Aasha Santoshpur School
In Hindi AASHA means ‘hope’- which we wish to bring into the lives of our children and young kids. We believe all the children have the right to enjoy a safe childhood filled with great memories. To achieve that we facilitate quality education, good food and a safer environment to the children in need.
History: Earlier in 2014 during a field visit to Santoshpur, Kolkata, we found most of the children stopped going to school after they get as old as 10 years. The area is located at the outskirt of Kolkata and has a population base from very poor economic background. Most of the families are associated with daily-wage labour works to earn their livelihoods.
After doing a local survey we understood the Economic constraint is one of their major reason parents used to withdrew their child from school and put him into factories. Another reason was all the schools were situated far from the area and none of them offered free schooling facility.
In April 2016, we established AASHA Education Centre in Fakirpara, Santoshpur to provide education and other related facilities to the children of the same locality.
Starting with 20 children, currently, we have 250 enrolled students aged between 4-15 who attends our centre daily. It is the only free elementary educational centre in the area which makes the education accessible for all the children who want to focus on education. All the books and uniform we provide to the children are free of cost.
Our centre runs from Monday to Friday, starting from 10 AM to 2 PM and has a Nursery, LKG, UKG, Grade 1 and 2 and a Senior Section.
The curriculum for Pre-Primary and Primary classes includes Hindi, English, Mathematics, IT, General Knowledge and Art classes. Whereas the senior section attends regular skill classes and computer classes along with language and science classes.
In the year 2020 we have introduced a computer lab consists of 20 computers at present to educate and encourage the students on computer operations and also to enhance the digital learning facility.
At present AASHA school has 9 experienced teachers who go through regular training and workshops to learn more about effective teaching techniques. In the previous year the teachers did small courses on pedagogy, didactics and ‘learn through playing’ techniques. The training was done by a Danish volunteer who is a teacher with 10 years of experience from a Danish primary school.
We also try to focus and strengthen the relationship between the parents and us. Our teachers hold parents-teachers meeting on time to time basis to address all the concerned problems.
For all the nursery, LKG and UKG students we provide a care giver attends the students all the time.
Apart from Education, we offer daily nutritious hot meal and fruits to all the children. All the students come from the low income group families and often miss out on the necessary food that their body requires to grow healthy. A hot meal along with seasonal fruits are provided to all the students of the school.
The Santoshpur center has a Head Teacher and a House Manager to facilitate all the daily activities, monitoring, coordinating and reporting to the higher authorities.
Aasha Sealdah School
The children who attend our Sealdah School & After-School Care live on Sealdah Station. They are some of the most vulnerable street children in Kolkata, and many of them do not get any other food and care , than what we give them. So this school is more than a school for them
– it is indeed a lifeline.
To accommodate the children’s extensive needs and minimize the hours for them on the street this school is an extended offter, which includes an after-school centre and Saturday school. A lot of these children do not have any parents, to take them to and from school, therefore we pick them up and deliver them again at the station, in our very own school bus.
Aasha Kidderpore School
Aasha Kidderpore School holds 157 pupils, who are enrolled between the age of 5-15 years on four different school levels.
As especially the oldest pupils assistance are needed in their homes , we have chosen to start lessons at 11 PM, so that they can finish their duties, if any, before school start, and we focus on them as children. This decision har made at significant progress in their stability, and has even improved the parent’s engagement in their schooling. They feel that we have listened to and understood their worries, challenges and needs.
An engagement which in revealed by the fact that the parents actually send their children to school, wearing a clean uniform, and often contact the teachers with real interest in how their children are doing and how they behave in school. In order for the parents to be able to follow the development of the children, we have startet “Report Cards”, which the children take great pride in (mostly) to show at home.