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VRI Child Scholarship Fund: July 2008 - June 2009


young children in simple kurta style uniform outside Gramodaya Primary School

children at Gramodaya Primary School in the new simpler uniforms

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Account

The balance at 30 June 2008 was £4,446.60

The income during the year (including interest) was £1,437.25

£2,217.00 was transferred to India in July 2008
(There was no transfer to India in January 2008)

The balance at 30 June 2009 was £3,666.85


Breakdown of expenditure

The £2,217.00 transferred to India was used as follows:

Amarpurkashi schools

  • £822 on scholarships for 100 pupils of Gramodaya Primary School (see below)
  • (note: this year the teachers' salary supplements were paid directly from APK project funds so no funds were requested from IVCS for this purpose)
  • £296 on the salary for the school co-ordinator
  • £18 on vitamin supplements
  • £375 on the annual science fair, a lively and popular participative event which presents science, health and technology issues to school students from the whole of the surrounding area.
  • £400 for a trip to Nainital for all project staff (see below)

Expenditure on other schools and projects

  • £80 to provide 10 scholarships to the ILM Junior High School, Fateh Pur Nattha
  • no funds were provided for the salary of a head teacher at Jafar Pur school this year, as no suitable applicant was found for this role; meanwhile, one of the teachers at Jafar Pur is covering.

Balance

Thus, a total of £1,991 was spent, leaving a balance of £226 with the APK project in India at the end of the year

Progress report

Gramodaya Primary School, Amarpurkashi - general progress

There are now 139 children enrolled in the school.

76% of the children come from Scheduled and Backward categories. 35% are girls.

This year saw a number of changes in the Gramodaya Primary School. The previous year, the APK project provided transport to children from outlying villages but the cost proved prohibitive and the project was forced to withdraw that service. Instead, they decided to focus on local students, particularly those from Amarpurkashi. There are now five primary schools operating within 2 km of APK so competition is fierce.

The project decided that its own primary school should go for quality rather than quantity. We therefore offered free places (with scholarships given by IVCS) to the first hundred students to enrol. ‘Free places’ meant their fees were covered but they were expected to buy uniforms and books.

The project also changed the school uniform. Previously, this was a typical old-style Victorian-era uniform, very thick and heavy, difficult to wash and totally inappropriate for the Indian climate. The new uniform is a simple pyjama/kurta, easy to clean and cool in the summer.

Finally, the project appointed a school co-ordinator/teacher whose job is to liaise with parents, follow up all absences and teach Maths to the older students. In September, the project also appointed Shri Dau Dayal Sharma, a retired teacher, to advise the primary and junior high school teachers to improve the quality of teaching. Once a week he also attended Jafarpur School to help the teachers there.

Staff trip to Nainital

On Saturday, 4th April, 104 project staff and their families travelled in two large hired coaches to Nainital, a small town in the Shivalik Mountains, 150 km north of Amarpurkashi.

Unlike the usual annual training day, this trip was primarily a holiday, a way of recognising the efforts and achievements of the staff, for whom sight-seeing is a rare luxury.

All the same, this day trip was an educational experience for all and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some. Among those who went was the wife of one of the kitchen staff, who had never even travelled as far as the nearest large town before.

It was a long day, as the coaches left at 5am and returned at 9 in the evening. People were not used to the height or the zigzag road up to the mountains and there were many cases of travel sickness. However, staff had long wanted to see what the mountains were like and are now proud to tell their friends they have been there!

Krishi Audyogik Intercollege, Amarpurkashi

There are now 839 children enrolled in the school, of whom over 35% are girls. The number of girls has risen steadily over the years.

87% of the children come from Scheduled and Backward categories (the economic groups which are classed by the Indian Government as underprivileged).

Over 90% of students in the InterCollege received government scholarships, and so no scholarships were needed from IVCS funds.

Gramodaya Junior High School at Jafar Pur

This school was set up in July 2004 at the request of residents of the village of Jafar Pur, with financial assistance from the IVCS children's scholarship fund. (read more about the school)

There are 173 students enrolled, 35% of whom are girls.


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