Ensuring a Literate Childhood in Noida & Greater Noida(U.P.)
Ugta Suraj is a program to mainstream “out of school” children in the formal school system. The program has been operational in Noida since August 2007. With firm roots in community, Ugta Suraj operates through a Network of Learning and Support Centres (LSCs) for ‘out of school’ children who are working / non-working, migrant / street and constitute the category of potential child workers in their present capacity. These children are either school drop-outs or are the first generation learners who have been deprived of formal schooling due to family or the systemic reasons.
Ugta Suraj is essentially meant for children in the age group 6 to 14 years. It basically acts as a bridge between the formal school system and the community. It motivates and prepares the children for formal school and helps them get admission in government and charitable schools.Thereupon, it maintains a close touch with the children and helps them with their academic curriculum and assimilation in the school environment. This monitoring extends for the period of one year and all efforts are made to see that children do not drop out of school.
Towards a Literate Childhood
Ugta Suraj: School is my right!
Ugta Suraj empowers children through formal school education. It strives to bridge the gap between the formal school system and the community. It mainstreams ‘Out of school’ children through a network of learning and support centers in District Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P.
Begun in 2007, Ugta Suraj has mainstreamed more than 2000 children till date with the school retention rate of 80-85 percent.
Ugta Suraj centers are functional in 4 communities: Village Nithari, Nagla, and Hoshiyarpur in Noida and village Tugalpur in Greater Noida. These centers have children, primarily coming from the migrant community where parents are settled in industrial towns for work while the education of their children is the worst hit. These include child workers, potential child workers, neo-literates as well as school drop-outs.
Each Ugta Suraj center has 45-50 children in the age group 6 to 14 years. These children are identified during community surveys and they are enrolled in the center for nearly a year. Apart from providing basic education, Ugta Suraj takes care of the recreational needs of the children. A basic curriculum based on fun activities coupled with numerous field trips expands the horizons of learning for the children.
After children are mainstreamed through government, private and charitable schools, we help them with their school studies. Together with the parents and school, we ensure the child’s assimilation in the formal school environment. Each child is monitored for school performance, attendance, and regularity for a period of one year. This is done to ensure that children do not drop out of school.
An Ugta Suraj center is a space for children to indulge in educational and recreational activities through games and fun. The children are provided learning material, toys and games at each Ugta Suraj center which is well equipped with story and activity books. All Ugta Suraj centers are housed within the community center of the village.
Nagla Ugta Suraj center:
The Nagla center is situated in the Barat Ghar of village Nagla in Phase II, Noida (U.P.). It is a set of two big rooms where children learn and play through the day. A roomy space with two sides open windows, it is well equipped with basic amenities of a bathroom, open space for children to play and clean drinking water. Electricity is, however, at a premium due to general scarcity in the area.
This center mainly caters to the children of migrant families who live in the village in rented rooms. The parents are daily wage laborers, rickshaw-pullers or work in nearby factories as unskilled, semi-skilled workers. The children in the age group 6 to 14 are enrolled on a regular basis for a year-long orientation and learning of the basis 3Rs, life skills, and several other activities. This Ugta Suraj center has been operational since 2013.
Hoshiyarpur Ugta Suraj Centre:
The Hoshiyarpur center is situated in a Chaupal in village Hoshiyarpur in Sector-51, Noida (U.P.). The Chaupal comprises a cemented hall with an open courtyard in front. This center started in 2015. The children come from the adjoining jhuggi colony predominantly inhabited by the migrant community. The place has been given by the village Pradhan for Ugta Suraj children to study and play.
There are two facilitators at the center, while one lives in the community, the other comes from the adjoining area. Children are very comfortable with both of them.
The Ugta Suraj Nithari Centre:
Nithri center is situated in Garat Ghar near Sector- 31, Noida. The children sit in the big hall with an open courtyard. The children here come from small rented rooms predominantly inhabited by the migrant labour.
The center is an integral part of Ugta Suraj programme and has been operational since 21 August 2008. A total of 55 children attend this center every day.
The Ugta Suraj Tugalpur center:
Tugalpur center is located in Barat Ghar, village Tugalpur in Greater Noida. It is located near the famous Pari Chowk roundabout. The center started in January 2014 and caters to children living in rented rooms and jhuggies in and around the village. Around 45 children are presently studying at this center.
The Success of Ugta Suraj
Since the year 2007, around 2200 children have been mainstreamed over the academic sessions 2007-08 to 2017-18. They are now studying in government, private and charitable schools spread all over Noida and Greater Noida. One year of close follow up and monitoring after the children’s enrolment in formal schools has resulted into the success rate of nearly 80-85 percent rate of school retention. The remaining 15-20% children drop out due to reasons like returning to native home, poor government school system or economic condition of the family.