Monday, February 19, 2018

Paving the way towards a better future…

The Society for Door Step Schools (DSS) has been taking education to the doorstep of underprivileged children since 1988-89 in Mumbai and 1993 in Pune. Through various programs DSS tries to reach the often forgotten children from the marginalised sections of society particularly children of families employed at construction sites, brick-kilns and children of nomadic communities engaged in their traditional occupations such as street performers, artisans etc. These children are enrolled to Government schools and taught basic literacy and numeracy skills at our centres through innovative and creative teaching methods.

To take education to the door step of these children it is important to identify them first. In November 2011, Door Step School therefore launched a campaign – Every Child Counts (ECC), to survey and enrol all 6-7 year old out of school children in school, in the city of Pune. During this program it was observed that there was a lack of awareness among parents about educating their children. They had to be educated about their responsibilities towards their children’s education and the needs of a school going child and addressing those through actions and resources within their means. Hence another program, Parents’ Participation in Children’s Education (PPCE) was started to increase parent’s involvement.

While working in ECC and PPCE programs we always come across children who have dropped out from school. Children often start losing interest in studies from 7th or 8th grade as they find it difficult to cope up with subjects like English, Mathematics and Science.

In our effort to motivate such dropped out students we contacted Don Bosco Institute which runs professional training courses for 8th and 10th passed students. The institute provides residential facility with minimum affordable fees. The important aspect of Don Bosco is that it aims towards overall grooming of the students. Students receive latest technical know-how as well as good job opportunities after completion of the courses as they have tie ups with various Corporates.

On 7th January 2018 we planned an orientation visit for few parents and children from Maan, Hinjawadi, Wagholi and Pimpri-Chinchwad area to the Don Bosco Institute. 4 parents and 9 children accompanied us. Kishor Patole and Gundu Gaikwad from Maan area were in this group. They dropped out of school at the age of 13 when they were in the 8th grade and have not been interested in attending formal school since then. Both of them have been interested in technical work but did not know whom to approach. Now both of them 17, Don Bosco Institute came as an inspiration to them where both saw future opportunities through technical training course. They grabbed the opportunity and enrolled themselves for a 6 months Electrician’s course. Both of them completed admission formalities on their own with their parents support. On 27th January 2018, Kishor and Gundu took a step towards a brighter future.

Kishore Patole & Gundu Gaikwad

Contributed by Ms. Sanika Patwardhan, PPCE - PCMC, DSS,Pune.

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