Preventing School Dropouts in Samastipur
Consulting Design Project Lead • 2011
This was a project executed in collaboration with Quest Alliance and USAID. The name of the project was SDPP - School Dropout Prevention Programme.
Under a research programme, the phenomena of dropping out of school in the Samastipur region, of children in the 5th and 6th grades was observed. FOLO worked with Quest Alliance in understanding further, how these dropouts could be reduced. For this, we brainstormed a bunch of possible methods and means and, finally arrived at a possible solution, which we then implemented.
The challenge: most parents are illiterate.
The family journal was a product of a short but intensive period spent in the district of Samastipur, listening to the teachers of schools which were participating in the School Dropout Prevention Program and creating a print solution that would engage the parents in a dialogue to make them understand the importance of their child attending school regularly.
5 Root Causes of Missing School
Based on primary research, we understood 5 main reasons/excuses behind the students missing school, which often was leading to dropping out:
1. The student is not at home or, that there is a festival
2. The student is busy in housework
3. The student or one of the family members is sick
4. There is an issue related to the school
5. The school itself was shut
We decided to create a weekly visual calendar for 8 weeks to have the parents log the child's absence or presence in this calendar, with the reason marked if the child was absent.
Logging progress of every week
Our aim was to have the parents report the attendance of their children to the school on a regular basis in a simple manner. The solution that we created was a visual calendar for the parents to simply mark whether their child went to the school or not and if not, then mark the reason for the absence. At the beginning of the journal was a small instruction guide for the children to explain to their parents, the simple procedure of the marking.
Snakes & Ladders!
We also adapted the classic snakes and ladders game to engage the children and parents in a playful dialogue about the pros and cons of going to school and encouragement and discouragement of the 2 cases, subsequently.