Swabhimaan: Progress through self-respect
The central and state governments in India promise mandatory and free primary education to all children through public schools. However, the teacher quality at these schools in Bangalore are so poor that they act as little more than mid-day meal outlets for most kids. Teachers are underpaid, under-qualified and frequently absent.
In spite of the many challenges they face, the many private schools within the slums are considered a better alternative by parents. However, most have trouble paying the average annual tuition fee of around Rs 8000. Most families have to choose between their kids' education and other pressing needs. Forced drop outs due to financial difficulties are all too common.
Swabhimaan helps parents meet this challenge by extending financial aid to the students. To best utilize our limited resources, we conduct diagnostic tests in English, science, math and civics just before the start of each school year. Close to 1000 students turn up for these tests year after year. Our funds allow us to extend support the top 90-100 kids amongst them in the form of tuition reimbursement. These beneficiaries are further engaged on Sundays in after school activities in personality development and communication skills. Children are involved in constructive competitions and encouraged to pursue their unique talents. In addition to this, Swabhimaan pays for two full-time English teachers who supplement the classes at the area public schools. Quite often, the ones taken by our teachers are the only classes conducted in these schools all day.
This year also, we have conducted the diagnostic tests, evaluated and shortlisted the top students from 4th grade up to final year of college. We intend to support the top 100 kids by providing Rs.6000/year/kid as tuition reimbursement. Hence, the total requirement for the program is 6 lacs. From our regular donors and trustees, we could raise nearly 4 lacs. This is a plea to all of you to help us raise the remaining amount, so we do not have to cut down the number of deserving kids that we can support this year. Thanks.