Kalanjiyam education program is supporting 800+ children going to rural schools in Maduranthakam block of Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu. A primary focus is on strengthening children’s education in elementary school, by providing education aid for children from very poor families and supporting the local schools by providing para teachers. The schools where the programs are implemented are multi-grade classrooms with one or two teachers to teach all the subjects. The para-teachers placed by the project are making a tremendous difference in supporting the teachers to ensure school regularity and that children are learning effectively in the classroom.
Vaishnavi, studying in 5th standard in the one of the project supported schools reports: ‘I had lot of difficulty reading in Tamil and barely could read my text books. Due to this I did not like to study and felt ashamed in the class room. I often avoided coming to school. When the Kalanjiyam appointed aunty started coming to my school, she identified the children who were not coming to school regularly. She came to my home and spoke to my mother. I started opening up to aunty. She started spending time with me in school and many times after school, to teach me to read in Tamil. Slowly, I was able to read more and more, and now I am able to read Tamil fluently. I don’t feel afraid to come to school now. I am happy that I can read and also able to focus on my lessons. I am enjoying doing math more than other subjects. Our school teacher is also happy with me now. I am glad that aunty came to my school and helped me. ‘
Pavithra studies in 5th standard. She is a good student. Her father passed away two years ago due to a sudden illness. She has a sister in 7th standard. Her mother has to do wage labor to support their family. However the money she makes is not sufficient.
Pavithra says ‘I like to study, but when my father passed away my mother could not educate both of us. We found out about Kalanjiyam and approached them for support. It is only through this support, we are able to buy uniform, bag, notes and shoes etc to go to school. Besides this they also encourage and support me in my education. I am happy and able to continue to study well.
Sumathi, mother of Pavithra says ‘When my husband died, I was worried about how I would educate my two daughters; I was not sure I would be able to support their studies. I used to feel very frustrated seeing other children going to school. I could not even buy the simple things like note books, pencil, bag, etc. for even one of my children. Once I approached Kalanjiyam for support, they agreed to help me and my daughter. Since the last two years, I have been able to get education aid through Kalanjiyam. This has been a stepping stone and allowed me to believe that my daughter’s future will be better than mine. I am very thankful for the support .’
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