Science cannot be learnt through books alone. The science lab program was launched in 2008 to expose students of class 6 to 10 to practical demonstration of theoretical knowledge. The children are also encouraged to conduct experiments to gain hands-on experience of the equipment and to understand the concepts better. So far, over 27,000 students from 100 Government schools have benefited from the Mobile Science Lab Program. We are now launching the initiative of offering generously equipped science kits, comprising provisions for over 120 science experiments to schools. To date we have provided Science Kits with a Project cost of Rs.35.26 Lakhs in 90 Schools benefiting more than 34,000 children.
Students learn better when the process is made fun. Our Teaching & learning materials program was initiated with the idea of taking knowledge beyond books and hence, making learning engaging and interesting. The insightfully created kit comprises of a science kit, models of human body parts, a mathematics kit, social science charts and a globe. The content of the kit also varies based on specific requirements shared by primary schools.
The main objective of the program is to supplement the teaching efforts of the teachers. The pilot program we launched in 2011 helped in developing the reasoning abilities of the children and improved their mathematical skills. To date, we have provided these kits at a total cost of Rs. 34.26 lakhs to more than 700 schools. These kits have helped over 1,20,000 children.
Education for every child begins on a blackboard. Yet, most schools either lack this most basic medium of education or require repairing. We, at Project 511, refurbish existing blackboards by repairing and painting them and furnish new ones in classrooms that don’t have any. Through this operation whose expense was Rs. 53.6 lakhs, more than 1,66,000 children benefitted. More than 830 schools have been provided with blackboards so far.
A hygienic lavatory is as important for a school as an equipped classroom. The truth, however, is very different in Government schools. In most schools, students and teachers go without any toilet facility for more than 6 hours. Under Operation Sanitation we construct separate toilet facilities for boys and girls and until now have constructed or repaired toilets in more than 80 schools at a cost of Rs. 1.25 crore. This is done in collaboration with Rajiv Vidya Mission, which contributes 80% of the cost. In cases where RVM funds are unavailable, we initiate the activity ourselves.
Lack of benches in classrooms forces children to sit in uncomfortable and unhygienic conditions. Sitting on the floor for several hours at a stretch also leads to neck aches, short attention span and bad posture. To make education a convenience instead of discomfort, we introduced Operation Seating. Under this, we provide desks for children to sit and write on. Project 511 has provided more than 14,800 dual desks to 287 schools so far and it benefits more than 44,000 children. The project amounted to more than Rs. 3 crores. However, there are still hundreds of classrooms where children are forced to sit on the floor.