OLCOTT MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL
No.2 Besant Avenue, Besant Nagar, Chennai-600090
Dated: 28 October 2007
Contact Lakshmi Suryanarayanan
Frequently asked questions
- Who runs the school?
Olcott Education Society -The Organization was created in 1905, under the laws of Government of India – pursuant to Act of XXI of 1860 of the Viceroy and Governor- General of India in Council, being an act for the Registration of Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies, as a Charitable Society.
- What are the other activities of the organization besides running the school?
- HPB Hostel – a free hostel for 25 very poor school boys from very difficult home environments
- Social Welfare Centre- free crèche and day care centre for children of poor working women
- Vocational Training Centre for Poor Women- teaching tailoring and housekeeping skills
The main activities of the organization are charitable, educational and prevention of cruelty to animals
- How is the school funded?
Till April 2007-
Mainly through donations mainly from Theosophical Society, India.
Some funds do come from Theosophical societies abroad like Italy, Israel, Australia.
Small interest incomes from deposits and individual donors contribute about 10% of the funds.
In 2002 and 2003 the school received $1800 and $1600 from Asha Portland (Star -Deepa Srinivasan) for its computer Project called
From May 2007
Additional fund raising has been started to give a fillip to the activities of the school, it being 100 years after the school was named after its founder Henry Steel Olcott who passed away on 17th Feb 1907.
- Why the need for additional funding now?
To improve health care and nutrition for children.
To provide more materials to the children.
To maintain the facilities - provide good drinking water, electricity, telephone and internet connectivity
To improve the salaries of its committed staff (who are on salaries equal to about 1/6th of the salaries paid for similar posts in government schools.)
The nature of funds required is for revenue expenses.
Improvement of infrastructure and other capital expenditure will be taken care of through separate earmarked donations.
- Does the school have an FCRA Clearance?
Olcott Education Society has the permanent FCRA Clearance and designated account with Standard chartered bank Adyar, Chennai. Donations for the constituent parts of society are kept separate for every one of its parts.
- How are the accounts maintained?
The accounts are maintained regularly and audited every year.
- Name 3 similar organizations in your area
The schools mentioned below receive from the government for maintenance and teachers’ salaries. The government provides free noon meal & textbooks to these schools & to OMHS.
- Avvai Home -1 km NW
- Arignar Anna School – 5 minute walk SE
- Damodarapuram Corporation School- 5 minute walk SW
- What makes you different from the other schools?
OMHS is a private free school for the poor maintained purely on donations, not receiving government funds for its functioning. OMHS provides extra uniforms, requires stationery, protein enhancement in the noon meal and breakfast.
- The school maintains a teacher students ratio of 1:20 as against 1:38 in the other schools.
- The school has the special facilities
- A craft section for hands on skills training for classes 8,9,10, in livelihood related skills like carpentry, screen printing, baking and food preservation, sewing and tailoring, fine art skills development in embroidery, jewellery making, fabric designs. This facility keeps the children in touch with working with their hands, and early exposure to part time employment opportunities to help them earn while they learn when they go to post school classes. Children also develop a sense of fulfillment and confidence in their ability to work creatively and complete tasks begun.
- A resource room where children work in groups to learn Maths, Tamil, through educational games
- An audio visual room- This provides for better understanding of the subjects learnt. The unique feature of the programme is that special lessons close to the textbooks are made in Tamil the medium of instruction. The other schools either do not have this facility or use ready made non vernacular material.
- A Language Lab for improvement of English language with a computer and television facility for projection (through a VGA card. Material used here is carefully put together, from materials available in market in the form of books, audio cassettes, language games, games downloaded from the net, grammar games designed in school, reading
- A lot of material required for the above facilities are designed and created by the teachers of the school, constantly innovating and finding ways of making learning more fun and meaningful. This has helped teachers improve their own skills in lesson planning and teaching methodologies
- The school encourages responsible adults from different fields of work to spend some time with the students as volunteers exposing them to general studies and spoken English.