June 17, 2016
The Corporation Higher Secondary School, Peelamedu, is one among the five corporation schools in Coimbatore to adopt the Bala Janaagraha programme. This is one of the flagship programmes of Bengaluru-based NGO, Janaagraha Centre for Citizen and Democracy (JCCD).
Under the Bala Janaagraha programme, the students of grade VIII of the chosen five corporation schools will be introduced to various aspects of civic education. They will also be taught the practical method of dealing with civic issues as part of this programme.
“Our vision is to transform today’s children into active citizens of tomorrow,” K. Sunitha, Manager, Bala Janaagraha (South and West Zones – India), says. This programme was declared open at the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) premises today by Corporation Commissioner, Dr. K. Vijay Karthikeyan. About 25 grade VIII students of the Corporation Higher Secondary School Peelamedu participated in this launch.
“At home, when something is wrong with the food, we immediately complain to our mother. Similarly, if we, as citizens, face any difficulty in the place where we live, do we know whom and where to complain?” Dr. K Vijay Karthikeyan asked the students. He informed them that the Bala Janaagraha programme is aimed at empowering them (students) to grow up into active citizens of the nation.
Furthermore, the Corporation Commissioner also urged the students to have their eyes and ears open. He encouraged them to become aware of what is happing in and around their locality. “Even as students you must be aware of the small problems that the people of the locality we live in are experiencing. Through the Bala Janaagraha you will be taught about civic education. As students you must bring to the problem to the notice of the concerned authorities,” Dr. K Vijay Karthikeyan said. As his concluding remarks, he urged the teachers of the various participating corporation schools to lend a helping hand, so that the Bala Janaagraha programme is successful.
As a part of this programme, the grade VIII students of the five chosen corporation schools will be offered classroom sessions in civic education. They will also be given access to an e-module, that will include games and puzzles related to civic education. Finally, the students will be divided into groups of 10. They will have to plan and implement a civic project. The project, called Civic Project, we are told, will be supervised by the school teacher or the parents.
As a part of their project, a street will be allotted to each team. The students will have to pay a visit to the street and make a note of the various civic problems that its residents face. The students will have to submit a report of their observations, and offer workable recommendations and solutions to overcome the various problems.
Depending on the ability of the students to solve the civic issues of the street, JCCD will choose one team from each city. The selected team will be given an opportunity to present their ideas of dealing with civic issues at the national level. In an event called Civic Fest, the best Civic Project will be awarded. The winning team and its teacher-supervisors will be rewarded.
Currently, Bala Janaagraha is implemented in 25 cities in India. The programme was initiated in 2002. It covered five schools and 170 children in Bengaluru. Currently, about 531 schools in 16 states are participants of the Bala Janaagraha programme.