Chudar Programs was founded by Dr. Ravishankar and his team with a mission to work towards improving the quality of education for school children from underprivileged backgrounds.
Our goal is to ensure that every child passing out of school has the requisite knowledge, skills, and confidence to face the future, both in school and beyond.
Chudar is a Tamil word that denotes the sparkle or brilliance from a flame, and we hope that our efforts will enable each child to shine with that brilliance in their own way.
Several studies show that most kids are enrolled in school but learn very little. The ASER survey points out that of all children in the age-group 6-14, more than 99% are enrolled, but the majority lag behind in educational outcomes.
This problem persists from primary all the way to high school and the National Achievement survey by NCERT has also shown that Std.10 children have very low competencies in Mathematics, English, and Science. The problem affects children from disadvantaged sections, who are often first-generation learners.
“Chudar” (a Tamil word meaning “Spark” from light) envisions that every child acquires the knowledge, skills, and confidence to face the future. We develop innovative educational content in Mathematics, Science, and English, with a focus on Classes 6 to 8. This content helps children assimilate skills and concepts as opposed to rote learning. When children truly understand instead of memorizing, they become confident learners. Some of the principles of our solution are:
- Measure learning outcomes and not just inputs
- Focus on skills instead of memorization
- Use technology-aided learning, where possible
- Local ownership and participation.
Our programs include:
- After school center for underprivileged children in Chennai slum areas, rural villages in Tiruvannamalai and Chengalpattu districts
- Working in partnership with Government and Government-aided schools to improve learning skills
Chudar after-school centers are located in the community itself (places taken on rent in the city, local panchayat buildings, schools or libraries, etc. in villages) and tutors hired locally from the same area conduct classes every evening.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, we changed our strategy and began WhatsApp-based online classes instead of conducting classes in physical centers in the community. Many children attended online classes using smartphones. In rural villages and Chennai localities where smartphones were not available, tablets were given to local volunteers so that children in those areas could continue learning on WhatsApp through the tabs.
Chudar has been working in partnership with government schools and government-aided schools by providing them quality content by distributing workbooks and sharing worksheets, interactive videos, and puzzles online through the school teachers in the school WhatsApp groups.
We also have a Community-Learning Program (CLP) on weekends to engage with more children in the community who may not attend our center classes every day.