TARANG - ADOLESCENCE EDUCATION PROGRAM, BIHAR
Adolescence (10-19 years) is the transition period during which girls and boys strive to define themselves, their likes and dislikes and their personal limits. During this period of transformation adolescents experience varying expectations of parents, peers, friends and teachers, which are often conflicting and confusing. Adolescent role models in the media, for example, are presented as socially and sexually active beings – a standard that often conflicts with parental upbringing or one’s own desires. At the same time, boys and girls are told to act like adults, though they are not given the respect, rights or responsibilities of adults. The problem is that adolescents are treated both as children and adults.
With due consideration to critical needs and concerns of adolescents as well as to address conflicting expectations of society, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, in the year 2005 positioned “Adolescence Education Program” (AEP), as a follow up of the decision of the Inter-Ministerial Group headed by Honourable Prime Minister of India. Subsequently, comprehensive operationalization of AEP in all schools and teachers training system was recommended and emphasized as part of national policies / guidelines vis-a-vis Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), National Curriculum Framework (2005); NCERT-2012 (Under Physical Health and Education), National AIDS Control Programme (NACP-IIII & IV) and, National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (2009/10). The same has been further been emphasised in the most recently launched Integrated Scheme for School Education – ‘The Samagra Siksha Abhiyan’ (2018)
Program Objectives: The national program framework of A.E.P. envisioned to: i) Provide accurate age appropriate information on adolescence and growing up, to adolescent in school; ii) Reinforce existing positive behaviour and instil life skills essential to manage risk, communicate effectively, and deal with gender stereotypes and to resolve/cope with risky situations young people encounter in their lives; iii) Equip adolescents with additional information and linkages specific to youth friendly services, and; iv) Act as a springboard to reach young people out of school.
Adolescence Education Program, Bihar – ‘Tarang’: There arises a need to recognize the potential of this constituency, with an intent to invest in creating opportunities for 2,33,92,577 adolescents which account to 23 percent of the population of Bihar (Census 2011). Hence, with an intent to strengthen positioning of AEP - ‘Tarang’ in the state, the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT), Bihar, collaborated with Centre for Catalyzing Change (formerly CEDPA India). The collaboration is to build-on Tarang specifically – addressing larger issues around adolescence, introduce an effective and model training design and putting in place a proficient model of implementation and monitoring.
Since 2019, Tarang is being implemented in 10 districts of Bihar namely Banka, Darbhanga, Gaya, Khagaria, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda, Patna, Purnea, Saran and Supaul. The program seeks to not only empower and inform its primary target audience on Life Skills and health issues, but also builds an enabling environment for them in schools. The program has reached out so far to over 8,88,600 adolescent boys and girls studying in 909 Schools (classes 6,7 and 8 in 100 select middle schools in three districts and class-9 in 809 secondary schools in 09 districts), with a cadre of 114 Master Trainers trained to undertake training of 1,645 Nodal Teachers to further transact Tarang content in among students studying in aforementioned classes.
Technical Support and Strategies Innovations: Tarang employs strategies and modalities specific to contextualization and system strengthening which involves: i) Development of age appropriate contextual content for use by Nodal Teachers in schools; ii) Systematic and quality training of Nodal Teachers’ by Master Trainers identified from within the school system; iii) School-based transaction methodology where trained Nodal Teachers deliver the content among students in appropriate grades; iv) Co-curricular activity-based learning approach that enables young people to respond to real life situations more effectively and; v). Multi-Stakeholders involvement at state and district levels.
Program Results: The results reflecting effective implementation are: i) majority of schools have incorporated Tarang in their school timetable; ii) Session records are being maintained in implementing-schools where sessions are being conducted; iii) Master Trainers, Assistant Resource Persons and Block Resource Persons are engaged to extend necessary support to School Principals and Nodal Teachers in transaction of Tarang sessions among students; iv) Students demonstrated increase in self-confidence, self-esteem and knowledge on life Skills; v) Students also expressed that they are more disciplined and directed towards their life goals; vi) Reinforced interest and motivation in transacting Tarang Sessions among School Principals, Master Trainers and Nodal Teachers.