We supported the project at Manirtat over the past 3 years (2019-2021). Every year about 40 students benefited from our support. Since January 01, 2022, the project has been moved to an island of the delta of the Ganges River, South 24-Parganas. See project “Mousuni, 24-Parganas (South)” for details.
Despite free education in public school in most parts of India, student enrollment improved in a low pace. Moreover, girls’ education is even worse considering social believe that they are born to be part of another family after marriage. To encourage education, the State Government of West Bengal started a scholarship program for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in class 8-12. While it is known internationally as an excellent concept to encourage education, it has some unintended drawbacks. In public school there are no examinations for promotion from K to eighth grades. This applies to all students including boys. So, there is no motivation in learning any subject. Bringing children to school is difficult but stimulating them with meaningful education is more difficult. Lack of exams in classes K to 8 is causing dropout when exams are introduced in classes 9-12. Almost half of the students could not complete grade 12. A group of social workers in an organization named Rupantaran Foundation evaluated the problem and came up with a wonderful idea of helping the children with coaching support at classes 7 and 8. Dropout substantially reduced with continuing class attendance up to 95%. In a project in the village of Manirtat, South 24-Pargans, West Bengal we the Foundation members support such an educational coaching program of 50 children. The impact could be gaged from the fact that some students walk up to 3 miles through unpaved ways or farmland to get to the coaching classes. The local community members provide free space. Other than coaching, Rupantaran motivates the education by periodic visit to the parents and discuss about the progress. They also help children to write and show open-air dramas on how society is changing with time, to attract the attention of local community. This project helps the students of Manirtat village, 24-Parganas (S) to continue their education until high school completion.
IKP Foundation support: Project withdrawn.
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