ONE VILLAGE, ONE TEACHER: Education for the Rurals
With the large majority of the population in India living in rural areas, education is highly dependent on the parents and their capacity to pay the fees. The rural areas face various barriers that directly impact our country’s literacy rate. In some places of the country especially in rural belts, girls are not allowed to go to school or if allowed, it is only up to a certain age.
Because of COVID, the education system has transitioned from offline to online. Despite the schools reopening again, the children from rural backgrounds have limited or no access to basic learning tools such as well-equipped classrooms, computers, labs, playgrounds, among other things. The teachers are often not qualified or do not turn up, leading to poor quality of education. This also leads to low morale among students to attend school. One Village, One Teacher (OVOT) is one of the key projects to improve local education facilities in villages. As part of the project, the Welfare Society for Destitute Children supports students with a local teacher from grade 1 to 10 in the village, so that the children irrespective of their caste or creed or financial status get access to this new study support in the village itself. Though it was started with one teacher in one village, soon the number of teachers increased in each village up to three. Students who enrol in OVOT are given Scholarships from the 11th standard onwards so that they can continue with their further studies till the completion of graduation.
The project One Village, One Teacher (OVOT) is supported by all the authorities of the village including the Sarpanch. Professional Trainers are provided to support village teachers to raise the educational standards of children. The main activities are supervised by our expert staff who work tirelessly from our Ekhlahare Center(It is the training centre for village teachers). This programme is accepted by the village students very well. We expect the OVOT project to make an impact in
a) stopping school dropout
b) stopping child labour
c) reducing malnutrition
d) improving the quality of the education
e)stopping early marriages so that the students are occupied with learning and self- development activities till the age of 21. Mentors visit every month or alternate months to check the progress of the children. The idea of One Village and One Teacher was conceived as per the visions of our founder Rev Fr Anthony Elenjimittam to strengthen the learning pattern of underprivileged students so that the students can benefit from the facilities which the main stream education provides. We work on the natural intelligence of children and teachers which can be sourced from the village itself. At present Welfare Society for Destitute Children is supporting over 500 students in 9 villages, and wants to add 1000 students more. The total annual cost breakup for providing primary education support to each child in a village is given below:
Requesting every right thinking individual to donate generously to help Welfare Society for Destitute Children in the vision to add 1000 children to the One Village, One Teacher (OVOT) programme. This project will build our country's pillars strong and provide the children with a proper aim for their future.
The Welfare Society for Destitute Children (known locally as St Catherine of Siena School & Orphanage), is located on Mt. Mary Road, Bandra West, Mumbai. They are a non-profit organization that has been helping destitute and underprivileged children for more than sixty years. They aim to provide a happy and safe place for the children in our care and empower them through education and rehabilitation-based projects.