The paradox of the government school system in Andhra Pradesh is about availability of physical infrastructure and qualified human resources, but absence of crucial links that are essential to enable the students to learn. This is more so in Mahabubnagar district, which consistently records low educational attainment, as observed from the low ‘pass percentages’ in annual school leaving examination and other primary education surveys done periodically.
Because of the thrust given by the government under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and other school education programs, most of the government schools have adequate ‘hardware’ in terms of buildings, teaching aids, furniture, books and teachers. However, because of poor planning, lack of drive among the teachers, and weak School Management Committees, the students do not get to use the teaching aids (such as laboratory equipment, computers, maps and charts) to augment their learning. Since most of these students hail from impoverished backgrounds with illiterate/semi-literate parents, they have no other support system at home. As a result, they cannot relate the ‘theory’ being taught from text-books to ‘practical’ in real life. In some schools, even if the teachers are interested in utilizing the available aids, unfortunately they do not have funds for purchasing consumables (such as chemicals, reagents etc.) required for conducting basic experiments in physics, chemistry and biological sciences.
Vandemataram believes that future of the country is in class room. Because in the govt. schools there are lakhs of poor children studying and their standards are reducing year on year. Vandemataram focuses on the govt. schools to work along with the govt. to strengthen the education standards through various activities.
- Aksharabyas – During the month of June every academic year this program will be conducted in villages and also in ‘Bhaasara’ saraswarthi temple. This program is to give importance of a child joining in govt. schools.
- Sri Sharada Bala Samskar Kendra (SSBK) – SSBK’s year long programs run before and after school hours. This program is designed with the help of ‘Ramakrishna Matt’, Hyderabad to inculcate moral values along with focus on education.
- Special SSC Exam Camps (Saadhana) – Every year in the month of February and March these camps will be organized to facilitate bright 10th class students of either gender to sharpen their preparation for the secondary board exams. Every year almost more than 400 students in Warangal & about 200 students in Mahabubnagar undergo regorous practice for 40 days in the camps and this has been happening for the last 10 years successfully.
- Pratibha Awards – is to encourage top five rankers from the govt. schools at their SSC board exams and felicitate their headmasters and parents. They will also take a brief flight journey with the help of ‘Aviation Academy’.
- Interaction with Scientists – Sri Satish Reddy, Chief of RCI Hyderabad initiated movement of ‘Scientists to School’ program to inspire students to study science by letting them know the importance of science and its application.
- Celebration of all important National Festivals & Days – VMF encourages and support school headmasters in celebrating all important national festivals & days to inculcate patriotism in children.
The above said are only few activities, but VMF conducts many such programs in cooperation with other NGO’s in order to sensitize the school teachers and parents about the importance of education in schools. Our effort is to bring back the glory of govt. schools and achieve return on investment by the govt. on schools.