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, State Government of West Bengal initiated a scholarship program for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in class 8-12. While it is recognized internationally as an excellent concept to encourage education, it has some unintended drawback. In public school there are no examination for promotion to the next class from K to 8th 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 of 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 58 poor children. The impact could be gaged by the fact that some students walk up to 3 miles through unpaved ways or farm land to get to the coaching classes. Free space is provided by the local community members. 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 play open-air drama on how the society is changing with time, to attract attention of local community. This project benefits the students of Manirtat village, 24-Parganas (S) to continue their education until high school completion.
IKP Foundation support: Fifty-eight poor children with coaching to complete high school education.
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