The programme 2021-2024 aims at reinforcing TIPA’s actions on the field, while guiding our team on the interventions which will increase the NGO’s impact on the central actors. Data collected from the impact assessment report 2016-2020 demonstrated that the application of the theory of change on the field provided further insights on how to build better participatory communities, so the vulnerable child may benefit from an enhanced learning experience both at school and at home.
The programme 2021-2024 is hence a continuity of the programme 2016-2020, during which the theory of change was developed into “practices of change”. The interventions for the actual programme comprise of 7 activities which have been segmented into three interrelated projects:
TIPA’s main activities, based on its central actors; children, educators and parents are :
The vision of change aimed by this 3-year Programme is: “Parents, Children, Teachers, Ministry Of Education and Human Resources and Citizens work together to help every child achieve his potential and participate in the country’s development.”
Key activities have been developed to respond to this vision of change.
With nearly fifteen years of experience, at TIPA we understand that in order to bridge the poverty gap in Mauritius by providing educational support to underprivileged children and their communities, TIPA’s impact can make a change from the ground up, start at the grassroots by having the buy-in of both educators and ZEP children parents.
The direct beneficiaries are pupils between 5 and 12 years old who come from families facing socio-economic difficulties. They attend 3 ZEP (Zone d’Education Prioritaire) schools in the sub-urban deprived areas of Port Louis, namely Nicolay, Briquetterie and Pointe Aux Sables. The schools were chosen with the insight of the ZEP Unit, based on needs.
Research shows that although all children go to school, the background of some puts them behind their peers academically from the start. Impoverished students are far more likely to enter school as linguistically disadvantaged because they have not had experiences that promote literacy and reading readiness¹. The achievement gap increases as students progress through school.
Teachers make the difference for students living in poverty² and need to be better trained and supported. Often, children living in poverty give up on school because of low self-esteem. Almost as often, teachers give up on children because of a perceived lack of trying and unwillingness to learn.
Research has shown that one person can make a difference in the life of a child, and children living in poverty need the teacher to be the person who believes in them and provides a reliable, positive relationship. Researchers have concluded that focusing on assets—not on deficits—significantly contributed to a child’s success in school³. It is imperative in building a positive classroom environment that the teacher continues to model genuine acceptance of all the children. By believing in a child, cultivating positive relationships, and offering meaningful activities, teachers can build positive classroom environments that positively affect the child for life⁴. TIPA’s intervention intends to bring new perspective to school’s teachers and NGO educators, through training sessions and seminars.
TIPA works also with the MIE (Mauritius Institute of Education) through training of teachers and on the conception of the Teaching of Values and Citizenship Education Training Manual. The ZEP unit also called upon TIPA in the elaboration of ZEP phase II, comprising (among other aspects) Continuous Professional Development workshops with all ZEP teachers.
The teachers can be empowered from their initial training at the MIE, as well as during in-service training. In collaboration with the MIE, TIPA provides trainings and seminars for educators to search for, use and share educational tools and activities that value children and their progress in class with their colleagues.
Researchers have also found that creating ongoing relationships with families and communities was equally positive in maintaining positive classroom environments⁵. It is necessary not only to value and assure the child of his or her importance, but also to appreciate what families know and can do. The earlier in a child’s educational process that family involvement begins, the more powerful are the effects. The most effective forms of family involvement are those that engage families in working directly with their children on learning activities at home⁶.
The Parents’ Club is implemented in order to raise awareness of the parents regarding the difficulties and opportunities they meet concerning their children’s education. These practices include tools to better communicate with their children and also to help them relax and face challenges with new perspectives.
The Parents’ Club is a ZEP project to which TIPA contributes on a monthly basis. The aim of this project is to sensitize the parents about the importance of getting involved in the education process of their children, and also to promote alternative educational practices that can be used at home.
1 Strickland, D. S. (2001). Early intervention for African American children considered to be at risk. In S. Neuman & D. Dickenson (Eds.), Handbook of early literacy research (pp. 322–333). New York: Guilford Press.
2 Pascopella, A. (2006). Teachers are still the most important tool. District Administration, 42(8), 20. Retrieved September 28, 2006, from Academic Search Premier Database.
3 Marzano, R. J. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Marzano, R. J., & Marzano, J. S. (2003). The key to classroom management. Educational Leadership, 61, 6–13.
4 Kristen Cuthrell, Joy Stapleton, and Carolyn Ledford. Examining the Culture of Poverty: Promising Practices
5 Cooter, K. (2006). When mama can’t read: Counteracting inter- generational illiteracy. Reading Teacher, 59, 698–702.
6 Epstein, J. (2001). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder, CO: Westview.
In order to further encourage the participation of volunteers, other NGOs and the public at large, TIPA is involve in networking activities aiming at advocating and raising awareness concerning the children’s right to quality education. TIPA work closely with other NGOs in order to help the Ministry of Education in its educational mission. We are planning the following activities:
TIPA team organises school events each year in close collaboration with community actors (school staff, parents, volunteers and artists) in each schools where TIPA intervenes. School events aim at giving value to the children by showing the work they produced during the creativity classes.
This is done through an art exhibition. It also aims at sensitising and mobilising the actors around the child to contribute to the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning.
Since 2011, TIPA has been organising Facilit’art training in order to share its practice in the development of values through art. During the training, which lasts about 9 months, participants are encouraged to question themselves and develop educational tools to encourage child participation. The following topics are covered during this training:
Participants benefit from 3 follow-up sessions in a large group, 3 field visits and individual meetings during which TIPA supports them in putting into practice interactive pedagogy and pedagogical tools developed together during the training.