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Project Spatial: Creating space for Smart Education

Project Spatial: Creating space for Smart Education
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/10/2018 1:42:13 PM IST

 CAN Youth’s initiative to minimize dropouts in Nagaland

The youth and children in our country hold the position as the majority population, often called the demographic dividend. While there is a segment of youth and children that is educated and doing well, there is also, on the other side, a large population who are school/college dropouts. These youth and children are equally neglected both by their own families and the society at large. These results in misguided-youths who suffer from low self-esteem in many cases and ignorantly takes the anti-social path, eventually ending up as social delinquents and while putting their future at stake.
To help them to help themselves, a team of youths came together in 2012, under the banner of Community Avenue Network (CAN) Youth, a non-profitable organization with an aim to restore a balance in the society and to cater to the school dropouts and empower them with the much needed life-skills and help propel them to venture into the competitive world.
It was established with the sole aim to support the unfortunate school dropouts, especially in Dimapur district of Nagaland. CAN Youth motivates the dropouts to continue their studies by providing education opportunities, skill-based training for livelihood and helps create a platform for entrepreneurship.
The team is led by CAN Youth founder Jenpu Rongmei, a resident of Dimapur. CAN youth has been supporting a number of projects that aims to strengthen and promote youth leadership, facilitate community based interventions to protect and promote the rights of marginalized communities through meaningful and active youth participation.
It may also be mentioned here that SPATIAL, a short program for ‘Students Parents and Teachers Involvement for Authentic Learning’, focuses on creating space for smart education. SPATIAL about solving the problems by helping students find solution to their problem themselves. SPATIAL program involves closely monitoring the students’ progress and projects undertaken by the teachers and school authority and evaluating the same on a monthly basis. It does not only focus on the students alone but also on their overall environment including teachers, parents and sibling. The other members of the team include; Levi S Sumi, Faihamti Longmailai, Sentilong Ozukum, Thsabilila Sangtam. Kivitoli K. Sema, Grace Chishi, Waisringdao Naiding, Samuel Walling, Zhove Lohe, Marina Gonmei, Sedelo T. Vadeo, Khongten Chang, Kalivi Zhimomi, Chumthunglo T Jami and Marnungla Tzudir.
SPATIAL came up with a vision to create a space to draw out the best in the students through interactive sessions, moral and fun-learning activities, for all-round personality development with a mission to sensitize community on smart education through collective involvement of parents, teachers and students. The objective of the project is to build competency among the students through in-depth understanding and self enabling a better relationship with their environment.
Despite the fact that some schools or educational institutions in the private sector are rapidly growing, the area of concern is that rural grass-root level families are unable to afford the expenses in those institutions. 
Eventually, the only option left for those people is to opt for government schools. Apart from that, students have lesser or no opportunity in other activities and thus, that leaves them lagging behind, which ultimately results in loss of interest in their studies.
Some factors that needs to be considered while trying to understand the disparity among students is the background of the families which may include broken-families, domestic violence and single parenthood. All these have to be taken into account while counselling the targeted students.
Project SPATIAL begun in the month of April, 2017 in four government schools including GHSS (Purana Bazaar), GHS (Thahekhu), GHSS (Chümoukedima) and GHS (Dhansiripar) which completed with the support rendered by Godrej salon-1. After the mobilization of the project, the trainers started the session in August which lasted till the end of October.
Jenpu informed that last year a total of one thousand students were reached out from the targeted schools. While this year the project is covering five schools including GHSS (Purana Bazaar), GMS (Sematila), GHS (Dhansiripar) and two private schools namely Vephucho Foundation School (Purana Bazaar) and Millennial Vision High School (Burma Camp) supported by Jorhat based Bosco Institute. 
Lifestyle trainers of the project are Grace Chishi, Kalivi Zhimo, Marnungla Tzudir and Sentimongla Ozukum. They have undergone Training of Trainers (ToT) from time to time, trained by experts so that they come up with better curriculums which will be suitable for all the schools. The life-skill program focuses on overall development of an individual who seeks to educate each pupil on self awareness, leadership, communications skill, behavioural changes, decision making, creative thinking, discovering positive attitude etc. All the activities are conducted based on this concept through practically and theory. “The most important objective to impart this program is to minimize dropout rate and to increase students’ enrolment in educational institution,” Jenpu added.
The first session for every SPATIAL project begins with an introductory time which helps in making the environment more student-friendly and also let them go through a self-realization period to find a common ground among them. Life skill training is imparted weekly with two hour durations and a minimum of one and half hour. Each topic during those sessions is carried out for two weeks which would include activities and fun games. The session ends with an evolution of the entire topic covered and also the student are asked to give feedbacks about the training conducted. In regard to the case study, during the training session every trainer is asked to observe the student’s behavioural changes.
Jenpu is hopeful that over the years the project has gone through some challenges and changes at the same time. Some of the students have come out to share their experiences with them and besides, they have also started to discover themselves better, he added. He said that the team is looking forward to conduct more activities under project SPATIAL, 3E information & resource centre for youth and My Scholarship Foundation.

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