and other stakeholders.
The teachers of the targeted schools participate in orientation workshops regarding P2P learning, resource corners, and the identification of mothers for mothers' groups. Since the program's primary methodology is the introduction of new forms of organization, endorsement of the program by teachers, parents and students is a key factor in the program’s future sustainability.
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Initially, with the support of the local education department, 33 target schools were identified in Muzaffargarh. After the study, 20 schools were finalized once variables such as low enrollment, existing classroom resources, and population density in schools were considered. In the finalized 20 identified schools, 15 were girls’ schools (middle school) and 5 were boys’ schools.
To date, 20 mother groups have been formed, and are working to increase the enrollment of out-of-school children. The project aims to increase enrollment in the targeted schools by 400 students. After delays in implementation, due to the Pakistan elections of 2013 and the harvesting season, the enrollment campaign is currently underway, beginning June 2013.
IRM plans to expand this intervention to other geographical areas in collaboration with local Community Organisations (COs) and the District Government.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Monthly and quarterly narrative and financial reports are sent to the donor on a regular basis, and the Project team is in constant contact with the field staff and the donor. In addition to regular staff meetings, weekly work and review plans regarding trainings, monitoring of all trainings, and implementation of P2P in the school, a detailed monitoring and evaluation plan has been outlined for the program which is as follows:
- A monitoring officer will be visiting the schools on a monthly basis to monitor the schools' progress, learning achievements and enrollment trends.
- Mothers groups' progress will be monitored twice a month for guidance and success of enrollment and advocacy on their part.
- Peer to Peer groups will be monitored weekly by the teachers and the outreach COEO.
- Teachers' meetings will be also be held with the project monitoring officer to ensuring that the project objectives are being met.
20 mothers' groups formed