Over half of the children in the rural areas of southern Rajasthan where Seva Mandir works do not attend school, and over a third have never been to school.
Education was the first area in which Seva Mandir became involved, beginning with adult education. Our response today is to provide quality education for children who have dropped out of or have never been to school, or who cannot attend school because of financial constraints or family obligations. Through our Shiksha Kendras (bridge schools) and Residential Learning Camps, we offer 6,000 out-of-school children access to quality primary education every year, whilst our scholarship programme offers access to quality secondary education. We have also begun to work with government schools to improve the education they deliver.
At a deeper level, by educating thousands of first-generation learners and striving for equal enrolment of girls, we are slowly transforming the demand for quality education among families from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, empowering young people to achieve their best.
Roshan (name changed) was well known is Lohsing village - he would roam around causing trouble for his family and other members in the community and would help his family in conducting household chores. Roshan initially took no interest in education even though his parents saw the importance of schooling.
In 2017, a member of the local Village Institution visited Roshan and his family along with Lohsing Shiksha Kendra’s (Bridge School) instructor, Premlata. They sat with the family and spoke about the importance of enrolling in school. His parents were keen to enrol him and were able to persuade Roshan to attend as his sisters would also be at the school with him.
At the beginning of his time at the school, Roshan would disrupt the learning of other students, and took no interest in learning how to read or write – but Premlata was determined to help him.
Premlata would give him special attention during class, encouraging him to read short sentences or write singular words out on the blackboard. Slowly but surely, he began to start completing classroom tasks by himself.
Eventually, Roshan’s hand would be the first to be raised to answer a question on any subject and even helps other students wherever he can.
Currently, Roshan is in Level 3 (the highest learning level in the Shiksha Kendra/ Bridge School system) and is well on track to graduate this year and move into a higher-primary government school.
Thank you so much for all your faith and continuous support to our programme. The quality of the education provided by Shiksha Kendras, and their accessibility, has given rural communities a more positive attitude towards education. Till now, we have provided quality education to approximately 39,000 children since the Shiksha Kendra (Bridge School) programme began. Encouragingly, a large proportion of students are now girls, which is an indicator of a change in traditional attitudes towards their access to education; between 2008 and 2018, 44% of enrolled students were girls. In earlier times they would have been kept at home to work or look after younger siblings while the parents worked.
We are happy to share that we are participating in GlobalGiving’s July Bonus Day Campaign. Donations of $100 USD and up will be matched on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, starting at 9 a.m. ET. The higher the amount, the higher will be the match. Therefore, every donation will have deeper impact and will enable us to reach out to more children in need. It takes only $60 to send a child to school for a year. We do hope that you will extend your generous support towards education of less privileged children.
Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir team
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