Lifelong Learning Pathways for Working Women Community Health Workers: Enhancing Competency and Professional Credibility
A tripartite collaborative Project for the training and certification of ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) was undertaken by NIOS in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC). The Project was formulated and launched under the supervision of the first author when he was Director (Academic & Vocational) at NIOS. The second author was appointed as Project Director under the first author, and is still working on the Project. // ASHAs, who are nominated by Gram Panchayats (Rural Local Governing Bodies), work in close collaboration with Primary/Community Health Centres and District Hospitals. In order to ensure the quality of services to community through ASHAs, it was considered important to enhance their competency and professional credibility. The goal was to certify approximately 900,000 ASHA workers all over the country. First of all, a training network was established at the state and district level. Self learning materials were also developed. Finally, examinations are being conducted periodically. // In this paper, it is proposed to discuss this unique Project that has initiated a lifelong learning pathway for these community health workers. It will describe/discuss all the steps of this project. // This paper is being submitted under the sub-theme ‘Opening up Education’ and the strand of ‘Lifelong Learning’. The paper is relevant as it reports a learning pathway for working people. Its significance lies in the fact that a very important field - that of rural health - is being addressed. The participants will be encouraged to discuss the following issues: accreditation of state and district training sites, certification of state and district trainers, development of self learning material, training process, conduct of examinations and certification. // Paper ID 212
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