About Vidyanjali

Introduction

The Hon’ble Prime Minister during the review of Sarva Shiksha  Abhiyan on 22nd June, 2015 desired that the Ministry of Human Resource Development may explore the possibility of young professionals being encouraged to volunteer their services in Government schools.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development recognizes the unique place of volunteers in schools. School volunteers are mentors, confidantes and communicators. Vidyanjali is an initiative to enhance community and private sector involvement in Government run elementary schools across the country under the overall aegis of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Through this initiative people from the Indian Diaspora, retired teachers, retired government officials including retired defence personnel, retired professionals and women who are home makers can volunteer at a school that requests for one.
Vidyanjali will also cover initiatives under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public Private Partnership (PPP), with Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) Companies, private corporate and others.

Aim

A very large number of people who are not part of the government have expressed a desire to give back to society and particularly to children in government schools. This includes retired government and other professionals, home makers and also members of the Indian Diaspora and their children.
At the same time, there is a huge gap in the provisioning of educational services to children in government schools particularly for co-scholastic areas.
This programme has been envisaged to bring together people willing to volunteer their services at schools which really need them.
The aim of the programme is to strengthen implementation of co-scholastic activities in government schools through services of volunteers.

Background

As far as teaching in schools is concerned, the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 has stipulated clear guidelines on minimum qualifications to be laid down for persons to be appointed as teachers.  In alignment with the provision of the RTE Act, 2009, the National Council for Teacher Education has laid down minimum qualifications for a person to be suitable to be a teacher at the elementary level in Government Schools. Additionally, the Centre and States organize the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) which is mandatory for candidates to pass before they can be appointed as teachers. Therefore, the volunteers will not teach any subject in school or take regular class.
While the teachers in schools are responsible for all teaching-learning processes, a Volunteer at a school could enrich the teaching–learning process by conducting co-scholastic activities.
The volunteers will therefore be engaged for co-scholastic activities and not be a replacement for the regular teachers and neither will they be involved in any kind of formal teaching.

Implementation of the programme

The programme will be piloted across 20 States which committed to do so in the conference of State Ministers of Education held on 8th February, 2016. These States are Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telengana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. A State wise list of numbers of schools for this pilot is attached at Annexure 1. It was decided there that the MHRD will develop detailed guidelines for the programme in consultation with MyGov.in and these will be shared with the States for their suggestions before it is piloted.

Requirements of a School

The programme will be implemented with children in elementary classes (Std. 1-8) of a government school. Schools that will participate in the pilot programme must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a full time Head Teacher for the school.
  • Have at least one female teacher in the entire school if it is a girls’ school or a co-ed school.
  • The School should have internet connectivity.
  • The School should have a safe and secure school building with functional toilets.
  • The school should have PTR as per the RTE norms.

What will a Volunteer do?

The purpose of a Volunteer at a school is to strengthen and enrich the implementation of co-scholastic activities.  Volunteers would be able to bring diverse talents and skills, thereby making valuable contribution to the learning process at school.
Volunteers under the Vidyanjali programme will offer their services to government schools without receiving compensation. The Volunteers will conduct one or more from among the following co-scholastic activities with children in standards 1to 8.

  •  reading to children;
  • helping children with creative writing;
  • public speaking;
  • play acting;
  • preparing story books with children;

Requirements of a Volunteer

Volunteers who wish to apply for the programme would be expected to patiently encourage children to do their best; want to offer a listening ear; and can be flexible and adaptable to the student–teacher environment.
The three skills expected in a volunteer are:

  •  PATIENCE – It is important to be prepared to progress slowly and steadily, and be able to cope with possible lapses by the student(s).
  •  EMPATHY – Have an unbiased, friendly outlook. Volunteers need to accept that children are sometimes shy, embarrassed, and tentative or can be overly assertive, just as some adults may be.
  •  LIFE EXPERIENCE – Volunteers should be able to share their life experiences, challenges and skills with students, impart their wisdom, and an ability to provide a positive role model.

Volunteer

Eligibility:

  • The following persons can apply for the Volunteer Programme (VP) under Vidyanjali
  • An Indian citizen (retired Professionals, retired government official including retired defence personnel, working professional and homemakers)
  • A foreign national of Indian origin. Foreign nationals of Indian origin must ensure that they have an OCI card. 

Note: Foreign citizens who are not of Indian origin are not eligible to apply.

  • Persons applying for the Volunteer Programme must meet the following requirements:
  • For Indian Citizen
    • Retired professionals, working or self- employed professionals with a graduation degree
    • Home makers should be at least high school pass.
  • Persons from the Indian Diaspora – Must be at least 18 years of age and should have completed schooling (equivalent to class 12)

The application process

  • A Volunteer can apply online for the VP through the MyGov.in web portal at (https:// -------------- )or through a mobile app to fill the form only. For applying for the Volunteer programme the person will need to register on MyGov.in. A sample format is available at Annexure 2.
  • While applying the Volunteer would be able to
    • View all schools requesting for volunteer services block and district wise.
    • View schools in a particular area (by name of city, municipal corporation, block, gram panchayat)
    • View schools based on a geo-location.
  • The filled application form will be reviewed by the concerned school headmaster and the final selection of the Volunteer will be done based on a face to face meeting between the Head Teacher and the Volunteer.
  • There will be no fees charged from the Volunteer at any stage of the programme.
  • The volunteering duration, the number of hours, the activity for which the volunteer will support the school and the material eg. Books that will be read to children; will be mutually decided between the school Head Teacher and the Volunteer.
  • The Volunteer can apply to extend the duration of volunteering; this request will be processed through the online application process.  The Volunteer can extend their duration for volunteering at the same school or apply for a new school. This request for extension will be done through the MyGov.in portal only. No verbal or written request at the school shall be entertained.

Terms and conditions for the Volunteer

  • The volunteers will work only during the working hours of the school. They will have the choice to work for select hours or for the entire day
  • The activities will be conducted in the school premises, with oversight by the school Head Teacher.
  • The volunteer will interact with students in group activities only.
  • The volunteer can bring the reading materials in which case, the reading material used for activities with children should be appropriate for the age group and conform to the constitutional values and the National Curriculum Framework. The material for children could be in English, Hindi or the language of instruction in the State. The material will have to be approved by the school Head Teacher.
  • The programme recognizes that the volunteers may like to take photographs or make videos or write blogs to document their experience of working with children. The Volunteer will share their photographs, videos and blogs with the Head Teacher who will upload on the MyGov.in portal. There will be an option to share these photos and blogs from the My Gov portal, volunteers will be able to further share on their personal social media accounts from this link. This measure is only to ensure safety and privacy of the young children in school, which is of the utmost importance.
  • At the end of the volunteering period the volunteer would be expected to submit a report of the activities conducted at the school.
  • In case of all girls’ schools, only female volunteers would be allowed.
  • The volunteers are requested not to offer gifts to individual students or teachers.  Only very small and inexpensive gifts which are in the nature of mementos would be allowed to be received from the volunteer, but these need to be handed over to the Head Teacher.
  • Volunteers from among the Indian Diaspora would be required to be fluent in English. It is not a requirement for the volunteer to speak the local language, however, appropriate language abilities are very useful and tend to enable the volunteer to integrate more seamlessly with their host school and surrounding communities.
  • During the volunteering period, on the advice of the Headmaster, the BEO has the discretion to ask that the services of the Volunteer be discontinued.

Role and responsibility of Education Department in State

  • Every State will appoint a Nodal Officer for the Vidyanjali programme.
  • Every school selected for the pilot will register themselves (this would be a one-time requirement) before raising a requirement for a volunteer.  This registration will be done using an email id (udisenumber@mygov.in or udisenumber@nic.in) and password which will be provided by MyGov. A sample format is at Annexure 3.
  • The Head Teacher of the school will be raise a request for a volunteer for all of the five activities listed or select activities from amongst these activities only. While registering the request for volunteer the Head Teacher will need to enter the last date for receiving volunteer requests. This last date should be at least two weeks prior to when the volunteers need to start working at the school.
  •  For selecting the volunteer(s) for the school, the Head Teacher will be able to view the various volunteers who have registered for a specific activity. After reviewing the profile of the volunteer the Head Teacher will send a meeting request to the shortlisted Volunteers through the portal itself.
  • The headmaster will, through a face to face meeting with the volunteers do the final selection. In case a State decides that the final approval will be done by the next higher level to the Head Teacher then it will be the Head Teacher’s responsibility to get the approval from the concerned official at the back end. The software will generate a user name and password for the school Head Teacher to use the portal.
  • It will be the responsibility of the school Head Teacher to confirm the selected volunteer(s) on the MyGov portal. This will generate a calendar for both the volunteer and the school and a message will be sent from the system to the Volunteers and the school Head Teacher.
  • Incase, the Head Teacher finds that any of the Volunteers is not suitable for this programme then the Head Teacher has the option to report such persons as SPAM in the system. This will disable such persons from re-registering themselves for the programme in any school as well.  
  • On receiving the message approving the volunteer and date of starting the activity, the Volunteer will go directly to the school where the Head Teacher will welcome and do a brief Orientation of the Volunteer.
  • During the time the Volunteer is working at a school, the concerned next level of officer would try and meet with all the Volunteers at least once.
  • The school Head Teacher would be required to provide oversight to the work of the Volunteer.
  • It will be the responsibility of the school Head Teacher to inform the SMC about the volunteers’ services at the school and take their support for the same.
  • The Head Teacher will ensure that video/photo documentation of the Volunteers’ interaction with the students is uploaded on the MyGov.in web portal.
  • The school could organise an SMC meeting at the end of the volunteers work to acknowledge their contribution to the school.
  • On successful completion of the Volunteers work, the school Head Teacher would be required to fill a completion report on the MyGov.in portal. Based on the completion report the volunteer would receive a certificate of appreciation.

Role of State Governments

  • As a first step, each State Government shall identify schools for the implementation of the pilot. These Schools will be selected based on the criteria mentioned earlier in the guidelines
  • State Government will organise an Orientation Programme for the school Head Teachers and the concerned Cluster Coordinators and Block Education Officers. The orientation programme will be on sharing the role and duties of the volunteers and the application process to be followed by the school.
  • The State governments will need to incorporate the information about the programme in the SMC training module.
  • The implementation schedule of the pilot programme will be until 31st December 2016.

Role of MyGov.in

MyGov.in will be the technical partner for the implementation of VP. The team at MyGov.in will support all the digital requirements related to the implementation.

  • MyGov.in will develop the portal for this programme which will include the following:
    • The online application form for the Volunteers.
    • The online application form for the schools
    • The mobile app version of the application forms for the programme.
  • The portal will allow for searching schools
    • Block and District wise.
    • By name of city, municipal corporation, block, gram panchayat
    • By geo-location.
  • The portal will enable the Volunteer and the School to register them and apply for the programme.
  • All communication between the Volunteer and the School Head Teacher will be done through the portal.  
  • Since any request for extension of volunteering will need to be done through the portal only. The portal will allow for Volunteers to submit their request for extension on their existing application.
  • The portal will have the facility for the Head Teacher to upload videos, photographs of the activities conducted by the volunteer. Volunteer can share experiences through the MyGov.in portal.
  • On completion of the Volunteers’ intervention, the Head Teacher will be required to upload a closure report. This will generate an appreciation certificate for the volunteer.
  • The MyGov.in portal will be able to generate various reports of the programme for the use of State Governments and MHRD.
  • On the MyGov.in portal volunteers applying for the programme will be able to post their questions, comments and feedback. This will help in developing a FAQ document for the programme.
  • The portal will provide a timeline on which updates of activities posted by schools will be visible.
  • The portal will provide a Dashboard on the status of implementation of the programme both nationally and state wise. It will also be able to generate various reports for different viewers. 
  • The guidelines for the VP will be hosted on the MyGov.in portal.

Funding for the programme

The programme will not cover any costs of the Volunteer including local travel.  Incase of volunteers from the Indian Diaspora costs related to visa, air fare, boarding –lodging, insurance and others will not be reimbursed. Any expenses will have to be borne by the volunteers themselves.
Incase the Volunteer organizes any activities with children, it would be desirable that they bring all the required material for the activity eg. books for reading; stationery for writing; toys for role play etc.

Annexure 1
State wise Number of Schools

Name of State Number of Schools
Assam 100
Andhra Pradesh 100
Bihar 100
Chattisgarh 200
Delhi 50
Haryana 50
Himachal Pradesh 50
Jammu & Kashmir 20
Gujarat 200
Goa 50
Karnataka 100
Madhya Pradesh 200
Maharashtra 200
Manipur 50
Odisha 100
Punjab 100
Rajasthan 100
Telengana 100
Tripura 100
Uttarakhand 50
Uttar Pradesh. 200
Total 2220

Annexure 2
Application form for the Volunteer

Name: ...........................................
Email id: ...........................................
Mobile Number: ...........................................
Gender: ...........................................
Date of Birth: ...........................................
Permanent Address: ...........................................
Education Qualification:........................................... (highest education qualification)
Status of Employment: ...........................................
Area of interest: ...........................................
Supporting URL for area of interest:........................................... (you can share a youtube link)
Prior experience of Volunteering: Yes / No (incase yes please bring evidence for meeting with Head Teacher)
Describe why you are interested in volunteering:...........................................
Profile picture: ........................................... (please upload a recent photograph)
Please provide an identity proof: ........................................... (please upload any of the following Aadhar card/ Election I-card/ Passport / OIC card)

Terms and conditions

  • I have read the terms and conditions for volunteering at the school as has been mentioned in the detailed guidelines. 
  • Incase an application for volunteering is marked as SPAM once, no further request will be entertained.
  • Incase a volunteer is asked to discontinue their work by the BEO, the volunteer would be required to immediately discontinue their school visits.
  • As mentioned above, Government of India or the State Government concerned will not cover any costs incurred by the volunteer.
  • Government of India or the State Government will not be responsible for any exigencies related to the volunteer.
  • I certify that there are no criminal charges brought me at any time.

I accept all Terms and Conditions of the Vidyanjali Programme.

Accept Cancel

Annexure-3
Application form – School

(After the school registers in the portal using the email id and password provided to the Head Teacher the following information will be automatically populated in the portal. The Head Teacher will need to update only point no. 7)

  • Name of the School
  • UDISE Code
  • GIS location
  • Name of the Block/ Municipality
  • Name of the District
  • Name of State
  • Name of the Head Teacher –

    Contact details
    Phone number (mobile phone):

  • Management of the School
    Education Department Government Aided Local Body Tribal Department KendriyaVidyalaya NavodyaVidyalaya
  • Number of teachers in the school

Total posts sanctioned ……….. Total posts filled ………………..
Number of Female teachers ………….. Number of Male teachers …………

  • Whether the school is shift school: Yes / No (Please mention morning or afternoon)
  • Please mention long holidays of the schools (2 weeks and more):
  • Language of instruction at school:

Primary classes (Std. 1-5):
Upper primary classes (Std. 6-8)

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