Rukmani Trust Collaborates With Tata Trusts

Rukmani Trust Joins Hands with Tata Trusts to support community learning center developed under the aegis of ITE

Rukmani Trust has embarked on an ambitious mission to address the woeful educational resources scenario in rural India. As the first major initiative in this direction, Rukmani Trust has committed to fund and support Suchana to implement the Tata Trusts initiative, ‘Integrated approach to Technology in Education (ITE)’ at its learning centres.

The ITE initiative of Tata Trusts is driven by TISS, a leading academic institution of social sciences. Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organisation, has played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves.

Suchana is a community organisation in rural West Bengal, focusing on education and health for Santhali and Kora adivasi and other marginalised children. There is a major urban-rural divide in terms of infrastructure, educational resources and quality teacher professional development which significantly impacts the performance of the rural students.

Suchana ITE Initiative

Suchana as an organization has brought quality, child-centred learning closer to students of marginalised communities by proposing to deploy ITE through its community centers. Covid has put education technology at the forefront of all education initiatives and ITE is proud to be a forward-looking front-runner EdTech initiative since 2012.

ITE is a pedagogical approach to integrate technology in teaching and learning in middle school such that the adolescents create learning artefacts using technology and teachers design culturally relevant learning activities connected to curriculum (Charania, 2012).

Given India’s population and geographic expanse, the financial resources needed to address this problem is humongous and ruefully short. This is where organisations like the Rukmani Trust fill the gap. It aims to support rural students and teaching volunteers by fostering culturally relevant
teaching and learning and 21st century skills in remote Indian villages. Together, Suchana and Rukmani Trust will develop innovative practices to promote gender equality and local project ownership, and evolve methods for exchange-based training and learning.

“Suchana has been one of the most impactful ITE implementers in the tribal area, bringing the richness of culture and context into the education realm for these children making them creative producers of their knowledge using technology. Tata Trusts had a 3-year specific engagement, and
it is very exhilarating to see Rukmani Trust now extending the funding &; support for this project, which we still hold so dear. In Rukmani Trust, we see a like-minded committed organisation. We are confident that Suchana and Rukmani Trust will further build on the legacy created, and we
would stand by them as a support partner,” says Amina Charaina, ITE Lead, Tata Trusts.

Suchana’s Kirsty Milward said, “Suchana is committed to the well-being, development and education of the community it serves. There is a lot that needs to be done to bridge the rural-urban education divide. Organisations like Tata Trusts and Rukmani Trust have demonstrated tremendous faith in our operations and potential. We will make all efforts to ensure that we meet the challenging educational needs in Covid19 affected rural India by bridging the resources and technology divide. This funding will go a long way in providing the right resources to support the children’s learning and help shape a future in which they have opportunity and skills to contribute to the further development of their communities.” Rukmani Trust’s Trustee Gitanjali Krishnan very aptly pointed out, “Technology is a great leveler and enabler. Rukmani Trust has embarked on the field of education & skill development for women using the power of digital technology.

We are in the process of identifying committed organisations that are doing credible executions in these areas. Suchana has a stellar record of fostering learning across tribal villages and creating a very potent technology-education mix.”Rukmani Trust had identified Project Suchana in November 2019, and committed to fund it in 2020. Even as the various formalities were being executed, the Corona pandemic placed a major road block in the execution of the funding process.

About the Project:

At Suchana is a community organisation working since 2004 in rural West Bengal, focusing on education and health for Adivasi and other marginalised children. Suchana runs 8 programmes at the Education Resource Centre (ERC) and across 29 villages:

1. The Pre-School
2. The Early Learning Group
3. The ITE Tuitions Programme
4. Computer Courses
5. The Library & Digital Library
6. The Health Project
7. Activity Groups
8. Supporting Adivasi Identity

The ERC is open 7 days a week, and aims to support literacy and make learning relevant, enjoyable and accessible. Currently, about 520
children participate, facilitated by paid and volunteer teachers from within the community.

Suchana’s Mobile Library works in 24 villages taking library books and basic health and hygiene care to a further 1000 children.

More on Suchana:

About Tata Trusts:

Since inception in 1892, Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organisation, has played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of the Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the
Trusts’ purpose is to catalyse development in the areas of health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihood, digital transformation, migration and urban habitat, social justice and inclusion, environment and energy, skill development, sports, and arts and culture. The Trusts’ programmes, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations, relevant to the country.

More on Tata Trusts here:

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