Project RISHI (Rural India Social & Health Improvement) » [UC Davis] Student Center/English Lab Ideas

Observation Stage for a Proposed Methodology at Anand-Niketan College

During our recent trip to Anandwan this summer, our chapter worked on the observation stage for a proposed methodology project at Anand-Niketan College, the higher education institute present in the Warora area. We talked to the principal of the college, various teachers and school administrative officials to come up with a project to fix the English language deficiencies that the students face. According to data compiled by the school, the passing rate for board scores in English among students in B. Com is 49.4%, far below the average for similar students across Maharashtra. Considering that a passing score for these board examinations is 35/100 points, the scores represent a much bigger problem present at the school. Without adequate English skills, students will have an increasingly difficult time securing jobs outside of the village, which they ideally should be able to do to better their situation. Principal Kale noted that there were several power and coal companies starting up in the area around Anandwan that were looking to hire English speaking workers. However, if the commerce students that are graduating Anand-Niketan are unable to effectively communicate in English, then the job supply and quality available to them will be very limited.

ANC has already taken several measures to combat this problem. This year they have started to offer English-medium course tracks for students in commerce. The principal also brought up a similar situation for Maths and Physics, in which students had similar subject board scores several years ago. These classes improved the students’ pass rates through remedial coaching- a process by which teachers offer additional class time for students who are in danger of failing a course. Anand-Niketan’s teachers have been shouldering much of the burden and have been attempting to offer remedial coaching to students in need. After talking to the teachers about ANC’s current methods of tackling the English language problem, we determined that there was one fundamental problem that was preventing many aspects of their plan from being implemented: lack of available facility space.

We aim to create a study center coupled with an English language lab in order to tackle both the English deficiencies while establishing a place near the college where students can be tutored by the teachers, take remedial coaching and study for hours when the rest of the college is not open. Ideally, the student center would remain open till 9 or 10pm so that students can spend multiple productive hours doing homework and studying for examinations. Moving forward this year, we will be working on assessing feasibility. We will spend time researching building costs, building permits, computer costs and vendors as well as many other aspects of the proposed center. The UC Davis chapter is committed to directly tackling this problem and improving the lives of the village students, who will, in turn, give back to the community.


Originally published at www.projectrishi.org.