Due to the COVID pandemic, public schools in many parts of India have been shut down. Unfortunately, a majority of Indian public school children cannot afford laptops or smartphones. Online learning is therefore not an option for them during the COVID pandemic. It has led to a large percentage of children from low-income families putting their education on hold.
Reports indicate 30% of children from low-income families will never return to school since they enter the labor force or have underage marriages. Asha for Education has seen this trend first hand. This is real!
Asha for Education's Solution
To address this problem, Asha for Education has organized 50 mini-schools in the state of Tamil Nadu. Small groups of children attend mini-school in a teacher’s home, open-air terraces, libraries, and other public places. These mini-schools have become very popular for a few reasons:
(1) Safety - Children wear masks, follow social distancing practices, and wash their hands frequently.
(2) Quality Education - Asha has developed a well-rounded curriculum including art, crafts, outdoor games, and computer games, in addition to regular subjects such as Math, Science, English, and Tamil. Asha Kanini, a homegrown software that includes some of the world's best online and downloadable content is used effectively by well-trained Asha teachers.
(3) Dedicated Teachers - Asha Chennai has employed about 80 teachers in remote rural villages to run our regular program supporting about 100 public schools. With these public schools being closed, we are leveraging them for our mini-school program. These teachers have BE/BSc/BEd/MCA/MEd degrees, have an average teaching experience of 5 years, are well trained, are passionate about helping underprivileged children and have shown tremendous commitment - they often use their homes to run the mini-schools. Your funding for this program allows us to keep these amazing, well-trained teachers employed during the pandemic.
(4) Nimble, dedicated, high quality team - The team in Asha Chennai running the mini-schools is nimble and gets things done. As soon as COVID hit, this team innovatively organized some of the first structured mini-school programs in India and scaled it to 50 locations.
See this feature coverage of Asha's mini school program by The Hindu, one of India’s prominent newspapers. Asha for Education has got 4 stars on Charity Navigator - the highest rating possible. Asha also won the Social Impact Award from the Times of India for 2015.
Asha's Financial Need
With COVID hitting, many of our corporate sponsors saw challenging business conditions and could not afford to continue their support. We hope to raise money in this GoFundMe campaign to continue running the 50 mini-schools and start additional mini-schools as well. The cost of a mini-school per month is $85, so the money you donate will have a big impact. Please use this GoFundMe page if you want to donate in US dollars and get tax benefits. If you want to donate in Indian rupees and get tax benefits, please use our Eventurbo page.