ASK’s program on Quality Education is committed towards mainstreaming children who are engaged in any form of work and out of school, into formal systems of schooling. ASK believes that to address the larger issues of health, nutrition and livelihoods, education is a direct way of reducing the inter-linked challenges that traps people in poverty. The area of education is one of the most crucial and critical areas of work which truly deserves more attention today while designing any social development programme.
At present times, we are all aware of our education system, policies and the implementation of multiple educational programmes that promotes quality education, protection of children’s rights, etc. ASK’s focus lies on ensuring that every child born in poor and marginalised families has a chance to receive a better life by all means. In our experience of working directly with the disadvantaged groups and communities, who are at the bottom of the pyramid of development and growth, their children start working at a very early age to support family earnings when ideally, they all must be attending school. Children, who even attend schools, drop out after a certain period of time. Many studies and reports have shown the underlying reasons of children discontinuing their education due to extreme poverty, lack of trained teachers, lack of proper infrastructure and facilities at school, lack of health and nutritional support, etc.
Therefore, ASK decided to work on the agenda of: firstly, mainstreaming the out of school children (with major focus of children engaged in work) into schools and secondly, ensuring that they receive quality education and continue with education. To fulfil this agenda, ASK has adopted the following strategies;
ASK Sankalp- Quality Education Project for Children of Artisans
ASK Sankalp in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh is a school based initiative by Association for Stimulating Know how (ASK) which ensures children in marginalised and vulnerable communities of brassware artisans have access to their basic rights especially education, healthcare and protection. The initiative is aimed at creating an enabling environment for children so they may enjoy a childhood all children deserves.
Moradabad is a city which is not only known for its brassware, but also for the number of children working in the brass industry. Each day the city grows closer to earning the ignominious distinction of having the most children employed in extremely hazardous conditions. Children are preferred due to availability and low cost labour. In poverty and desperation, families resort to child labour as a solution to their economic problems.
Since 1998, ASK Sankalp has weaned off 3,300 children from child labour and mainstreamed them into education. ASK India is currently working with 700 children (300 girls and 400 boys) who were involved in casting, polishing of brassware, tailoring and in garages. ASK Sankalp is committed that every child develops holistically by placing every development aspect in the curriculum for children. We work to empower communities to remain vigilant against the risk of child labour, child sexual abuse, child trafficking and child marriage while facilitating counselling and education support.