Smile and Nai Disha Free Education Society have scaled up the joint initiative to provide free yet holistic education to under-privileged children. Started with 2 children four years ago, this year the number has touched 500. There was a time when the parents and community were to be sensitized hard to send their children to Nai Disha. In most of the cases, the children were the first generation learners in the families. The charisma of quality education has spread far and wide. The surge in the number of poor and mostly illiterate parents bringing their children for education made Smile Foundation increase the capacity to 500. The goal for next year is to provide free and quality education to 1000 underprivileged children.
About the Partner
Nai Disha is a registered Society working for promoting welfare and development of underprivileged children in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It has also been a longtime successful partner of Smile Foundation. Started in 1992 with 2 children, today Nai Disha with Smile Foundation’s support is providing free education (class 1st to 5th) to 500 children (age group-3 to 14 years). Free vocational training for community girls and adult education for the neighbourhood communities are also other two initiatives through Nai Disha.
It is one of the partners of Smile Foundation implementing a project on literacy enhancement among children of daily-wage earners, labourers as well as house maids.
Teachers in Nai Disha are at least with graduation with B.Ed. qualification. The teachers also go through Smile Foundation’s teachers training programme for quality education where different novel methodologies and tools are applied to make teaching and learning interesting as well as effective.
So far 31 children have been mainstreamed into formal schools like Kanchan Public School, Maharishi Vidya Mandir and Sunrise Birla School. School fees are partially contributed by the organization and the rest (balance) by the parents.
The Principle at Nai Disha (a Ph.D.) and Assistant Principle (an M.A., M.Ed.) work on voluntary basis, without taking salaries.
The project named ‘Basic Education to Under-privileged children’ is covering 500 needy children this year. A special programme has been incorporated in the project for teaching grown-up children in age group of 10-14 years who had remained absolutely illiterate. Owing to their age, such children find it difficult to adjust themselves with crowd of children in age-group 6-9 years in the same class, learning the same thing. Learning has to be imparted to them right from alphabet stage and special teaching methodologies are being introduced. Considering all these in mind, a separate class room with a specially trained teacher has been set up for teaching grown-up children.
This year Smile Foundation and Nai Disha have scaled up the project with the total strength of 500 children from the target areas of Ambedkar Vihar (Sector 37), villages-Chhalera, Nithari, the Sector areas of 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 39 as well as nearby slums of Noida.
Keeping in mind the growing strength, classes are being held in two shifts with around 250 children in each. The morning school shift is conducted between 8.00 a.m and 1.00 p.m, with the evening shift operating between 1.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m.
Free Basic Computer Training has been introduced for the students of Class IV and V. Free Music classes are also are being provided to interested children regularly.
Health check-up and medical camps for the children have been introduced in the project. This programme will run 3 times every quarter in the school with trained doctors, support staff and free medicines.
50% of the children given Non Formal Education (for non –school going and also school dropouts) should be mainstreamed to some formal schools in appropriate classes during the year. Their retention in school will be ensured through proper follow–ups. All children in the age group of 10-14 may be persuaded to study up to middle class level – informally or in formal school. At least 70% of children in age-group of 10-12 will be ensured to be enrolled in higher classes. Children in age-group of 13-14 and above may be facilitated to undergo some skills training once they acquire basic literacy.
Joining hands with an able partner like Nai Disha, Smile Foundation is sure to realize the dreams for those deserving children well in time.