| Jun 15, 2018
Back To School
Learning about University Life
It’s a big day here in India as the new school year starts. This morning there will be many excited and apprehensive children getting into their new uniforms and packing their bags with their until now unused books, pencil cases, water-bottles and tiffin ready to enter their new classrooms. Thanks to your support, among them will be children orphaned by HIV, children of sex workers and those from very poor communities who are strating school for the very first time in our Lower Kindergarden (LKG) class at our English Medium and slum community schools. We know how important education is, especially for those who come from poor backgrounds and we will be making sure our children know we are there to support them all the way with special welcome programs that will set them on the right path in their learning journeys.
At the other end of their school journey are this year’s 12th standard graduates. With your support, over the past three years we have seen a 350% increase in our students A and B grade results and this year 100% of our slum center, children’s and over 18’ shelter girls passed with great results. This is especially impressive when you consider that many of our beneficiaries are in our care due to extremely traumatic backgrounds.
Our Educate. Empower. Lead. Campaign with Malala Fund is helping us to ensure more girls like these complete their full 12 years of education (India’s Right to Education Act only regulates this for children aged 6-14). We not only nurture and support our children to reach 12th Standard we actively encourage them to continue into higher education (HE). With your help we are already ensuring that all of our children with the ability and ambition can continue their studies in their chosen subjects. However, like everywhere else in the world education can be expensive and we have to find them courses with fees we can afford and secure hostels they can gain their independence at their own pace. Until now we have primarily been placing them close to our home, but we want to open up their options and encourage them to consider all of the choices on offer.
Therefore, we recently took 46 girls aged 15 to 17 to ‘the Oxford of the East’, Savitribai Phule Pune University, one of the finest educational centers in India. The girls from our Rehab center and slum schools had the opportunity to explore the extensive grounds and facilities to learn more about admissions, entry requirements, scholarships and earn and learn schemes that could help ensure them a place at the top university and support them through their studies. They had a fantastic day as ‘students’ in the department of mass communications, going behind the scenes in a television studio, learning more about feminism and gender studies in the Women’s Study Center and library, visiting the anthropology department’s museum and getting a real taste of university life eating in the canteen. The visit opened up a whole new class of study for our girls, blasting away their preconceptions that these types of institutions are only for the rich.
In the coming weeks we will continue these visits to a whole range of other institutions, showing them the wide breadth of subjects open to them, and are hoping with the support of you and others they will have unlimited access to the best courses on offer. Thank you for supporting our education projects that help them achieve the results that not only open up more choices to them but also give them the confidence to aim higher.
Going behind the scenes
Shining a light on media studies
Introduction to Gender studies
Getting to know The Oxford of the East
Celebrating our 12th Standard graduates