Though registered as a Public Charitable trust in 2009, NEET started functioning in 2016 by documenting good teaching learning practices across the Indian education space. We began engaging with teachers and children through workshops to enhance their creative expressions and critical thinking by using innovative techniques of learning like discovery method, theater and storytelling.
We realized that to fulfill our objective of enhancing children’s ability of critical thinking and creative expression, we need to engage with the different stakeholders of education in a continuous manner. Therefore in 2017, we initiated the library programme in government schools to provide students access to quality children’s literature, opportunities to engage with the resources by conducting planned library sessions. By next year, we opened NEET’s Community Library in the Uzan Bazar area in Guwahati. An informal space for children, youth and community members to come together, the library contains a rich collection of children’s literature, activity kits, art and craft and play materials. We regularly conduct different activities in the library to encourage children’s abilities of critical thinking and creative expression. In the same year we had provided support in setting up a community library in a government school in Nalbari, Balikuchi Majaliya Vidyalaya. We also initiated our capacity enhancement programme for teachers by conducting four workshops on creating vibrant libraries with teachers in Assam and Nepal.
From our experiences of running the library programme in schools, we observed that children in government schools lack basic skills of reading and writing, hence in 2019 we changed our library programme in schools to language learning programme. We started instruction in four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in both English and Assamese by providing them with learning opportunities relating to their lived experiences. We also provided support in setting up Classroom libraries in four government schools where the library program was being conducted by 2020. As a part of the capacity enhancement programme for teachers we arranged an exposure visit to our Community library for private school teachers to give them a feel of a vibrant community library.
During the challenging times of Covid induced lockdown, though the Community Library and government schools were closed, we continued engaging with our children through the digital platform. We conducted online classes for our library regulars and children of government schools where we run the library cum language learning programme. Once the lockdown was slackened, we started resuming our Community library activities, and school visits. We realised that our children’s learning level have suffered during this period of school closure and hence we started providing academic support to our library children and initiated the language learning programme in all the 6 schools we worked with.
In April 2021 we also opened NEET’s pre-primary school in to provide holistic Early Childhood Care and Education programme for underprivileged children between the ages of 3-6 years. We conduct activities for the preschool children from 10 am to 12 .pm and provide the enrolled 20 children with a hot meal. In the same year, we initiated a capacity enhancement and mentorship programme with teachers of partner organisations of IDEA on language teaching and creating vibrant libraries. Under this programme we have conducted 2 capacity enhancement workshops till now.
In 2022 we changed the approach of our language learning programme to a teacher support programme where we conduct demonstration classes in the presence of teachers and conduct academic sessions in CRC meetings to support teachers in the teaching learning process. Currently we run the language learning programme in 18 schools of 3 clusters of Kamrup(M).