Supported by: Wipro

Maarga is a community-based organization in Karnataka that works for equitable distribution of fundamental resources and respect for human dignity and diversity where the urban deprived communities are enabled to voice their concern for change without any fear. Maarga believes that equality should form the basis for social reconstruction and social reform. It has been working for the historically disadvantaged communities since August 2000.

Vision: A socially just society where every person from the most deprived communities, especially children and women, lives a dignified life of their aspirations, free from all forms of structural bondage.

Mission and Strategy: Mobilize urban deprived communities to attend higher level education, and leadership to gain constitutional rights, entitlements, dignity, and representation resources.

Location: Koramangala 8 th Block and Jayanagar.

Project details: The project’s location is the Koramangala slum cluster 8 th block opposite to GST office/ NGV. The Wipro funds are utilized to build capacity in understanding issues with pedagogy that is the principles/practices in learning and teaching methodology. The project works among the children from most marginalized communities living in slums. The children are studying in the neighborhood government schools.

The mentors also from the slum community are trained in supporting the process. Maarga was conducting learning centres for these children as educational support like tuition centres. However, after we realized the larger problems of education as a system governed by the Department of Education in Karnataka, Maarga decided to undo the rote learning, inadequate learning levels and the quality of learning needs to be addressed directly working with the system.

Learnings over the past year:

  1. Maarga has achieved quite a bit in understanding the system comprehensively.
  2. Maarga has emerged as an educational resource organization to orient, train, and provide first levels of capacity building to other grassroots/smaller NGOs engaged in pedagogy and education.
  3. Maarga will have to continue its practice in teaching and learning, engagement in the selected government schools apart from closely engaging with the community/ will have to continue further.
  4. The capacity of our mentors/ teachers has increased enormously.

Challenges over the past year:

  1. The hostile environment/resistance from government schools to collaborate with NGOs like ours to promote/increase learning levels.
  2. The children who are part of our play and learning centre are not very consistent in coming to the classes regularly.
  3. The children who are generally malnourished or do not get anything to eat during their after- school hours naturally expect Maarga to provide snacks to the children during our after-class hours.

Plans for the next 1-3 years:

  1. To get the due permission from BEO to collaborate/ work with the government primary schools we were working earlier.
  2. To collaborate consistently with government schools so that children (apart from those who come to our centres) and the teachers from the schools can be informed/ trained/ exposed to the systems methods we are pursuing.
  3. To explore engage and learn from the government education system of organizations like SCERT, DIET, etc.
  4. To continue actively engaging with the parents/community on educational issues related to their wards and to participate actively in SDMC etc.
  5. To further capacitate through training exposure visits to other educational NGOs on issues like SEL, Community Library, Arts and Crafts, etc.