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Navsarjan Trust Schools Gujarat Shivesh Kumar Vartika Kumar October 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Navsarjan Trust Schools Gujarat Shivesh Kumar Vartika Kumar October 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Navsarjan Trust Schools Gujarat Shivesh Kumar Vartika Kumar October 2013

2 Index Hartford’s Chapter collaboration with Boston Chapter Project Background Our Involvement Student Count Proposal Observations during May 2013 site visit

3 Hartford’s Chapter collaboration with Boston Chapter Asha Hartford CT chapter is a relatively new chapter – Key contacts: Vartika Kumar, Shivesh Kumar – Website: Asha Boston/MIT chapter is going to act as a mentor chapter Areas of collaboration include: coaching, project review, training in Asha processes, and so on Initial collaboration on the Navsarjan project – Asha Hartford CT chapter collaborated for Navsarjan in 2010 – For now, Asha Hartford CT chapter is going to rely on documentation and project review done by Asha Boston Chapter – Initially, we recommend annual funding of $4,000 going towards students cost for the food.

4 Project Background Navsarjan founded in 1989 – Website: Goal: provide quality education to Dalit children facing harsh discrimination in government schools 3 active schools near Ahmedabad, Gujarat Estimated food cost per child INR ~900 per month in Student count at Navsarjan has dropped to 116 in due to change in policy where Navsarjan has decided to start charging students for food – Historically, Navsarjan increased student count from to , but now student count has reduced through Link:

5 Our Involvement Some involvement with Navsarjan in 2010 Funding Navsarjan for the very first time Plan to piggyback on documentation and site visit report of Asha-Boston Chapter Recommend funding basis towards teacher salaries – Prior funding basis considered: scholarship program to encourage enrollment of female students Parents willing to pay for boys’ education, but do not encourage their daughters for education Marriage for girls at an early age very common Site visit in May 2010 Partner in “Quality of Education” and “NREGA”

6 Student Count in Student count fell to 116 in from 322 in from 400 in – Drop in students due to change in policy where students pay food costs

7 Proposal Basis to funding students cost for food – Now, students pay ~80%-85% of direct food expenses. Previously students paid around 20% of the food expenses. This change has reduced the enrollment. – So, subsidizing students cost for food is likely to increase future enrollment. Our proposal: Annual installment of INR 250,000 or ~$4,000 – Will help subsidize students cost for food. FOR CURRENT DISCUSSION – 1 st annual installment of INR 250,000 or ~$4,000

8 Observations during May 2013 Site Visit Visited school at Katariya and interviewed teachers, students and parents Navsarjan residential schools do “more with less” – 5 multi-functional rooms; classroom during day; lodge at night; mess hall at other times in the day – Human waste is re-used as fertilizer for gardens Schools are well-managed – School management and school staff very motivated – Katariya school generally clean and well-organized – Students have a daily schedule and are taught essential life skills – Cook and Caretaker live on premises Student interviews reveal confidence and enthusiasm in them Parent interviews reveal enthusiasm to send children to school

9 Conversation with Navsarjan’s Founder (1/2) New philosophy that students pay for food expenses led to fall in student count – Consolidated teaching operations to a single location (Katariya) Plan to move teaching operations to students to other schools during – Founder says that numbers show providing food at school to students is cheaper and more nutritious vs. providing food at home – Founder shared that only 11 students came on the first day of school hoping Navsarjan will change its policy. When Navsarjan did not change its policy, many students returned increasing the count to 116 – Founder estimated that food costs INR ~ per student per month, out of which students pay INR 750 per month Older philosophy of subsidizing expenses (food, education, and boarding) was not sustainable in the long-term – Navsarjan had to periodically to dip into its general fund to fund the operating expenses of its residential schools – Residential schools depend on a few large donors; loss of one donor can imperil the operations of the residential schools – Some key grants have fallen off (CORD) or will fall off (Tata Social Welfare Trust) Founder states that Navsarjan is committed to starting grades 9th and 10th in near future

10 Conversation with Navsarjan’s Founder (2/2) Founder believes that student count will jump back in 2-3 years – Founder shared experience at DSK (Dalit Shakti Kendra) vocational school suggests that raising fees coupled with better infrastructure brings more students in the long run – Founder believes that the student count will bounce back to ~300 Founder stressed the need for better infrastructure and teaching methods – Better infrastructure: more accommodation such as building a second story on modular rooms, creating sports complex in Katariya (track, kabaddi, volleyball) etc. using spare land at schools, already built science labs at schools – Better teacher training – Monthly student evaluation in key areas: reading, comprehension, etc. Founder stated difficulty in hiring and retaining teachers – Government schools pay teachers INR per month whereas Navsarjan pays INR 8000 per month – Recently, some experienced and qualified teachers have left Navsarjan schools. – Founder indicated strong need for raising teacher salaries

11 Chotte Bhim Drama Competition Update Navsarjan changed the format in – First round organized at village or town level – Final round will be organized at one location rather than in phases Encouraged greater community participation – children of all castes participated – audience members included all castes – community chipped in money for the drama competition at various locations

12 Status Updates Completed 2 nd floor in Sami School Big foreign grant rolling off in September 2012 Plans for : – Hired on-site wardens for 2 schools – Add 9 th standard to all the 3 schools – Build science labs in 3 schools – Short-term Vocational Courses: Bakery, Medical Assistant – Focus on teacher training Long-Term Plans – Build second floor at 2 other schools – Add 10 th standard to all 3 schools – Focus on redesigning curriculum – Construct a 4 th school – Plan to add vocational classes at Navsarjan’s vocational schools Potential collaboration with IIM-Ahmedabad Courses: Bee Keeping, Growing Mushrooms, Papier mache, Creating Wooden Toys, Wormi- compost, Create furniture

13 Site Visit Pictures

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15 Site Visit Pictures

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17 THANK YOU


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