The crystallization of the strategies and their operationalization through activities has been an ongoing process within DD. This has been the result of learning from experience within a fairly innovative project being conducted in difficult contexts.
The guiding principles are as follows:
- Integrated approach to education- Integration is viewed as a process of linking learning with the learners’ experience and social and ecological environment. As consequence, an articulation between various areas of study, such as language mathematics, health, study of society and life-skills, is seen to be a requirement.
- Holistic view: Education is viewed not only as the imparting of knowledge, but the development of the personality of adolescent learners, meeting their learning needs, and equipping them for their future.
- Stress on values inculcation: Education whatever the approach adopted needs to address the decline of values in society. The preamble to the Constitution of India, refers to the basic values of equality, social justice, secularism, and democracy which are also an essential part of the DD education programme.
- Learning and its application: In keeping with Gandhian concepts, learning needs to influence the thought, behaviour and work of learners. DD visualizes the translation of the training programme into the personal behaviour of the learners and their efforts to transmit learning to others in the vicinity.
The principal strategies are –
- Working with the community in a sustained manner and building organizations at village (Yuva Manch and Mahila samooh) and block level (Yuva Shakti Sangathan (YSS) & Jagrit Mahila Samooh (JMS))
- Organizing Residential education programmes
- Consolidation and expansion of the system of continuing education and promotion of individual and group learning
- Working with local level government structures and other stake holders for improvement of service delivery
- Taking steps for dissemination and wider appreciation of the goals and strategies of DD in order to influence policies and programs
- Review and Planning at all levels
- Involving saabhagis in project implementation
What Integrated Education means to DD:
- Combining new knowledge with the already existent knowledge of adolescents;
- Linking learning with their context and existential realities, challenges and problems;
- Facilitating new learning through reinterpretation of their life experiences and redefining relationships with immediate environment;
- Linking learning with practice, laying due emphasis on application of knowledge and skills in life;
- Integrating literacy/numeracy with life skills, areas of social concern within a framework of announced values.