|NGOs >> Door Step School|
Jagannath Shankarsheth Municipal School, 2nd floor,
Room no.54/55, Nana Chowk, Grant Road, Mumbai 400 007
Tel: 23826343/Telefax 23859203
110, Anand Park, Aundh, Pune – 411 007
Tel : 9520 – 25898762/ 9520- 25432165
Fax : 9520 – 25893866
What kind of school is that??
A Very Special Kind! For Very Special Children!
For those children who are not fortunate enough to make school and play the main business of their childhood, Door Step School (D S S) hopes to give an opportunity - "The opportunity of Education." It is at Door Step School that they have their first experience in learning the ‘3R’s and lots more.
While a strong national movement was gathering to ensure that education be made a fundamental right for every child in the country, Door Step School had started working towards the same aim. We commenced work in 1988 and 1993 in Mumbai and in Pune, respectively.
The concept of Door Step School came into being while working at the Social Service Centres in the Municipal School. A major activity of the centre was visiting homes of dropout children, trying to determine the cause of their dropping out and attempting to bring them back to school. Factors affecting their inability to attend were varied and could not be influenced directly by social work intervention in the formal schools or at the community level. Therefore, the need for another alternative, whereby education would reach the children was seen and the idea of a school at the children’s ‘door step' came into being.
The 4 pillars of the Door Step School model are i) the balwadi, ii) the study class, iii) the non formal education class and iv) the community library.
The balwadis (pre-school preparation programme) and study class (extra coaching for school going children) serve as strategies 1) to identify children before they reach the school going age, prepare them for school and enrol them on reaching the eligible age and 2) helping to sustain them within the school set up once they are admitted.
The third strategy, which aims to cover children (under 18 years), not attending formal school, is in the form of Non Formal Education (Literacy) classes. These classes are conducted in the community at a time and place of their convenience, each class being of 2½ or 3 hour duration.
The community based mobile libraries play a very important role in helping to sustain and build on existing literacy skills in neo- & semi-literates. The libraries which involve the services of local volunteers, offer easy access to adequate reading material which is otherwise not available in the communities.
A young adult who has been with DSS for about 2 years, spending 2½ to 3 hours per day at the centre, emerges as a confident, self-reliant individual. These children are more vocal, able to express themselves clearly and aware of their environment. They have been in the limelight while participating in street plays, child art exhibitions, variety entertainment programmes and rallies. They work together to compile a newsletter "Hamara Akhbaar" in Hindi & "Anganatil A,B,C,D" in Marathi, in which they state their views and observation. They keep themselves aware of current events by reading newspapers and magazines circulated by DSS library. It is in these confident youngsters that Door Step School sees the impact of its work.
Door Step School has one goal while working in the communities i.e. imparting of literacy skills. After working in the communities for the past 15 years, the goal remains unchanged and any expansion of activity is related to it.
With the introduction of a 'School-on-Wheels' in 1998in Mumbai and in 2001 in Pune, Door Step has come closer to fulfilling one of it’s main objectives i.e. of making basic education easily accessible to a larger number of children. This venture has enabled Door Step School to reach out to scattered groups of 'out-of-school' children, living on the street or working for hawkers. The bus provides a classroom, where place for conducting class is not available and helps to cover children who usually remain untouched by any educational programme, formal or otherwise.
The bus enabled us to, simultaneously, provide a school bus service. It is crucial that regular school going habits need to go formed from Std. I. Preference is therefore given to the very young, as they are the ones who find it difficult to go to school their own. With the school bus service, we ventured into offering supportive services to the Colaba Municipal (Primary) School, where most of the children from the communities where Door Step School works, are enrolled.
The bus also serves as a library. Children, who have already attained some level of literacy, are encouraged to read simple books in the library. Provision having been made for a library within the bus, the ready availability of books will bring a new awareness and new dimensions to their lives.
School support activities have been extended since to further direct intervention within the Colaba Municipal school in Mumbai and a number of Corporation schools in Pune. We have introduced school libraries in some schools; in some others we are running balwadi using school premises. To help children develop their talent and potential, we conduct programmes such as reading & library activities, competitions and quiz programmes. The aim of this venture is to strengthen the existing infrastructure of the school and encourage better enrolment and sustenance rates in the school.
With a growing number of children attaining functional literacy through the non formal education classes and through the municipal school, but having limited channels of further growth open to them, the question “What Next?” loomed before them. In an attempt to provide some avenues Door Step School introduced vocational training. Tailoring classes, assistant wireman’s class and a computer centre have been started.
As per the annual report of July 2002-June 2003,
*The classes conducted on the School on Wheels are non formal education classes and so the number of students are included in the general non formal education category.
Thanks to the support offered by the Ammada Trust, ASMAE, Asha for the Education, Bombay Community Public Trust, Carnegie Social Initiative, Cummins Diesel India Foundation, Educate The Child, ICICI Securities And Finance Co. Ltd., InterAide, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, UNICEF and all our other well wishers
You can contribute to Door Step School :
1) Be a supporter, join “Friends of Door Step School”.
2) Sponsor one school going child by giving Rs. 2000/- annually.
3) Sponsor one child’s travel to school by paying Rs.175/- per month.
4) Support one class for one year by donating Rs.40,000 – 60,000/-, depending on type of class chosen for support.
5) Sponsor stationery and other educational material used in the classes.
5) Volunteer your services to organise special activities
like art-craft, dramatics, games etc. for the children.
7) Teach interested children English.
8) Assist in administrative work.