Newsletter, July 2010

In Focus

Education for children


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From the CEO’s Desk

Like normal middle class children who grew up in the seventies and eighties, my parents constantly spoke about the value of education. It was seen as a way of defining and developing an individual. In fact, one of the motivations for joining the development sector was the role I could hope to play in helping provide this opportunity to children.

The entry to the sector brought me closer to reality and the challenges that exist in the education scenario. Despite an increase in literacy rates, the number of children not in school in India remains very high. Gender disparities in education persist: far more girls than boys fail to complete primary school.

Children are denied opportunity due to caste, class and gender differences. Apart from economic reasons, there are mindset issues that keep girls out of school. Additionally, there is a shortage of schools, classrooms and teachers. Where they do exist, concerns arise around the area of teacher training, curriculum, learning achievements.

The recent Government of India notified 'Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education' Act is a step towards addressing some of the aforementioned issues. In addition, this newsletter brings you stories from CAF project partners that are working on the issues of pre school education, learning support to both in school and out of school children, computer literacy, vocational training for the youth and special programmes for vulnerable and working children. It is encouraging to see these stories that help bring positive change into the lives of children.

I hope you will enjoy the newsletter and will continue to write in to us with your feedback and comments. We look forward to hearing from you.

Warm Regards,

The Cause for this Quarter

Education of Children in India

"Education is not the answer to the question. Education is the means to the answer to all questions."

India as on date has the largest number of uneducated children in the world - two-thirds of whom are girls. Government reports indicate that 59 million children between 6-14 years do not attend school. Official information further indicates that just a little over one-third of all children who enroll in grade one reach grade eight.

Read More>>

Work in Focus

Spreading Literacy : Educating Masses

Ashwini Shirsat 
Class: VII , School : Marathi School
Address : IIT Market, Powai, Mumbai-76

Family Background: Father Baban Shirsat, 48yrs old, is an out of job alcoholic. The mother Rekha Shirsat ,38 yrs old , works as a housemaid to feed the family . The family ears about Rs.3000/- . every month. Ashwini has 4 siblings; one brother and three sisters.

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CAF Helps Fly Kites

NGO Partner : KATHA 
Location: 2 Katha Tech Centres - Khoregaon and Master Colony, Tughlakhabad
Donor: Adobe India

CAF India facilitated KATHA information technology and entrepreneurship school (KITES).

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Mobile Toy Van cum Library

NGO Partner: Vidyarambam Trust 
Location: Nagapattnam (Tamil Nadu)
Donor: Aircel Limited

The tsunami that struck India's eastern seaboard in December 2004 devastated many villages in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu. Nagapattinam and Cuddalore were the most affected districts. Many children were left mentally scarred as they witnessed the tragedy of their families being swept away by the sea. Our NGO partner, Vidyarambam Trust came out with a novel idea of working with these children and engaging them in ways that provided them education in a fun manner.

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Improving Learning Levels in the Government Primary Schools through Better Access and Delivery of Education

NGO: Sivasri Charitable Trust 
Location: Anekal Taluk, Bengaluru
Donor: Adobe India

The need for the Indian public education system to provide better services is well documented in various studies. The academic statistics maintained by the state education department finds the government schools lacking the minimum standards prescribed by the state itself. Sikshana is an initiative of Sivasri Charitable Trust that woks towards evolving a sustainable and replicable model for the public education system at the primary level.

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Highlights of the Last Quarter

New Projects Started

  • A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) was set up in collaboration with Srijan, an NGO in Madhya Pradesh. The project works on capacity building to strengthen leadership vision for SHGs in Madhya Pradesh.
  • An Adobe grant facilitated a project with the NOIDA Deaf Society (NGO partner in Delhi NCR) was started in May. The project will support the salaries of 2 managers and 5 trainers to impart vocational training to hearing impaired. The course straucture would include IT, MS office, DTP graphic design, keyboard training, English literacy and sign language.

Read More>>

Monitoring and Evaluation Visits

  • An evaluation report following an on ground visit to Bihar for Bihar Rebuilding Lives Fund (BRLF) has been prepared to share experiential learning from this project. 

  • A monitoring visit to the Vidya centre in Pappankalan to review the project being supported by Accenture. The Center works towards education for underprivileged children and vocational training to young girls. Regular medical check ups are also being organized at the centre.

  • A monitoring visit to Hyderabad, Chennai and Pondicherry reviewed the work being done and various projects with 12 of our NGO partners who are supported by Accenture and Microsoft.