STAR: School Transformation and Reform
[Playground equipment in the photograph above is courtesy of Pragati Foundation from funds from a donor]
There is an urgent need to upgrade schools that children from poor families attend and improve the performance of students. Under the STAR program of Pragati Foundation, the following activities will be undertaken:
What is Supported under the STAR Program?
Pragati Foundation will provide support to upgrade infrastructure in selected schools in India that cater to children up to grade 8.
The infrastructure may include items such as inverters, fans, blackboards, Durries, painting of school walls and doors, clean water, toilets, playground equipment, books for library, educational material/supplies, upgrade science labs etc., and sponsor field trips of educational value to students.
The Foundation may also organize health camps to monitor health of students, teach students the habits of personal hygiene and involve them in maintaining overall sanitation and beautification of the school and its surrounding.
On a six month basis, the Foundation will provide financial support for an outside agency/individual to conduct tests of competency of children in reading, writing, and math. Results will be discussed with teachers and plan of action developed to improve results. Teachers and students showing significant improvement will be recognized and rewarded. Funding may also be provided for teachers to attend training workshops.
Other activities that may benefit overall character/personality development and health of students as determined by the Foundation may also be taken up.
Which Schools Qualify to Receive Support?
Any school up to grade 8 that children from poor families attend can apply for support. It is expected that the champions seeking support for a school would ensure that the funds are used as intended. Therefore, the Foundation will select schools that can be closely monitored either directly by the Foundation or through its network.
How to Apply?
Funding is available throughout the year. Schools are encouraged to apply anytime. Citizens concerned with the quality of education to the poor with a willingness to monitor the schools they wish to improve are especially encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those schools that have sought partial funding or promise of support from other sources such as Corporate CSR or Sarpanch/block officer of the village in which school is located. Written application should provide:
Name and address of the school seeking funds
Class-wise break-up of number of students
Name, home address, e-mail address, and mobile number of principal
Purpose for which funding is requested
Justification of the importance of the project
Amount of funding requested with justification and quotation
Name, address, e-mail address, and mobile number of the person willing to monitor the use of funds
Where to Apply?
Written application should be mailed/e-mailed to the contact information of the Foundation. There is no deadline to apply.
SOS: Sudha Opportunity Scholarship
There are many meritorious students including highly gifted children from economically weaker families that get left behind from receiving quality education mainly due to lack of funds. Poor education leads to poor quality of life which in turn leads to poor education to the next generation of children. To break the cycle of poverty, Pragati Foundation has launched the Sudha Opportunity Scholarship [SOS] program to enable meritorious children from poor families to receive quality education.
Under the Sudha Opportunity Scholarship [SOS] program, Pragati Foundation will support educational expenses towards tuition and books for meritorious students from economically weaker families every year so that they can pursue their studies from grades 9 to 12 in quality schools. Once such students do well in Grade 12 exams, they have better chance to compete for admission into engineering or medical colleges or other professions. On a case by case basis, scholarships for college/university education and coaching expenses for exceptional students for preparation to entrance exams may also be provided.
Students seeking admission in grades 9 to 12 and beyond in quality schools/colleges
Students must come from households with an average annual income up to Rs. 2,00,000/- per year
Students with demonstrated merit in the last grade attended as indicated in their mark sheet [at least be in the top 20% of the class] or IQ test conducted by MENSA Society and recommendation of their school principal.
What Is Covered Under SOS Program?
Tuition and other fee to be paid directly to the school/college to be attended
Required text books
Coaching expenses to entrance exams for selected few candidates
Monitoring of Scholarship Recipients:
SOS is granted on an annual basis based on availability of funds. To continue receiving SOS, scholarship recipients must maintain high academic performance. Every year they must provide a copy of their mark sheets/grades and rank in the class (% of students below them in total marks obtained). Scholarship renewal decision is at the sole discretion of Foundation Trustees.
How to Apply?
Families, well-wishers, teachers, schools are encouraged to nominate meritorious candidates that meet eligibility criteria. Application/Nomination Form for SOS can be downloaded in English from https://goo.gl/N5fJjM and in Hindi from https://goo.gl/CKKAaM Completed application with the following documents should be mailed/e-mailed at the Foundation address at least 2-months before the start of the session of the school student wishes to attend.
Proof of student’s merit -- latest mark-sheet / IQ scores, along class standing (% of students below the applicant in the class)
Letter of recommendation from the principal
Proof of tuition and other fee
Proof of household annual income
If possible, please attach letter of admission from the school/college student wishes to attend along with a statement about the reputation of the school/college
CHIP: Children's Health Improvement Program
The World Bank reports that rates of malnutrition among India’s children are almost five times more than in China, and twice those in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the latest 2015-RSOC study conducted by UNICEF and Government of India, 29% of all children under 5-years of age are underweight (low weight for age), about 39% are stunted (too short for their age), and 15% are wasted (underweight for their height, indicating acute malnutrition), 75% are anemic, and 57% are Vitamin A deficient.
Malnutrition affects children’s chances of survival, increases their susceptibility to illness, reduces their ability to learn, increases their chances of dropping out early from school, and makes them less productive in later life.
There is an urgent need to address the issue of children’s malnutrition in India.
Activities Planned under the CHIP Program?
Pragati Foundation will undertake the following activities in the selected government schools in India that cater to children from grade 1 to 8.
Organize health camps to monitor health of school going children thus creating a base-line database to observe improvement in health
Distribute daily vitamins for children through teachers
Provide protein rich snacks
Encourage teachers to teach students habits of personal hygiene
Involve students in maintaining overall sanitation and beautification of school and its surrounding
Since much of undernourishment happens during pregnancy and in the first two years of a child’s life, the Foundation will attempt to provide nutritional counseling/supplements to pregnant mothers of school children