Underprivileged School

A SPECIAL PROGRAM TO FAST TRACK IMPROVEMENTS IN UNDER PERFORMING SCHOOLS

INTRODUCTION
PPR program was created after conducting a survey of under performing under privileged schools in KZN. Survey showed a culture of hopelessness prevailing in these schools. Over the years equipments and program softwares donated by funders was found unused or under utilized. Similarly local community appear to also have given up on these schools, with donations making no difference.

PPR approach is primarily to focus on one school at a time and make concrete difference in a span of one year. PPR program is primarily about 3 things : 1. inject passion 2. introduce technology that actually gets used 3. Involve local community to support the changes. These make up the 3 pillars of PPR Education program and together bring about fundamental changes in how education is viewed by teachers and learners iin the school. The program is explained further as follows:

SETTING UP PPR LEARNING CENTRE:
The status of a library in a school provides a true reflection of commitment  to education in the school. Most schools that are under performing don't even have library to start with ! Hence  PPR work in a school begins with setting up a PPR LEARNING CENTRE in place of library.

The centre is manned by PPR team permanently based in school.  Primary qualification of PPR team placed in the school is their deep passion to make a difference in the education of the school in a short span of time. First job of the centre is to set up HELP DESK offering unconditional assistance to teachers and learners to cope with their daily challenges. It is an important first step to gain confidence  and respect in the school. The kind of help are varied and may range from introducing school feeding program, organizing study material, to arranging sanitary napkins so school girls don't have to stop coming to school since they cannot afford them.

Doing the above sets the ground to make teachers and students positively inclined in participating in the formal PPR program. There are 3 different streams of involvement that make up the 3 pillars of PPR. A short summary of each is given below:

PODCAST: 
Podcast making by teachers is at the heart of technological intervention which make up the 1st pillar of PPR program. Teacher's are assisted to make their own podcast and listen to themselves teach (for the 1st time) as a self development tool. They also listen to other teacher's podcast to compare and improve themselves. DVD's are then made and given to their students. For these students, bringing home this DVD is like bringing their teacher home for private tuition, allowing them to listen to the teacher again in case they could not pay attention or missed a class. They can now pause and rewind to learn at their own pace, while playing it on family TV, making it easier for family members to get involved and help as well.

PPR has partnered with top content provider like DIGISCHOOL. This allows teachers access to top quality content to assist them teach and learn how to teach better themselves. Secondly, a special classroom management system allows teacher's to be more productive when teaching in a class, by helping make class more interactive and interesting for learners and teachers. Thirdly, PPR TUITION module helps good teacher's from other schools to give tuition to weaker learners in real time  without having to travel to the school.

PARTNERSHIPS:
 This 2nd pillar of PPR program is about developing the synergy of partnerships. Some of the formal partnerships created are:
 
1. The first partnership created are the Learners Study Team, since learning takes place much better as a team than as an individual pursuit. Learners Study Teams are created by breaking up class into study teams that works as a team all thru the year to develop team spirit and a bond of friendship between team members that should goes beyond education. Each team  has 4 or 5 learners. For teachers it is now easier to teach 10 team leaders properly instead of struggling to teach 50 learners of a class. Team leaders in turn teach other team members. LST meet after class to discuss the topic and solve problems together under the supervision of PPR mentor. A PPR mentor are mostly volunteering senior students who passed from school and wish to contribute back.

2. Reputed teachers from good school partner with teachers of underprivileged schools to teach certain topics they are not comfortable with and need outside help.

RECOGNITION: 
A new formal recognition system is set up to showcase the good taking place in school, as a is vital tool to encourage them further. Focus of this system is to quantify and reward EFFORT made rather than relying only on results as happens nowadays. Some of the components of this recognition system is given below:
 
1. QUANTIFYING EFFORTS BY TEACHERS: Number of podcast made by a teacher and number of times teacher has used content provided like Digischool in a year offers a quantitative measure of the effort being put in by teachers. Funders may use this quantitative measure to set up a reward system to encourage teachers further.

2. QUANTIFYING EFFORTS BY LEARNERS: A point system measures progress of each Learners Study Team that can be encash into rewards of their choice.

3. Periodic PPR NEWSLETTER is circulated to local community to showcase the good taking place in school and how they can assist.

4. Career day hosted every month offers opportunity for funders and leaders to visit school and address the school , motivate them and guide them with a career.