India with its nearly one million public schools and a very young demographic profile has a serious task of educating millions of students – the affordable population normally are sending their students to private schools, leaving the public schooling for the ‘MASSES’ – it is in these schools, especially primary (1st to 8th grades) that more than 60% of India’s students go for their formal education. Many-a-times, it has been observed that school infrastructure needs are the reasons for students dropping-out; as vocational education is not very strong and formalized (in a large way), these drop-outs mostly are not able to reap the benefits of education.
On the other hand, India is also growing rapidly (around 6% – amongst the fastest in the major economies) and this is leading to an unparalleled growth of wealth, in many sections of the society.
To facilitate inclusiveness and improve public schooling infrastructure / learning environment, the Padho team conceptualized a model where holistic improvement of the school (infrastructure / teaching / learning) are improved and the students feels energized in a study-conducive learning environment.
For the same, we visited some schools and witnessed the conditions and studied the requirements. We realized that putting the onus on the government only is not going to resolve the issues in so many schools – we, the concerned have to do more than blaming government – we thought of a model where schools are taken-up individually and their needs are individually collated and addressed – to expand, we visited 3 schools in need of help, short-listed one of them and captured the needs of the school accordingly – we made a presentation which captured the theme of the project and started presenting it to people known to the team / their families … all of them appreciated the project, with many ready to help the cause also ..
Little by little, the school project fund was sufficient to implement the project in our selected school – in the summer of 2019 when the schools are on vacation, the major implementation work of our project was carried out; to also improve the quality of overall education imparted, an education co-ordinator has been placed in the school, who will implement holistic development projects for the students in the academic calendar.
The Padho model envisages individuals coming forward and creating sustainable change in schools as per their capability – the changes are also specific to the school needs and holistically improve the school teaching learning environment – in a country of 1.35 billion people, even if a fraction of committed sensitized individual come forward and replicate this model, it will have a huge ripple effect on the public schooling scenario of the country with the youngest population in the world.
The Padho team has tried to roughly quantify the expenses in the area of infrastructure, sanitation, IT enablement and human resources – we fully understand that individual schools will have their own specific requirements, but our model does give a fair estimate of the probable expense, to make this model long-term and sustainable.