4 Month Residential Camps
Four Month Residential Camp is an important activity in Doosra Dashak to provide foundational literacy and numeracy skills to out of school adolescents. Through these camps a deliberate effort is made to draw learners from different religions and caste backgrounds. These camps help in inculcation of healthy habits amongs the adolescents and seeks to impact the very lives and vision of the participants. Efforts are made to see that participants in the residential camps also question long-held beliefs on caste, social status, and religious division. These camps are important in promonting gender sensitivity, active citizenship and skills for life and work thereby empowering adolescent boys and girls.
Curriculum for learning in residential camps
The curriculum includes the following perspectives:
- The curriculum fully takes into account the specific needs of adolescents – the physical, emotional and psychological aspects, as well as the learning needs for their future.
- The curriculum is fully contextualized – with reference to the linguistic, cultural and economic background from which the adolescents come. Particular note is taken of the fact that they come from a background of extreme poverty and that poverty alleviation and empowerment of adolescents is the critical strategy of our activities.
- The curriculum is based on an integrated, holistic approach. Basically, this implies that the resultant learning process will contribute to development of the entire personality of the learners and the basic subjects of language and mathematics are integrated with subject areas such as health, science, human rights, civic awareness, etc.
- Inculcation of life-skills is an essential component. These skills are viewed in specific terms (to mean competencies relevant for improved quality of life) as well as generic terms, namely, analytical and thinking skills; social and interpersonal skills; and negotiation skills. Throughout the curriculum special attention is being paid to see that these skills are intrinsically woven.
- Keeping in view the importance of health/reproductive health, sexuality and HIV /AIDS, these areas form a part of the curriculum. The effort is to see these issues through the gender lens and ensure empowerment of adolescent boys and girls.
- To make a decision regarding content the most important factor has to be the learners’ ability to grasp rather than a set of assumptions about what they should know.
Adolescents who join these camps are from deprived background with limited exposure to the outside world especially in the tribal areas. They speak local languages, they are shy, and have problems in articulation. Initial 15-20 days are required for them to be able to familiarize themselves with the changed environment and to get into the habit of learning and living together.
These camps are run in rented buildings hired for the duration of the camp. Generally, a building with sufficient covered and open space is taken which includes 6-8 rooms, a hall to accommodate 55 persons, enough lavatories and bathrooms and playground.
The objective of Doosra Dashak camps
- These camps help adolescents to get over the narrowness of religion, caste and social position.
- By distancing the learners from their milieu they enable them to learn in an environment of freedom with its own implications for nature and quantum of learning.
- The emphasis is on linking learning with practice, e.g., knowledge and understanding of health issues is accompanied by regular bathing, cleaning of teeth, cleanliness of camp surroundings, etc.
- And finally, a much greater interaction among the learners and between learners and teachers become possible which plays an important role in socialization and out of the classroom learning.