It did not take us much time to figure out from their mother, who works as a cook in the apartments, that both of them are quite a handful to take care of. They were out of school and had been missing it for two years now. The private school they were enrolled in was closed down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Once it reopened, their parents were unable to pay the fees. Their mother told us that there are many kids with the same story in the area she lives in. We immediately visualised a Pokhrama Foundation Academy in Hyderabad as a sister institution of the Academy we have in Pokhrama, a remote village in Bihar.
The Pokhrama Foundation Academy at Hyderabad is being established on Martyrs’ Day, Sunday, 30 January 2022 for disadvantaged children whose education has stood disrupted by Covid-19 for about two years now. For the time being, the Academy shall function in hybrid mode, that is, through a combination of online and face-to-face teaching.
In setting up this Academy during the winter of 2021-22, we recall with pride Gandhiji’s valiant efforts at restoring regular schooling in Noakhali, East Bengal when he sought to fight communal hatred in that Partition-ravaged district in 1946-47.
The Academy in Hyderabad will begin with twenty children, ten in Class 1 and ten in Class 3. The NCERT/CBSE curriculum will be followed and textbooks published by the NCERT will be used. More than one language will be used as the medium of instruction: if children are unable to grasp curricular transaction in English, Hindi and Telugu will be liberally used. NCERT textbooks are available in English and Hindi and these will be made available to the children.
The twenty ‘founding’ children will come from a Hyderabad working-class locality called Bora Banda, Site 3. This, because our activists have a base in this area and will be easily able to inspire twenty sets of parents to admit their children in PFA. No fees will be charged, not at least in the first two years. Teaching will happen on five days of the week. On three days it will be online; two days will witness face-to-face interaction at a location close to Bora Banda, Site 3. For this kind of teaching, we will need one regular teacher stationed in Hyderabad, someone who can communicate in English, Hindi and Telugu. This teacher will be carefully chosen and paid a salary of Rs. 30,000/- per month. Three other volunteer-teachers, teaching gratis, will be selected for online instruction albeit these teachers too will periodically meet the children.
Pokhrama Foundation hopes to create a fully face-to-face Academy for Hyderabad’s disadvantaged children from July 2024 onwards. Initially this Academy may run from rented premises but we have every intention to have a dedicated campus of our own in Hyderabad by the end of 2025. By this time, Pokhrama Foundation Academy, Hyderabad would be well on its way to becoming a full-fledged School. In due course of time, it will function from Nursery to Class 12.
We appeal to you for financial contributions to kickstart the initiative.
Note: Pokhrama Foundation has 80G certificate.