Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sita- Report for July 2007

Tribal Mensa Nurturing Program
Sita- Report for July 2007

The first phase of the Tribal Mensa Nurturing Program (TMNP), which is identifying Gifted Children from Tribal Residential Schools, begins in the month of July. The test administrators and coordinators of TMNP team have been very busy organizing visits to Tribal Residential Schools for the Mensa test.

While talking to the funding agencies about the needs of the children and the Tribal Schools, Narayan (Principal Investigator) realized an important point. Teachers, who are such an integral part of the growth and development of children here, need to be included in the program as well. For the holistic and continued development of children it is important to have a program for the teachers who are going to be in close contact with children. Hence, the Tribal Teachers Training Program was conceptualized and designed by Manas Tatva for TMNP.
Manas Tatva is a charitable organization who has previously worked extensively with children, parents and teachers. This program will help in improving the quality of education by exposing the teachers to new skills and techniques helpful in classroom situations.

The TMNP team welcomes a new mentor on board, Col. Joshi (or kaka as I will call him). Kaka is helping the TMNP team immensely by being the concrete that keeps things together. His foresight has helped the team to prepare for emergencies and his guiding hand is always there for support and encouragement.

Along with guidance from kaka, Sachin dada and Sashi tai made preparations for the Identification phase of TMNP. Arrangements like travel, accommodation and test material were made by Sachin dada. Sashi tai was incharge of contacting the schools, getting lists of students appearing for the test as well as forming a team of trained Mensa test administrators from Jnana Prabodhini Institute of Psychology.

For travel, Sevadham Trust, Pune was helpful and let the team use their vehicles for the Testing program and the Integrated Tribal Development Project was helpful in providing an idea about the number of children in each school in the age group age 10 to 15 years.

The first phase of TMNP began on the auspicious day of Ekadashi on 10th July, 2007. As the Palakhi with the Warkari’s (pilgrims) entered the city of Pune, a team of psychologists rode out to the Tribal Residential Schools. The first school where Mensa test began was in Government Secondary Tribal Residential School, Vadeshwar in Maval taluka. From there then the team went to Malegaon and then to Khed taluka.

A total number of 10 schools have been visited by the team and 1891 children have been screened in a period of 15 days.

When the TMNP team came to my school, I recognized Sashi tai and Sachin dada instantly. During the morning assembly our Principal told us about Mensa and asked all of us to co-operate with the guests. I helped Sashi tai to organize all the children in one class. All children were given:
• A writing pad
• Pencil
• Eraser
• Shubham Karoti (book)
• Harit Sandesh (book)

I was thrilled at the sight of a new red writing pad. The books had short stories and poems which I was eager to read. The test lasted for 2 hours and I attentively listened to tai and did as she explained. It was a new and interesting test we did.

The Identification phase is still to be completed. Evaluation of the test is going on simultaneously at the Jnana Prabodhini Institute of Psychology.
I am eager t find out how I did on the test. Te reports will be out by September first week.

As the Identification phase was running, the team was simultaneously planning for the Nurturing Program. The Nishta Centre at Kamshet which has been proposed for the Nurturing Program needs to be prepared. Work at the centre has been discussed and a proposal has been prepared for updating the centre.

All these people have been such an integral part of coming so far in the rains in search of us little ones. I would like to thank all the schools for letting the TMNP team to reach out to us, children. Also thanks to Sevadham Trust for generously giving their vehicles and for kaka to have come and be a part of the team.

Sita (Wildflower in Tribal Niche, Looking for Disha, To experience Santosh in My Life)

(Monthly Report, July 2007)
Written by: Ms. Sameena Manasawala

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