Tea Trust Minutes: Asha General Meeting 10/10/04


Historical Perspective

The project was taken on approx. 2 yrs ago with the intention of appointing extra teachers in the Government schools in the villages concerned.

The organization resembles the Aviram project. Asha Chennai is very active with Tea Trust, Asha Boston could do with working more together with Asha Chennai on this project.

Boston funded the teachers in 2 schools. All classes are held in one room, which appears to be in poor condition.


The school has 170 students, one teacher. Asha Boston appointed and trained an extra teacher and had the floor of the classroom paved. Chennai oversaw the project.


During the second visit of our Asha volunteer the following was observed.

The villages are all considered as ‘Dalit villages’. A strong caste bias was noted to be present amongst the teachers and the principal of the school, however. One more room had been added to the school. Asha had been funding 2 schools with the intention of adding one more to the project. The agricultural land has been used to build brick kilns although the villagers do not seem to be working in the kilns. Roads in and around the village were paved.


Evaluation of the visit

Asha Boston would like to add another teacher to the 3rd school. There is an apparent request from the government teachers for maps and books.

Continuation of the project is definitely the goal although we would like to see the teachers being more actively involved with the students. Perhaps Asha Chennai could coordinate. We would further like to see a parents committee set up which would give us direct feed back about the school’s performance and that of the teachers.


Direct Needs/Budget Discussion

A discussion was held on the request from the schools for blackboards. Alka mentioned that roller blackboards were useful although painting the wall black was obviously the most economical alternative.

The question arose about the payment of the Coordinator’s salary, this would be discussed in the budget overview. The flooring seemed to be in very poor condition and desperately needed re-paving.

Melachery has been added to the discussion as the third school. There are 120 students in the school, with one teacher. The need is for funding of the teachers’ salary and plates/vessels.


The budget is as follows:

For Kolantcheri, Venkabakkam and the new school in Melachery, the budget consist of these items.


Teachers Sal.                            1500

Plates/ Vessels                          5495

Worksheet mat.                        5000

Learners Achievm.                    8000

Village level meeting                  1850

Repair of flooring                      34,125,25

Toilet                                        9785.40

Blackboards/other infrastr.        10.000

Coordinator’s salary                 36,000

Leftover amount                       1833.35

Total                                        148,089.00


This years budget requirements were designated to be the teachers’ salaries, coordinators salary, and the learning materials. For Melachery the additional expense would come to Rs. 40,000.00.


Questions and Answers

  1. We need to have an Asha presence at the Village level meetings
  2. We need to know how we can fund/coordinate parent involvement
  3. How do we get feedback from the parent meetings
  4. Who appoints the teachers, how much money do they get from the PTA
  5. Are the teachers salaries paid through the PTA
  6. How much money do they have in the PTA fund


The direct requirement, apart from answers to the above questions is for the establishment of a parent council, an Asha presence at the council and feedback on the meetings, and teacher training sessions.