Research and Papers
Learn for Life Foundation is committed to advancing education and human rights through research.
- Improving Rural Indian Government Schools: a Reevaluation of Traditional Education, by Matthew Thekkethala
ABSTRACT: The government education system in rural India is poor to say the least. Students often face hardship and inequality due to the lack of resources. These difficulties are exacerbated by the traditional education model upon which the Indian government schools rely, which emphasizes rote learning and memorization rather than meaningful understanding of the concepts. Yet the rural students of India are vital to India’s economic development–and the world’s progress at large–since they comprise a massive portion of both the nation’s and the world’s population. How can the existing government schools and traditional education models used in rural India today be improved to ensure the productivity of India’s workforce?
- Nutritional Support for Children Living with HIV, by Anita Shet, V. Padmavathy, Chitra Dinakar, Karthika Kumar, H. Preethy, Sajal Clarence Singh
ABSTRACT: HIV/AIDS and undernutrition affect immune function, with lack of essential micronutrients leading to nutritionally acquired immune-dysfunction syndrome and this influences immune defenses increase susceptibility to various opportunistic infection and diseases, etc. ART alone may not be sufficient to revive an already compromised nutritional status and they need a well balanced food to maintain or improve the nutritional status along with ART. Despite current global efforts to increase ART coverage, HIV-infected children remain nutritionally challenged due to socio-economic, disease, and other specific health-related factors. In developing countries like India, Malnutrition are known to be associated with low socio economic factors (orphan hood, food insecurity, poor dietary patterns, low maternal education, etc.,) of children.
- Institutional Care vs. Community-Based Care of Children: Case Study Based on Childcare Model Practiced at Sneha Care Home
ABSTRACT: Should children living with HIV/ AIDS (CLHA) receive family and community-based care or institutional care? Is it more humane and more financially efficient to care for acutely vulnerable children “at home” or “in a home”? Should we be focusing on “building families” rather than building institutions? Which of the models of care should donors prioritize when making decisions about funding? The present paper seeks not so much to answer the above questions as to challenge the thinking behind them. Underlying the pitting of institutional care against the “alternatives” of family and community-based care is the not-implicit assumption that the two are mutually exclusive, that one precludes the other: that institutions weaken familial and community ties, that funding institutional care drains resources from community-based initiatives. This paper problematizes such binary thinking through a case study of Sneha Care Home (SCH) – a care centre for CLHA which blends family and community-based initiatives with institutional care.
- Quality of Life and Psychosocial Wellbeing Among Children Living with HIV at Care Home in Southern India, by Tess Lang, Elsa Haylen, Sheeja Perumpil, Anita Shet, Fr. Mathew Perumpil, Wayne Steward, Emily Shamban, Maria Ekstrand
ABSTRACT: This study was designed to evaluate the quality of life of children living with HIV at an institutional care home in Bangalore, India. The Sneha Care Home is a unique residence that provides educational and community support with a focus on physical, nutritional, medical, and psychological care for orphans and vulnerable children. Cross-sectional health measures and interview data were collected from 97 residents between 5 and 12 years of age. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, SDQ, was used to measure levels of caregiver concern about emotional or behavioral difficulties. SDQ scores showed 53% of children scored in the “borderline range”, 47% were in the “abnormal range”, and peer problems were most frequently reported. The Quality of Life (QOL) of each child was measured with the Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) Inventory. Caregivers perceived children to have an overall higher QOL than was self-reported by children (Total Score 83 vs. 78). Emotion and School functioning means were higher according to child self-report than caregiver proxy-report (Emotion 72 vs. 65; School 79 vs. 76, resp.). PedsQL subcategory scores that were indicative of potentially impaired QOL were in social functioning (21%), according to childreport, and school functioning (26%), according to caregiver-report. Our findings indicated maternal orphans to be six times more likely to have psychological difficulties compared to children whose parents were living but unable to care for their child. The age of the child and age of joining the care home were found to be significantly negatively associated with quality of life reported by children and positively associated by caregiver-proxy reports. Physical measures showed the children’s clinical severity of disease remained well-controlled living in a residential, values-based care home.