Children enrolled in our Rural Schools!
We would like to thank you for your support during the Photo Contest 2012. Our photo came 3rd out of 69 entries and we are truly grateful for all your help. Below this letter, we have attached the annual report for our project so that you are able to see how exactly your donations are creating real change.
- 11 new Rural Schools (Shiksha Kendras) opened across Rajasthan. Our total schools now stands at 178, reaching 5,861 children, 43% of which are girls, in the five rural blocks in which Seva Mandir works.
- 20% of students scored level 3 in their end of year exams, compared to the 10% that achieved this in 2010.
- 24 newly employed teachers attended 6-day initial training sessions, and 84 existing teachers participated in advanced training.
- 36 teacher meetings were attended where instructors are able to discuss and find solutions to classroom difficulties.
- Parent teacher meetings are encouraging local attitudes to turn towards and accept the importance of education for rural children.
- English Language Teaching is to be brought in all the five blocks. Local teachers have decided that this will strengthen both child and teacher capacity.
- First Aid Kits have been brought to Shiksha Kendras in one of the blocks.
- Bal Melas children’s fairs have been reaching hundreds of children across Girwa Block.
Across rural Rajasthan, children attending Shiksha Kendras are achieving higher learning outcomes than those in regular government funded schools. However, their future existence is currently under threat, due to the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) 2009.
The RTE Act prescribes a set of criteria for all educational institutions in India, aimed to promote qualified teachers and decent learning facilities for children. However, their measures are strictly related to human and physical infrastructure instead of learning outcomes. For example, a school under the RTE Act must have rooms of a specific size, running water, toilets and teachers with certain qualifications and salaries.
Although the act aims to inspire rights, in the context of rural Udaipur, there is an enormous shortage of qualified teachers. Teacher absenteeism is also high in most government schools, but these ground issues are not being tackled by the government. Instead, the act simply outlaws informal education centres such as Rural Schools, essentially limiting and removing people’s choices and ability to advocate their children’s education.
In response to this, Seva Mandir is undergoing great efforts to prove to the government that there is an urgent need for non-formal education, at least until official institutions are capable of delivering quality teaching. The following annual report displays the progress we’ve made this year and hence, the reasons why you should continue to support us in facing this challenge.
We hope you enjoyed reading this feedback. Please do share your thoughts on it.
With warm regards,