Constructing educated children, fundraising event

In an unusual initiative, Pratham has begun a targeted effort to educate the children of construction workers in Pune. Pratham enlists the help of specially trained teachers that go to the construction sites themselves or even teach on the nearby crowded streets (From OneWorld South Asia).

Every day, between 3 to 7 pm, groups of children aged between four and fourteen are enthusiastically urged to recite rhymes, read English lessons, attempt basic arithmetic and speak the Queen’s language … For a majority of these children, the concept of education is a novelty. They admit that they have never ever seen the inside of a classroom.

Targeting a constituency where parents may not necessarily see the immediate value of educating their children, Pratham had to use persistence and persuasion to get their message across.

“It has been a tough task to start this project because the parents had to be first convinced about the need to send them here for schooling. They were not interested because they thought it would be a waste of time. Most of these children did not have birth certificates and so our primary job was to get this documentation done because we would eventually like to enrol them in mainstream schools,” states Suman Mane, one of the teachers trained by Pratham.

More after the jump, and information regarding Pratham’s fundraising event in New York City.

The organization generally has been around for almost 15 years now, and has had a substantial impact in Indian education.

Over this long period Pratham has reached out to a million children. An accelerated learning method, in which an unlettered child starts reading and computing basic mathematics in three weeks, has been in use since late 2002 and has taught over 160,000 children since then to become literate.

For those interested in supporting Pratham or becoming involved, here is an upcoming event in New York City for young professionals.

Young Professionals Bash – NYC

This event is planned to start at 7:00 pm on May 9, 2008 at Broad Street Ballroom.
Tickets are $100
More information can be found here.
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