5 NGOs that are trying to transform government schools

Government schools serve as a catalyst for extending quality education, however, they are often a victim of systemic apathy. Here are five non-government organisations that are helping these schools thrive.
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Education is a constitutional right of every citizen in India. However, the country's vast financial and cultural disparities have exacerbated inequity in access to education.

According to a UNICEF report released in June 2020, school closures in India impacted 247 million children in elementary and secondary education, as well as 28 million children in pre-schools and Anganwadi centres. This is on top of the more than six million children who were already absent from school prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

As the report indicates, the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation for underprivileged children throughout India. Government schemes and interventions from various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have become the only source of hope for these young minds.

The five non-governmental organisations listed below are trying to provide good quality education to children in government schools.

Bal Utsav

Bal Utsav, an education-based NGO has been transforming government schools across India to make quality education and basic infrastructure accessible to all.

Its celebratory approach to redefining government school education led them to conceive flagship programs like I-shaala which focuses on digital innovation in classrooms and the Sampoorna shaala which focuses on revitalising government schools.

Bal Utsav provides computer lab facilities for the students

The NGO has developed a 360-degree school revitalisation programme focussing on four key areas of intervention i.e school infrastructure, Wash (water, sanitation, and hygiene), teacher development, and scholarships for students. This has significantly contributed to the increase in enrolment rates and reverse migration to government schools.

Since Bal Utsav’s conception, it claims to have revamped over 200 government schools in Karnataka. About eight lakh students have benefited from its flagship programs.

Makkala Jagriti

Makkala Jagriti is an NGO conceived to provide a safe and friendly space where children from marginalised communities can gather after school hours and engage in meaningful and enriching learning activities.

Its flagship programmes are the ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) which is designed to promote the holistic development of children from ages 3 -6, and the HDLC (Holistic Development Learning Centres) which sets up thoughtfully designed learning centres within government schools for children from ages 6-14. Its ‘Yuva Jagriti’ programme imparts essential life skills and facilitates access to opportunities to fulfil the aspirations of the youth.

One of the students reciting a poem at the Makkala Jagriti learning center.

It has impacted the lives of over 50,000 students and integrated with 200 anangawadis to create a holistic learning environment.

OSAAT (One School at a Time)

OSAAT which stands for one school at a time is a volunteer-run non-profit organisation rebuilding the infrastructure of rural schools in India. OSAAT’s mission is to enable children in rural India to thrive, supporting both their physical and emotional health to foster intellectual growth and break the cycle of illiteracy and poverty.

The organisation aims to close the urban-rural divide by rebuilding and expanding schools and providing cutting-edge learning tools in rural India.

With its programmes such as the ODiSI (OSAAT digital school infrastructure) which provides a digital platform for learning, the NGO is making contemporary education accessible for rural children.

OSAAT has successfully transformed 60 schools across India and more than 10,000 students benefited from a classroom, proper workspaces, sanitation facilities, kitchens, drinking water, libraries, and playgrounds.

eVidyaloka

eVidyaloka is an educational social enterprise, with a vision to enable quality education for the children of rural India. The organisation creates digital classrooms for children in remote villages, with the support of local communities and volunteer teachers from across the globe.

Focussed on the children in the age group of 10-14, eVidyaloka aims to leverage technology to provide basic education through Government elementary schools in remote and rural villages of India. The programme provides live interactive classes in the local medium, through a powerful partner ecosystem.

The children from various government schools in rural India receive quality education with standardised lesson plans and teaching aids. eVidyaloka says it has impacted over 5 million students across India and catered to over 61 schools as part of its digital innovation programme.

Colours of Life

Colours of life is a non-profit organisation striving to uplift underprivileged children by helping government schools to transform themselves into institutes of excellence.

It aims to provide additional support to the schools through different programs to boost the children’s life skills, sports, and arts programs.

The NGO provides teachers and volunteers in collaboration with corporates, and experts to enhance the quality of education.

In addition to assisting the students through their schooling till class 10, Colours of Life also helps with securing positions in colleges, providing tuition fees and scholarships to outstanding students.

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