The Prameya Pathshala was set up in 2018 as a model community education and skill development centre at the forest buffer zone village of Tridibnagar, Jharkhali in the Sundarbans. The primary profession of the locals in the area was and still continues to be predominantly fishing, honey hunting and crab hunting. All of these ventures are equally dangerous as they increased the possibility of human and animal conflict. Also, Sundarbans being a coastal region is at the forefront of Climate change where it continues to remain threatened by the adverse effects of the rising sea level and cyclones. We at Prameya strongly believe that empowering the local indigenous community through education and making them conscious of the local ecology and their rights over the land, water and forest is the only way forward. Thus, Prameya Pathshala came to life.
At Prameya Pathshala we want to educate the next generation of remote villages located in forest fringes by providing them with basic educational facilities necessary for their overall development whilst increasing their awareness about the environment and climate change. At the same time, making efforts to preserve the Traditional Knowledge and Intangible Cultural Heritage of the local communities and ensure that it is transferred to the next generation.
At present we are successfully running two Prameya Pathshalas with digitally empowered classrooms:
At Tridipnagar Village in Jharkhali, Sundarbans.
District: 24 Parganas (South), West Bengal
70 students enrolled
At Dhotrey Forest Village
District: Darjeeling, West Bengal
13 students enrolled
Goals in Action
GETTING THEM BACK TO SCHOOL ~ COMBATING THE POST COVID CHALLENGES
Although the Pathshala in Sundarban started in 2018, after running it for one and a half years, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Since March 2020 due to the unprecedented lockdown scenario like all other educational institutions, the Prameya Pathshala was also forced to shut. These school closures did not affect all children equally. The marginalized communities all around the world, living in rural areas, with disabilities or due to their gender―were more likely to be shut out of learning during this time, further widening the deep educational inequalities they already faced. Children from low-income families were more likely to be excluded from online distance learning because of an inability to afford good internet or devices. Our project area located in one of the most remote parts of West Bengal was not an exception. During the lockdown; the families were in devastating shape. Getting kids attached to the education system needs impetus and incentive so that the improvised parents do not put the kids to work in desperation. So we initiated an initiative called “Pushti- Child Health and Nutrition Programme” to ensure that no child goes hungry and that no child is sent to work by a desperate parent due to the notion of ‘another mouth to feed’. Through this, we got tremendous results. We could not only combat school dropouts and child labour but also could stop child marriages from taking place. Now, with the situation getting back to normal the most significant challenge is to recover from the ‘Learning Loss’. We cannot afford to lose more time. We need to protect the well-being of our kids and ensure they have access to continued learning. We want to tackle content and connectivity gaps and facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children as well as youth and women.
BRINGING A MOUNTAIN SCHOOL BACK TO LIFE
The community of Dhotrey a scenically beautiful sleepy settlement perched at an altitude of 8340 Ft situated within the buffer zone of the Singalila National Park came together in collaboration with Prameya to bring back the only primary school in the region to life which was hit by covid pandemic. In a true display of community, bonding-the parents and teachers of the village got together with the volunteers at Prameya to restore normalcy at the dormant Dhotrey Forest Village Primary School. As part of the 6 days project, Prameya helped the locals to get the school building painted while also ensuring that the school receives its first state of art equipment i.e a television set, computers, UPS, inverter, internet router and booster. Prameya through this effort has provided the school with uninterrupted power and internet thus bridging the digital gap and making digital literacy a reality for the kids of Dhotrey.
Special Thanks To
Thanks to Mon exports India for helping us successfully run the Pathshala at Sundarban by proving the monthly salaries of our teachers and nanny.