Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership (PFEL) runs School Leadership Development Program (SLDP) and Piramal Fellowship (PF) in Rajasthan in collaboration with KEF.
The Piramal Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation established in 2006. It aims to create replicable solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing challenges one of which is the failing public education system.
Mr. Ajay Piramal, chairman of Piramal Group and KEF, is an avid proponent of school change through school leadership and youth leadership. He envisions empowering millions of school leaders and youth, across the country to create a sustainable change in numerous ways in India. Mr. Piramal, has already started the process of change in Rajasthan, his home state, through this and many more interventions.
PFEL started the SLDP in 2008 with 100 schools in five blocks of Jhunjhunu and Churu districts of Rajasthan. This pilot initiative was implemented with partnership with the Rajasthan Sarvashiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Bound in the northeast and east by the state of Haryana and in the northwest and north by Churu district, Jhunjhunu district falls within the Shekhawati region of the state. It has eight blocks with approximately 2500 schools. Since we began, we have expanded to five out of the total eight blocks in Jhunjhunu district alone, namely: - Jhunjhunu, Udaipur Vati, Asisar, Navalgarh and Khetri. We are working with about 250 schools in these blocks.
In the last five years, our efforts at providing active field support and workshops have helped build trust and confidence with the headmasters we have transformed their initial diffidence transformed into interest and responsibility which, in turn, has had a salutary effect on their creating a fear-free environment for the children in their schools. Following this significant change, the state government requested us to expand our programs to all blocks in Jhunjhunu district. We have now expanded to 100 schools in Khetri.
Since our projects in Churu district we have expanded to five of its six blocks. When we began in 2008, we had 100 schools in our fold spread over Churu, Rajgarh, Sujangarh, Ratangarh and Taranagar blocks. Our Churu team of is currently implementing the program in about 250 schools in Churu district.
Churu district, with about 2500 primary and upper primary government schools, lies in the Jangladesh region of Rajasthan. It is bound by Hanumangarh district in the north, Haryana in the east, Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts in the southeast, Nagaur district in the south and Bikaner district in the west. The region is a major attraction for wildlife enthusiasts and like, Jhunjhunu, also for palatial havelis and temples.
In Churu, around 15 per cent of our first batch of HMs went on to become our representatives and have been strongly advocating our programs across the district.
Our Udaipur project started in 2011 with two tribal districts – Udaipur and Dungarpur – in Rajasthan.
The Udaipur district comprises 10 blocks with nearly 4000 government schools. At present, we work in Girwa, Sarada, and Jharod blocks with about 120 schools. The Dungarpur district houses nearly 1800 government schools. We currently work in 80 schools in Dungarpur and Bichchiwada blocks.
We are implementing two leadership programs in Udaipur – the Headmaster Leadership Development Program (HLDP) and the Coach Leadership Development Program (CLDP). The
HLDP works towards developing leadership qualities in government school headmasters while the CLDP is geared at building leadership qualities in block- level government officials so they can execute these projects in other locations of the district. The objective of both the programs is to enable headmasters and officials to work in tandem and bring about sustainable change in schools.
The Rajasthan Education Initiative, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan – The government of Rajasthan has signed a tripartite MOU with UNICEF and the Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership to pilot a leadership program in a tribal district of the state. The UN Children’s Education Fund is playing an important role in implementing the Right to Education Act in Rajasthan.
Since 2011, there has been 174 per cent growth in the number of headmasters and 137 per cent growth in the number of Fellows who have joined this project. School Leaders have started creating unique school development plans along with teachers and committee members to ensure better quality education for the children in their schools. Several have even volunteered to take classes along with teachers. Staff meetings have improved, and school leaders have expressed interest in the program by regularly attending our workshops. A staggering 93.5 per cent of the headmasters attended our recent workshop.