Pune: Education plays the most important role for development of an individual and the society at large. Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha (JBGVS) gives top priority to promoting quality education in government and low-cost private schools. Since November 2015, JBGVS with support from Bajaj Auto CSR has been implementing Bajaj Education Initiative (BEI) for such schools in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The objectives are to improve quality of education and provide infrastructure support, which is in line with government programs like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and also helps achieve the objectives of Right to Education (RTE) Act.
BEI work set to touch a century
In the past 15 months, under BEI, JBGVS has covered 99 schools in Pimpri-Chinchwad in Pune district through infrastructure development and quality improvement programs, based on a proper selection procedure. Proposals from 25 more schools have been received and are in the shortlisting process. Infrastructure development over this period includes provision of benches to 4 schools, 42 computer labs, 59 e-learning units (covering state board syllabus of 1st to 10th standard), 62 science labs, library furniture to 22 schools, library books to 5 schools, 8 water purifiers, sports equipment to 40 schools, pre-primary equipment to 39 schools, 46 sound systems, musical instruments to 36 schools and educational kits to 37 schools.
Quality training reaches 550+ teachers, 800+ students
Quality improvement is aimed at students, teachers and parents and covers aspects like teachers’ training on subjects like Maths, English and Marathi; pre-primary/aanganwadi teachers’ training; orientation on revised syllabus; scholarship exam training; parents’ motivational programs; self-defence sessions for girls; school projects exhibitions and educational trips. Teachers’ training, orientation and workshops have reached 566 participants; students’ programs have reached 844 participants and parents’ programs have reached 325 participants. Speaking on the development, P S Mukherjee, Secretary, JBGVS said, “BEI has played a significant role in improving the infrastructure and quality of education in municipal and low-cost private schools in Pimpri-Chinchwad, the results of which are evident from increased enrolment and reduced absenteeism in these schools.”
The impact of BEI on different parameters has been heartening. For instance, in the past one year, 201 additional students enrolled in Mahatma Phule Municipal School taking the total student strength to 650, while additional new enrolments in several other schools were in the range of 50-80 students. Reduced absenteeism is evident from the fact that nearly 90% students are present in Dnyanprabhat Vidya Mandir and 95% in C K Goyal School on any given day. The number ranges from 78-85% for several other schools up from about 55-70% earlier. Another interesting factor beating the normal trend is that students are coming back to Marathi medium schools, which have improved under BEI. For instance, 25 of the new students that enrolled in C K Goyal School were from English medium. This number is in the range of 10-15 in several other Marathi medium schools like Dnyanprabhat Vidya Mandir and Yashwantrao Chavan Municipal School.
Moreover, the e-learning units, sports equipment and musical instruments provided under BEI had a positive impact on students including greater interest in learning, representation in district, state and national level sports events and participation in cultural events. The concept of “Saturday without a school bag” is also experiencing success after such facilities were provided.
Future plans include a target to reach 30-40 more schools in this year, implement remedial teaching in selected schools, more career guidance/personality development sessions and student activities like sports and exhibitions.