BHUBANESWAR, NOV 2, 2023
The Scheduled Tribe (ST) & Scheduled Caste (SC) Development Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department of the Odisha Government on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chennai-based English skills partner Karadi Path Education Company with the aim to bridge the English literacy gaps prevalent among tribal students in the state, home to 62 distinct tribes and approximately 23 percent tribal population.
This initiative will predominantly focus on empowering ST & SC students enrolled in government-run English-medium Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) and English medium schools under the Anwesha scheme.
Marking a milestone, this partnership is considered the first MoU under the Anwesha scheme and endeavours to establish a comprehensive learning ecosystem within the hostels as a supplementary model to support formal schooling.
During the MoU exchange, Roopa Roshan Sahoo, Secretary of the department, expressed her vision to “craft a sustainable learning model that could potentially influence policy reform.” To facilitate this vision, the department has engaged Mantra4Change, a social organization committed to transforming the public education system. Mantra4Change has played a crucial role in selecting appropriate partners for the department, guided by an in-depth needs analysis and research into delivery models.
CP Viswanath, CEO of Karadi Path, lauded the department’s strategic approach, stating, “the department has exhibited exceptional foresight in adopting a scalable method for functional English skills development. The real success of this model will lie in transforming residential engagement post-school hours into a central pillar of learning, significantly benefiting the students residing in the hostels.”
The English bridge program is set to encompass all Anwesha hostels and EMRS schools across the state.
Preetika Venkatakrishnan, Senior Vice President of Social Impact at Karadi Path, elaborated on the approach, explaining, “the children will be immersed in English through an innovative blend of mime, music, storytelling, and theatre, in a pedagogy that resonates with the tribal tradition of oral narratives and active listening.”
Teachers will play a dual role as co-learners, engaging with the students through impactful mentor-led videos and a variety of auditory and visual tools. Additionally, a reading nook will be established in the hostels and schools, offering children access to a diverse range of picture and audio books in English, she added.