Ensuring Quality Education for Poor Children
We strive to ensure good standard of education and health for impoverished rural and urban slum children towards their holistic development. This we do through off the school tuitions and nutritional food through Kitchen Garden Promotion.
Education & skill development are the most fundamental pillars of a functional society. We have been working among children from the villages and the slums of Chennai city who are the deprived most to help them avail the basic rights to lead to a secured future through wholesome education. We help by ensuring them quality education through – tutorial assistance on class room subjects, basic life skills and nutritional supplement for comprehensive growth . So far a total of 15000 poor children have been provided quality education since 1995. And around 2000 backyard kitchen gardens have been developed by the children of ESCs.
Similarly rural youth are guided towards well paid jobs by supporting them to complete vocational skill courses. This is done through supporting the youth in the day to day expense of Travel cost and Nutritious lunch., and as many as 550 youth have been facilitated to be trained in vocational skills and placed in remunerative jobs
General & region specific Causes that necessitate Our Interventions.
In the first place, the parents of a vast majority of children in the villages and the slums are unable to assist their wards in their studies in any way. With the new approach to education that calls for assistance at home on what was studied in the School, the children from villages and slums of towns find it extremely difficult to cope with. And they can not afford to pay for private tuitions either. SPPD has been involved promoting their cause since the very days of its formation in the year 1995. Some of the more specific causes that necessitate the intervention.
These ‘home alone’ children of parents of forced migration are left without attention, become early drop outs from school, more likely to be child labours and often suffer from health problems. As they are neglected by their parents, they lack proper food, education, care and exposed to sexual abuse etc.
This scheme is the first of our initiatives that aims to provide supplementary education to children in rural and slum areas from grade 1 to 8th and up to 12th grade through our Evening Study Centres (ESCs) . The very base of our organisation’s initiative, has so far catered to over15000 children since the year 1995.
In our Evening Study Centers, children are guided by tutors to revise their lessons taught in the school in a conducive environment. Many children have illiterate parents who cannot help them with their studies. This impacts children's performance at school, lowers their self-esteem - and some of them eventually stop attending school completely. ESCs have helped to retain the children in schools, and the drop-out rate has considerably decreased.
The feedback from school authorities on the students of ESCs are always encouraging. Students are regular with their homework. They always wear clean uniforms and are more concerned with their personal hygiene. They participate in extra-curricular activities more enthusiastically.
SPPD follows a special lesson plan that ensures all the ESCs students are able to read, write and speak basic Tamil & English and easily learned other subjects too. The first step towards this plan is to grade students in three different levels. Based on their level, the lesson plans will be outlined.
The teachers of the ESCs meet twice a month with the programme coordinators at the Community Centre to discuss the syllabus and arising issues. Classes are conducted for six days a week in a common place such as temple yards
The Centres follow an exclusive curriculum that promotes awareness on personal hygiene and other essential life skills apart from supplementary tuition on their school subjects of study. The children are provided educational kit packages (stationery, inner wear, foot wear, toiletry , uniform) to both middle and high school students who come from very poor financial backgrounds.
Equally important is the nutritional supplement the children of ESCs receive every alternate days. The peanut balls and some local traditional recipes like “Sundal” to fulfil the nutritional needs of the children. In particular the peanut balls also satisfies the craving of children sweets.
With the continued support from Joe Homan Charity, Give India and Tata steels we are able to carry out the intervention to fulfill the educational needs of the deprived children.
Backyard kitchen gardens are established and managed by children of our ESCs. This is done as part of ensuring nutritious food for good health of the child. Since the year 2005 around 2000 backyard kitchen gardens have been created by our ESC children. Each child is distributed seeds & saplings of quality vegetables and training imparted to these children by their tutors to promote their kitchen garden in the long run. Through this they help themselves in producing fresh vegetables and consequently their health status has increasing.
Facilitation on preventing the rural youth from falling in to life risking jobs and enabling them to equip themselves towards high income jobs.
SPPD has been involved in activities to divert the youth who have finished schooling, from falling in to illegal and hazardous jobs. The youngsters and their parents are sensitized on vocational skill studies that offer high income generating jobs. Apart from the guidance we support the youth who wish to join the skill training courses in the sectors like hospitality trade, medical related allied skill trainings etc by bearing their travel expense to training centres and providing nutritious lunch daily.
Almost 95% of our youth both boys and girls who have completed the skill training courses here since 2007 have landed in very good jobs in high paying hotel chains, restaurants and hospitals in the cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Ooty etc. So far around 550 youth have secured job placements. This intervention has been stransforming the socio- economic conditions of the families of these youth.
The children some how manage to complete the high school and higher secondary finals such as 10th and 12th grades. These youth badly lack in educational standards and also there is absence any guidance about the careers. SPPD strives hard to remove the mindset of both parents and children that consider the high income providing technical jobs as low in social esteem. Similarly, the youngsters who complete their 10th 12th grades successfully in the villages here, after schooling tend to remain idle. Both these sections, the boys in particular are forced in to illegal sand mining and other life risking and distress migration jobs due to severe lack of employable skills.
The youth of the villages here in our state and their counter parts in the slums of the towns and cities are beset with a variety of shortcomings. This makes them incompetent to take up rewarding careers in accordance with their educational levels. They find it extremely hard to compete with the students in big towns. And the city based youth corner almost all the benefits of the fruits of globalization and liberalization of the economy. Our organization decided to remove this obstacle.
SPPD takes pride in playing a very significant role in providing career guidance to these youth. We have been involved in sensitization campaigns and facilitation initiatives in diverting the youth towards risk free and prospective careers.
Youth and their parents are sensitized on the prospects of learning vocational skills for the betterment of the individual careers and the socio-economic advancement of the families as a whole. Subsequently the aspiring youth both girls and boys are helped to be enrolled in the institutions mainly that impart training in the hospitality trade, like hotel management and catering technology and paramedical studies.
A vast majority of the families can not afford the transport cost required for students’ daily commuting to the training institutions located in the towns and more in particular the nutritional meal which is always a short coming in the villages here. And SPPD sought to remove this as it proves to be a major hurdle in continuing their courses. So far 550 youth have been facilitated to get enrolled in skill training courses. And they have successfully completed the diploma, and certificate skill training courses and got lucrative placements.
The support of free lunch for five days a week keeps the students more energetic and balances their nutritional diet. Educational material and travelling cost has reduced their trouble, which as a net result marks the attendance level on a high scale. 95% of students are successfully placed. This is bound to result in reduction of poverty, and change in the standard of living of the families in a big way. This will help them develop their personality and inspire them to come forward and achieve greater successes.