Meet Sonal

Through Project Sanjeevani, SAF met Sonal when she was in the 11th standard. Since then, Sonal has changed her life trajectory, just like Nikita and others. Read how she’s accomplished this in her own words.

  • Take a look at her letter to SAF

Counsellor in every school

What students need today is access to the right guidance and support at the right time. It is often believed that only well-trained professional counsellors can fill this gap, but in a country as vast and diverse as ours, where resources can be scarce, the best way to fill this gap is to equip existing teachers with necessary counselling skills as teachers are significant influencers in every adolescent’s life. It is also important to bring back the sense of purpose and relevance to a teacher’s profession in these changing times.

SAF realized that in a country as vast and diverse as ours, where resources can be scarce, the best way to fill this gap is to equip existing teachers with necessary counselling skills. Building on the fact that teachers are significant influencers in every adolescent’s life, SAF’s solution caters to the needs of all students in a sustainable way. and brings back the sense of purpose and relevance to a teacher’s profession in these changing times.

In collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra, SAF developed and implemented an online teacher-mentor training program called ‘Project Avirata’. The training program is scientifically designed to equip secondary school teachers to deal with adolescents effectively. The Head Teachers and two Government-nominated teachers from each school in the state are undergoing this training.

Today, every government and government-aided school in the state of Maharashtra has three trained teacher-counsellors, who are actively giving direction to their students. Maharashtra is ready to lead the way for the rest of the states in India.

Councellor

Life Skills, a part of curriculum in
all state board schools in Maharashtra

Standard 9 and 10 are extremely important in every student’s life from an academic point of view. However, in this period students also undergo rapid physical and emotional changes which affect their decision as well as their relationship with others. It is also marked with the formation of self-identity and they often start thinking about their likes and dislikes, friends and their future seriously.

In order to lead a meaningful life and navigate their future, it is important for them to be equipped with the life skills required for the 21st century.

To nurture the life skills in students, various localized efforts have been made over the years in the form of lectures, seminars and workshops. However, these efforts may not prove to be useful and effective at scale. SAF realized the need for an organized, structured and continuous process of life skills enrichment.

After researching life skills in formal education systems across the world and running face-to-face pilots in Maharashtra, SAF supported in designing an activity-based life skills curriculum for grades 9 and 10. Balbharti, the textbook bureau of Maharashtra, adopted and translated these textbooks into 8 languages and made it a compulsory, graded subject across all state board schools.

Where life skills didn’t have a place in formal education until a few years ago, students of Maharashtra today are getting equipped for the 21st century through a formal subject.

100 % of students receive career guidance

It is crucial for students to know their interests, aptitudes and the opportunities available to them in order to take the first step towards a meaningful career after 10th standard. More often than not, it is difficult for students (especially those in rural areas) to assess this.

But an indigenous tool and a search engine have solved this problem.

SAF launched the Career Mitra project in partnership with the Government of Maharashtra in 2015-16 to help every student make informed education choices after 10th standard. Each and every student in state board schools across Maharashtra gives an Interest and Aptitude test in their school and receives a report. Students can then visit www.mahacareermitra.in and learn more about their interest fields, hear from experts and search for institutes and courses in their district, as per their interest field.

A project such as this in Maharashtra ensures that 100% of the state board school students (i.e. approximately 17 lakh students) every year have access to career guidance. The project is quickly expanding to other states and over 25 lakh students every year are enabled to make informed education choices.

Career guidance

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