It is estimated that 16% of children between the ages of 6 – 18 years do not go to school in India. That’s 45 million children. The primary reason is economic, where despite free education, parents cannot do without an extra hand at work. There are however other problems, quite widespread but not widely acknowledged, that require different solutions. Here are two of those problems that we are trying to address in a small specific way in two villages in Bihar. The first, where parents are too afraid for their daughters’ safety to send them to a co-educational school and there is no girls’ school close by. And the second, where the children belong to a community so socially marginalised, that they feel unwelcome and ill-equipped in the regular government school.
In response to these two conditions, FORRAD seeks your support for two child education initiatives in Nalanda district Bihar.
In principle and in accordance with the fundamental Right to Education, children should attend regular school. As of now, however, the ground realities of these children do not make it a feasible option. Preparing them for schooling while making the regular schools the favoured destination for learning is a strategy we wish to implement for the short and medium term. It is envisaged that students from the girls school and the bridge course will make the transition to regular schools in the coming years.
1. A girls’ school in Kaliyachak
Kaliyachak does not have a school for girls and the nearest one is over 10 km away. Most parents have deprived their daughters of education due to their unwillingness to send them to a co-educational school.
With your support we restarted a girls’ school in Kaliyachak, Nalanda district in 2017. This school which had functioned from 1997 to 2006 had been closed down due to resource constraints. The closure of the school did not result in the girls attending the nearby government school.
The school now reopened, has 80 students and runs classes from Std I – VI, with new enrolments every month, attracting children from Kaliyachak and the surrounding villages. For the last year and a half we have raised funds for teachers’ salaries, some books and teaching materials.
With your help, we’d like to add regular health check-ups, one hot meal a day and a basic level of computer literacy to what we are already offering the students.
The school is run by and on the premises of FORRAD’s partner organisation, Samaj Kalyan Mandal in Kaliyachak. We need your help to ensure that the fresh batches of students continue to receive a fair chance at a future.
This is the annual budget that we have prepared:
|Particulars||Rate||Amount in INR|
|Books and learning materials||40,000|
|Twice yearly health check-ups for students with follow-up||20,000|
|Lunch for 100 children||17,000 x12||204,000|
|Administrative costs and school maintenance||1,00,000|
2. A bridge course for 100 out-of-school children in Parwalpur
There are over 100 out-of-school children in the village of Parwalpur in Bihar. They come from extremely disadvantaged and marginalised communities, with very limited access to resources. While there is a government school in the village, the children are hesitant to attend as they and their parents feel ill-equipped and under-confident and the treatment meted out to them by the teachers and other students is far from encouraging.
FORRAD and our partner organisation, Lok Swarajya Sangh would like to help these children overcome the disadvantages they face in the classroom by running a bridge course that will give them the confidence and the skills they need to adjust to school life. Starting with 100 children and keeping it simple, we will recruit 4 community based workers who will work closely with the children for a few hours every day. They will impart basic literacy and numeracy skills, and engage them in team sports, music and art, slowly introducing them to a classroom environment. With the permission of and in co-operation with their parents, the children will also be provided health screening and follow-ups, one daily meal and therapeutic nutrition where required. After the first 6 months, children who have acquired basic skills and who seem comfortable with the classroom atmosphere will be introduced to the regular school after discussions with the school management and staff. The community-based workers will continue to mentor them and remain in contact with the school and teachers to ensure that the children are treated with consideration. The bridge course will be located on the premises of Lok Swarajya Sangh. The course will be reviewed after one year to assess its usefulness and it’s replicability in other villages. Needless to say, the story of the children of Parwalpur repeats itself in several villages in Bihar.
We need your help to make sure these children have the best chance we can give them – at school and in this very unequal world.
The annual budget looks like this:
|Particulars||Rate||Amount in INR|
|Stipend to tutors @ 4000||4000 x 4 x 12||1,92,000|
|Health Check-up and medication||50,000|
|Lunch for 100 children @ 20,000 pm||20,000 x 12||2,40,000|
|Learning materials incl sports equipment||40,000|
We are happy to receive cheques written out in favour of “Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development” and mailed to:
Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development (FORRAD)
124-A/6, Second Floor, Katwaria Sarai
New Delhi 110 016
Do not forget to send us your complete contact details and PAN number if you are an Indian National.
If you have any questions or need any more information please call us at +91-11-26852476 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply to you immediately
If you are a teacher or someone interested in working with children and would like to spend some time in one of these centres, do let us know. We would be very interested in hearing from you.
Your support means everything to us and no gift is small