One of the main activities of the Adolescent Project in Arain-Sarwar was the long and short duration residential training camps for adolescent boys and girls. These camps, while providing the essentials of basic education, conveyed the ideology of holistic education for leadership through organised action for community benefit. The residential camps (both long and short duration) run by the project have been the source of creative and pro-active education since the first year of their inception. It has also been challenging as many of the adolescents joining these camps have been first generation learners. These camps have, therefore, focussed on innovative efforts towards integrated education.
The short term duration camps focussed on providing an opportunity to camp graduates, schoolgoing children and members of the women's groups to transmit both knowledge and values. There was also a special emphasis on certificate courses involving short term subject-based training to help complete elementary and secondary levels through Open schooling. In the course of 9 years, a total of 32 camps (13 long duration and 19 short duration camps) were organised in Sarwar, Arain. A total of 1421 adolescent boys and girls participated in these camps.
The primary focus of the long duration residential camps has been facilitating learning for dropout and never-enrolled adolescents in the project area to complete their primary levels. The aim of the camp was to teach the children numeracy and literacy skills of at least grade III levels, and also inculcate a set of values and life skills among the students. In the course of three months, generally adolescents acquired level of grade III/V, besides learning about life skills, health/reproductive health-related issues and a whole range of other subjects. The participating adolescents were largely drawn from poor households and many had experienced disadvantages and deprivation.
Short duration camps have primarily been of two kinds: (i) 20-day camp for continuing education of dropouts; (ii) 15-day camp for preparing adolescents for Open schooling examination of Classes X and XII. The total of 19 short duration camps were organised during the project period and 809 adolescents were trained in these camps
The residential camps focused on integrated education imparted by experienced trainers and teachers. The focus was beyond literacy as it also explored development of personality and building an understanding on a range of issues. Both the long and the short duration camps attempted to link the learning with the given context of the adolescents and their existing realities and challenges.
Ajmer Adult Education Association
Kanta Marwah Bhawan,
Vidyut Marg, Shastri Nagar Extention, AJMER 305006