High rates of migration, unemployment, and poverty have forced many kids to leave schools and resort to the streets in search of menial ways of earning and feeding the family. Besides, with access to smartphones, mobile networks limited to a very small population of Varanasi.
As a foundational effort to keep the first generational learners connected to the school and inclined towards education, we have initiated the concept of mini-schools. Here, a group of maximum 8-10 students will be taught by a volunteer from the village/city itself at easily accessible and centrally located centers. These volunteers are college/university students, recent graduates, or teachers of private schools who lost their jobs amidst the COVID 19 crisis. Students from classes 1-12 have been enrolled at our mini-schools so far. The schools will focus to develop and enhance the basic literacy and numeracy among students from 1-8 while students of higher classes will be provided with career guidance and counseling based on their areas of interest to help them generate better income through farming or non-farming activities or find employment.
So far, around 60+ students have enrolled at the 3 centers located at Anoula village of Taktakpur, Varanasi. Each center will strictly follow the precautionary measure including- physical distancing, use of mask, hand sanitization before and after classes. These schools will thus, also serve as a platform to aware and educate the communities on the myths and facts around the COVID 19. To make all this happen we need the monetary aid of 50,000 rupees. This fund will be utilized to-
•Provide each student with a stationary kit costing 100 rupees each.
•Provide support whose children who doesn’t pay his/her school fee or registration.
•Procure basis stationery for the schools like roll-up black-board, chalks, pens, and registers.
•Distribute masks and sanitizers to the students and volunteers.
•Provide the teaching resources in the form handouts to the volunteers.
In association with the Universities and Local organization, we are planning to set-up these schools in a few more villages that are located in backward areas in the district. At present, this initiative is targeted to run for the duration of at least one and a half months until further notification of school reopening is received.