Guwahati, Nov. 13: Tultul Biswas from Eklavya, a Madhya Pradesh-based NGO dedicated to improve school education, today said a school library runs best when students are handed over the responsibility of running it with the guidance of teachers from outside.
Biswas, who looks after the publication division of Eklavya, was in the city today to attend the 9th Festival of Books for Children.
She said in Madhya Pradesh they had experienced the system in village libraries for 15 years and school libraries for two years and found it effective.
“After success in rural libraries we applied it in the school libraries and found it extremely useful. At present, running libraries in 12 schools have been handed over to the students and in 50 others, the process of handing over the responsibility from teachers to the students is on,” Biswas said.
She said the children became a part of the libraries once they feel that it was theirs.
Eklavya develops and field-tests innovative educational programmes and trains resource people to implement these programmes.
It functions through a network of education resource centres in Madhya Pradesh.
For over two decades, Eklavya has sought to relate the content and pedagogy of education — both formal and non-formal — to social change and the all-round development of the learner.
At present, Eklavya aims at four main areas of work — curriculum research and material development, setting up community-based learning centres, publishing and distributing educational materials and providing resource support to National Council of Education Research and Training and State Council of Educational Research and Training.
“We have found that the schools tend to consider the libraries as a supplementary to the textbooks of the children. However, our suggestion is to make school libraries complementary to the textbooks, by enriching them with books related to school curriculum,” Biswas said.
Besides Madhya Pradesh, Eklavya has also been working with the education departments of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh governments in revamping their curriculum, developing textbooks and teachers training.
Biswas said they have looked forward to work with Anwesha in a bid to bridge the communication between the children of the Northeast and other parts of the country.
Anwesha, the organiser of the book fair, which is being held on the playground of the Assam Engineering Institute at Chandmari, is a Guwahati-based NGO working to inculcate reading habits among children.
“We are hoping to do it through translation and exchange of children’s books. If sufficient children’s books from this region are made available for kids in other states through translation and exchange, it would create the bridge,” Biswas said.
Biswas said they work only with government and non-government organisations and academicians while carrying on their activities in other states, besides Madhya Pradesh.