Throughout India, millions of young kids are unable to attend even basic elementary schools – not because of proximity or capacity, but because the parents are too busy earning bread to think about their children’s future. Often, even if parents are able to send their children to school, they choose not to because of lack of money for clothing, supplies and transportation.
This story is unfortunately common in the villages and slums of big cities. Lily Foundation targets these children and imparts a basic minimum education to them. While the mother may be hawking vegetables on the curbside from early morning, the Lily Foundation takes care of her child in a Study Home, Primary Coaching Home or High School Coaching Home.
The school education is free in India. The children get the treatment of mid-day meals on all school days. Yet, illiteracy remains a big headache for the government as well as social reformers. The segment of society where both parents must work to earn a minimum livelihood is significant. These kids often fail to receive proper attention at home in their early childhood years.
We literally make these kids literate by teaching from alphabets and numbers to first grade level language (Bengali and English) and Math in a disciplined learning environment. Besides free education, we also provide free school uniforms, free nutrition snacks and free periodic health check. After two years of learning, we help them get admitted to a public school.
Primary Coaching Homes
There is a large number of primary students in Grade III through V whose parents simply cannot look after their ward’s homework assignment. As a result, the children become unmotivated and fall behind at school. To make things worse, there is no pass/fail exam held till the end of Grade V, which leads to a high drop-out rate at that stage.
Primary Coaching Homes are established targeting these school children. The Homes run in volunteer’s premises or in other public facilities in convenient after-school hours, where the volunteer picks up the role of teacher.
High School Coaching Homes
The goal is to help the borderline students whose marks are close to the minimum grade practice enough to pass the Madhyamik board exam. Students of Gr. IX and Gr. X are coached by expert teachers who know the technique of apprehending the type of questions in the exam and can impart the skills to solve problems. The Homes are small class-rooms, usually held at a high school, where subject-matter experts teach English and Math.
The coaching environment is made more attractive as it offers convenient off-school hours’ classes in cozy small groups of 20-30 students. The students take part in additional skill-building exercises through “Touch Computer” and “Speak Well” programs.