Lending “name” to a school

[Story source: Business Standard]

Corporates, non-profit organizations and individuals are helping re-build government schools in Andhra Pradesh by adopting schools under the School Adoption Scheme – started around three years ago by the state government. To summarise the scheme:

Private companies or philanthropists build schools or additional classrooms in the existing government schools. Some extend teaching and learning material, uniforms, furniture or bear the salaries of teachers and other activities. In return, the government allows the companies or philanthropists who donate Rs 5-10 lakh to name the schools or the block they build after someone they love.

The article cites a number of instances where schools have benefited and also gives a stark comparison of the schools before and after adoption – which ensures that it is not only the name of the school that changes. The number of schools benefited thus far is 14. A number which pales in light of the high level industrialisation in the state and the number of corporates having operations here. Also, the current beneficiary schools are located in and around Hyderabad.

We feel that the School Adoption Scheme (which in itself is part of the Sarve Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)) holds a lot of potential not just to improve school infrastructure but also to ensure relevance of the school with respect to the society today. Reason being, the school children and the staff interact with the so called other part of the society and thus ensure that they do not exist in isolation.

Public Private Participation in SSA: The link here broadly outlines the public private model in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Do read it.


A Snapshot of the State of Education in India

Pratham released the results of their annual survey earlier this year which may be useful for those wanting data to inform their work. The survey shows that more children are attending schools, but that teacher attendance has slightly declined. According to a Merinews article, the report shows that the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan government program is making tremendous impact in some of the Indian states. Also of note is that the percent of girls not going to school decreased. For example, in the 11-14 age category, the percent of girls that are out of school has come down to 7.4 per cent in 2007 from 10.3 per cent in 2006.

Some stats from the news article:

According to Pratham’s annual survey of education report, 2007, there is a considerable decline in the percentage of out-of-school children in the age group of 6 to 14 from 6.6 per cent in 2006 to 4.2 per cent in 2007.

The report also shows that children’s attendance in class I-V has remained static at 73.4 per cent, whereas the overall attendance from I-VIII increased to 75.5 per cent from 74.8 per cent in 2005. Even the per cent of schools, with 75 per cent and more enrolled children attending has increased marginally to 60.2 per cent from 59.7 per cent in 2005.

The midday meal coverage has increased from 74 per cent to 91.6 per cent.