Loreto Day School

Loreto Day School

IndiaIndia
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Established
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Approximately 20 words left (160 characters).

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Half the world’s children not in school are Indian children. This backlog of about 50 million children belongs to the lowest levels of society – ‘hard to reach’ children living in deep slums under bridges, in bonded labour, in brickfields, in quarries, salt pans of Surat, street children, trafficked children, children of prostitutes and others for whom the normal school is not an option. And even after they have been brought into the school system what option do they have to access quality education or to be empowered to make their contribution to a society which has largely ignored them ?

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

33 years ago we opened up our big school to such marginalized children from the slums welcoming them on an equal footing in our regular school, challenging them along with their more affluent peers to reach out beyond themselves to help other children. Among the most neglected ‘others’ were the girls sleeping alone and vulnerable on the streets each night. These children were taught by the regular students during their work education periods using a special programme of accelerated learning. Later these children stayed full time in school. Thus the Rainbow Home programme was born. Other programmes catering to 29,000 out-of-school children, financed by the SSA, as well as the children in the Brickfields, Eastern Bypass and Orissa came into being later.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Every Saturday (our school holiday), 150 students from Classes V to XII farm out into village schools outside Kolkata to do learning enhancement programme with about 3500 children in rural Government Schools. When this programme began in 1979 the enrollment in Class I averaged 50 but by Class IV only 10 children were left in school and all were boys. Now in the same areas where we have been able to construct a secondary school building for girls, there are over a thousand girls and the school has been recognized by the Government up to Class XII. The ex-students are now in college and some are married. The people impacted by this are not just the village children and their parents but also the parents and families of the students who go out, as, the whole level of understanding the plight of village children has become acute. Our Class IXs and VIIIs are now working with 1200 girls in the Government Schools, teaching them how to use the materials for other out-of-school children.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Other schools who have studied our system and are now involving their children in outreach programmes. We are different because we were first in the field. Back in 1979 no one was thinking along our lines. People found it hard to understand the concept of children giving up holidays to teach others. Now, over the years, other schools have come here to examine our system and have started in their own way. One of our biggest challenges is the growth of competition and private tuition in the affluent schools which leave the children little time for reaching out.
About You
Organization:
Loreto Day School, Sealdah
About You
First Name

Theresa

Last Name

Mendes

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Loreto Day School, Sealdah

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
Your role in Education

Social Worker.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Private (tuition-based)

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

An all inclusive school, challenging its students to their best potential and providing a strong hands-on social component.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Every student in the school has exposure to situation demanding empathy and the freedom and support to take appropriate action.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Issues Tagging :
This project tags the following issues :
a)Quality education for the marginalized in school and outside
b)Teacher training and development materials to provide for quality education
c)Empowerment of children to work with other children to inspire them to join the effort
We have mainstreamed 15000 children from our Shikshalaya Prakalpa centres for out-of-school children into Government schools
The Central Government has adopted our Rainbow Home concept for the whole country (vide Pg. 18 of Framework for Implementation by the SSA). This will mean that thousands of girls at risk on the streets will find a safe home in a school and have all her needs supplied by government funding.
Till date the Barefoot Training programme has touched the lives of over 12000 teachers, spread across 15 Indian states, Bangladesh and Nepal, impacting 350,000 rural children.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

With the RTE Act in place we will be able to provide a working model for the induction of out-of-school children into classes consonant with their age.
The impact of our programme already felt, will continue till there are no more children to be helped.
All the directives of the RTE Act, especially in relation to Quality Education is being met by us.
In West Bengal, Loreto Sealdah theme and group teaching has been taken as the model for the preparation of new text books for January 2013. Loreto Sealdah has been asked to guide this preparation. These books will benefit 7 million children.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

A change in Government policy, over which we have no control. This cannot be planned for. In such cases in the past we have been able to work around the policy and get the work done.
Financial constraints – over the years our projects have all been low cost, cost effective and supported in each case by the value of what we do.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

We plant to collaborate with the Government to open 15 homes all over Kolkata catering to 1500 children in need of residential

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Follow up with the Government to prepare the physical infrastructure

Task 2

Identify the children and prepare their cases studies

Task 3

Invite the children and parents, if they have any, to view the arrangements and if satisfactory,

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

This is the spread of concept of inclusive schooling.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Selection of schools prepared to accept and work for inclusive schooling

Task 2

Training and workshops for parents, teachers and children

Task 3

Spreading the concept (work has already begun on tasks 1 & 2)

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

Over the years I have had many aha moments, each one resulting in the creation of a new facet to our educational interface with the kids. So what we have created now is an integrated holistic package which can be taken up by many schools and implemented.
My journey began in 1964, when I was teaching in Loreto Lucknow, when I became aware of the immense poverty, even destitution of the poor people living a stone’s throw away from our beautifully groomed Loreto Campus and I suddenly realized the potential of all schools in India to change the whole of society through educating the children to be compassionate, competent crusaders for positive change in whatever situations they find themselves, seizing every opportunity as an aha moment to respond to needs as they arise.
S. M. Cyril

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

Our partnerships encompass professionals from the health, business, corporate houses, Rotary & other clubs, schools / colleges / educational institutions, consulates & embassies, government officials (state & central), Kolkata Police, media, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, railways, airlines, welfare missions & NGOs, High & Civil Court personnel, HSBC, funding agencies like Save the Children, Indian Statistical Institute, IIT & IIM, Indian Chamber of Commerce, DPEP, UNICEF, the UN, Alcoholics Anonymous, Members of challenged groups like Indian Society for Cerebral Palsy, MENTAID and a wide rang

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

Our holistic team of staff comprising of teaching, non-teaching, administrative, domestic, contacts, liaisons, visitors, donors, and a wide range of networks – all dedicated and committed to the values of giving, sharing and feeling aimed at creating a school for the community.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

As our school is a resource centre reaching out to the poorest of the poor and aimed at total inclusive schooling, we have assembled over the years a wide range of resources, material and human, and partnerships (resulting from a 33 year saga of experience), which we can and are always ready offer to any person / body / organisation who is willing to replicate our model.