Udhyam Shiksha’s new endeavours for young learners amidst the 2nd Covid wave in Maharashtra
In April 2021, most state governments in India were forced to declare stringent restrictions and lockdown measures - impacting young learners and the continuity of their learning outcomes. Maharashtra’s Industrial training Institutes experienced a severe decline in attendance percentage, which went as low as 50%. Though Udhyam’s partnership was announced in 2020, it was only in February 2021, that Udhyam Shiksha executed its partnership with Directorate of Vocational Education & Training (DVET), Government of Maharashtra and the Maharashtra State Innovation Society to equip young learners in all Industrial Training Institutes across the state with entrepreneurial mindsets and 21st century skills.
Two months into facilitating Udhyam Shiksha’s experiential learning curriculum, the team at Maharashtra was faced with another lockdown and were forced to try new things.
With a few willing teachers from the Industrial Training Institutes across the state, Udhyam Shiksha’s team in Maharashtra huddled to think about how they could use existing platforms and Udhyam’s digital learning products to continue the implementation of the Udhyam Shiksha program to learners at ITIs across Maharashtra.
WhatsApp groups of close to 300 learners from ITIs were created and the curriculum and facilitation team at Udhyam Shiksha worked on a 2 month long curriculum that would facilitate the development of entrepreneurial mindsets such as - self awareness, trying new things, grit and independence, as well as 21st century skills such as - creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration. The team implemented a month long challenge of activities geared towards building the mindsets and capabilities in young learners by recording and sharing their own stories, calling in to Call-a-Kahaani (08061933186), Udhyam’s IVRS based learning platform, reflecting on their learning outcomes from the story, interviewing and learning from the life of a local entrepreneur from within their communities and creating goal based business plans. All this was facilitated through daily WhatsApp challenges that would be curated by the Curriculum and Facilitation team at Udhyam Shiksha. The tasks and challenges were sent through WhatsApp to individual learners from ITIs across Maharashtra, and their responses were received in audio note, video and text message formats.
Here are a few responses and entries to a few challenges from this exercise. It is remarkable to note how young learners can be encouraged and motivated to continue with their journey of learning, despite setbacks like no fixed learning environments or infrastructure, and barriers in access to communication and information. By reimagining the way learning principles and outcomes need to be obtained, we discovered that the key to achieving learning objectives is the ability to use available resources and generating enough interest to keep the learners engaged.