Vidyanjali School programme Volunteer Selection Procedure and Role

Vidyanjali School programme Volunteer Selection Procedure: The Central Government is working on a pilot programme „Vidyanjali‟ to involve retired teachers, retired government officials including retired defence personnel, retired professionals, people from Indian diaspora and women who are homemakers to volunteer for co-scholastic activities in schools.

These volunteers will not be replacement for regular teachers and will not be involved in formal teaching. In a meeting of State Education Ministers held on February 08 th, 2016 by the Ministry of HRD, nineteen States/UTs had expressed willingness to participate in this programme on pilot basis.

Teachers of Government and aided schools undergo annual in service training for professional development which is supported under Centrally sponsored schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).

The eligibility, qualifications, list of activities, duration of the programme, selection procedure, role of volunteer in schools for the “Vidyanjali – School Volunteer” programme,Online application form are provided in this guidelines. What will a Volunteer do? : The purpose of a Volunteer at a school is to strengthen and enrich the implementation of co-scholastic activities. Volunteers would be able to bring diverse talents and skills, thereby making valuable contribution to the learning process at school.

Co-scholastic activities
Volunteers under the Vidyanjali programme will offer their services to government schools without receiving compensation. The Volunteers will conduct one or more from among the following co-scholastic activities with children in standards 1 to 8.
a. reading to children;
b. helping children with creative writing;
c. public speaking;
d. play acting;
e. preparing story books with children;
f. model making;
g. counseling for academics, life-skills and h. music and dance

Requirements of a Volunteer
Volunteers who wish to apply for the programme would be expected to patiently encourage children to do their best; want to offer a listening ear; and can be flexible and adaptable to the student–teacher environment.

The three skills expected in a volunteer are:
a. PATIENCE – It is important to be prepared to progress slowly and steadily, and be able to cope with possible lapses by the student(s).
b. EMPATHY – Have an unbiased, friendly outlook. Volunteers need to accept that children are sometimes shy, embarrassed, and tentative or can be overly assertive, just as some adults may be.
c. LIFE EXPERIENCE – Volunteers should be able to share their life
experiences, challenges and skills with students, impart their wisdom, and an ability to provide a positive role model.

Vidyanjali School programme Volunteer Selection Procedure:

Volunteer Eligibility:
1. The following persons can apply for the Volunteer Programme (VP) under Vidyanjali
(i) An Indian citizen (retired Professionals, retired government official including retired defence personnel, working professional or homemaker)
(ii) A foreign national of Indian origin. Foreign nationals of Indian origin must ensure that they have an OCI card.
Note: Foreign citizens who are not of Indian origin are not eligible to apply.

2. Persons applying for the Volunteer Programme must meet the following requirements:
• For Indian Citizen–
 o Retired professionals, working or self- employed professionals with a graduation degree
 o Home makers should be at least high school pass.
• Persons from the Indian Diaspora – Must be at least 18 years of age and should have completed schooling (equivalent to class 12)

The application process
2. A Volunteer can apply for the VP through the the web portal at or can download the mobile app to fill the form.

3. While applying the Volunteer would be able to
a. View all schools requesting for volunteer services block and district wise.
b. View schools in a particular area (by name of the city, municipal corporation, block, gram panchayat)
c. View schools based on a geo-location.

4. The Volunteer would be required to fill in an online application form.
5. There are separate forms for Indian Citizens applying for the program and for those from the Indian Diaspora. Sample application forms are available at Annexure 1 A and 1B.
6. The filled-in application form will be reviewed by the concerned Block Education Officer (BEO) who, in consultation with the concerned Head Teacher of the school, will give permission for the Volunteer.

7. There will be no fees charged from the Volunteer at any stage of the program.
8. The VP will be in tranches of
a. A minimum of 2 weeks i.e 12 days or b. One day per week for 12 weeks.

9. The Volunteer can apply to extend the duration by the same number of days. Requests for an extension will have to be done through the online application process. The Volunteer can extend their duration for volunteering at the same school or apply for a new school. This request for extension will have to be done through the the portal only. No verbal or written request at the school shall be entertained.

10. After review of the application by the BEO, the volunteer will receive a confirmation message (on email or SMS on phone) informing them of the status of their request. The message will have the name and contact details of the Head Teacher of the school identified for the volunteer. The BEO will also communicate with the school confirming the name and contact details of the Volunteer for the particular school.

11. The volunteers will work only during the working hours of the school. They will have the choice to work for select hours or for the entire day.
12. The activities will be conducted in the school premises, with oversight by the school Head Teacher.
13. The volunteer will interact with students in group activities only.

14. The volunteer can bring the reading materials in which case, the reading material used for activities with children should be appropriate for the age group and conform to the constitutional values and the National Curriculum Framework. The material for children could be in English, Hindi or the language of instruction in the State.

15. The programme recognizes that the volunteers may like to take photographs or make videos or write blogs to document their experience of working with children. It has been decided they may do so with the approval of the Head Teacher and the B.E.O., and these shall be handed over to the BEO for uploading on the portal where space will be provided for these to be uploaded. However volunteers would not be allowed to share these through their personal social media accounts. This measure is only to ensure safety and privacy of the young children in school, which is of the utmost importance.

16. At the end of the volunteering period, the volunteer would be expected to submit a report of the activities conducted at the school.
17. In case of all girls schools, only female volunteers would be allowed.

18. The volunteers are requested not to offer gifts to individual students or teachers. Only very small and inexpensive gifts which are in the nature of mementos would be allowed to be received from the volunteer, but these need to be handed over to the Head Teacher.

19. Volunteers from among the Indian Diaspora would be required to be fluent in English. It is not a requirement for the volunteer to speak the local language, however, appropriate language abilities are very useful and tend to enable the volunteer to integrate more seamlessly with their host school and surrounding communities.

20. During the volunteering period, on the advice of the Headmaster, the BEO has the discretion to ask that the services of the Volunteer be discontinued.

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