Report on Project Poorna Vidya

May 18, 2004
Contact Lakshmi Suryanarayanan


Poorna Vidya is a joint initiative of Pitts Macdonald Lodge and Asha Chennai to help improve the quality of learning in the Corporation School near the Ashtalakshmi temple in Besant Nagar, Chennai.

 Satyapriya and Thangadurai are seriously involved in the school from 10am to 3.30pm (as interns learning and facilitating the change processes of improving quality). A lot of emphasis is made on the learning through use of colors

 Ms. Saraswathi P is guiding them closely

Library books and reading material, Montessori material for Maths and cupboards for storing material have all been provided. Teacher training in Teaching Maths with use of Montessori materials was provided. Children have been provided with stationery, little mathematical instruments in their classrooms.

Pre assessment was completed and reports sent to the sponsors of the project.


Current Status

The school has closed for summer vacation from 23rd April to 1st June. The govt. teachers of the corporation school had some in-service training till early May after the school closed

The Headmistress Mrs. Annamma says-

1. The introduction of art and craft-activity based learning has made learning more interesting for the children. The children are enjoying the process of learning more than before.

2. The use of Montessori and learning materials has improved understanding of concepts. Children are responding well to the improved learning methods.

3. Every child now has a plate/bowl to eat the noon meal from. Children do not go out for lunch as all children can eat in school. This has reduced children returning late or not returning in the afternoons.

4. All children finishing Std 5 are keen to continue schooling.

(Note-One nearby government school starts from Std 6 and this school is the high school for the nearby primary schools. Local schools will absorb them without difficulty. There are quite a few high schools in the neighbourhood. Some parents have already sought and found admission for their wards. The children will be in school on June2 when these schools also reopen.)

The facilitator Sathya Priya says-

1. The day the children received the bowls she was simply overwhelmed with the joy the children expressed. They had always had to remember their plates when they came from home. Some children did not have large enough plates to receive the hot food. The older children who were always having to wait for other children to finish before they could use the plates were the ones who expressed such joy.

2. The crayons, pencils, geometrical instruments have added to the ease with which the children can work and reduced teacher difficulties due to children not having the necessary materials.


The Headmistress would like support for the students’ uniforms and notebooks.

The govt. uniforms have not come in 2003-2004. So children have been using old uniforms, which they are outgrowing, or getting torn. Providing at least one set of uniforms will reduce the burden on the parents to a large extent. The children would also be able to wash one set everyday and wear clean clothes to school.

The school receives the required textbooks. Only standard 5 children receive five 80page notebooks that are grossly insufficient.

The school therefore requests that notebooks be provided to the children.

Sathyapriya and the HM have worked together to arrive at the approximate costs of the requirements.

The sponsors are looking into this. We expect a positive reply by the end of this week.

The Planned Activity in March 2004 to provide water source in the school’s kitchen directly to help the kitchen staff and increase the toilet facility in the ground floor, is yet to take off. The Headmistress is making serious efforts.


Planned activities for June 2004

Continue efforts

1.      In providing infrastructure

2.      To get the nearby corporation ground opposite the school as a playground for the children

3.      On the improvement of Tamil reading and English language learning.

 Lakshmi Suryanarayanan


Project estimate for year Jan 2004 to Dec 2004= Rs 3lakhs
Received from Pitt Macdonald Lodge till 20-02-04= Rs 90,001

Expenses as on 20/ 2/04


Month of expense

Expense Head

Amount in Rs

Remarks if any



Jan 2004

Learning materials



Teacher Training


At the Montessori center, RA Puram



For making purchases

Evaluation materials







Month of expense

Expense Head

Amount in Rs

Remarks if any



Feb 2004

Learning materials





Cycle repair- Satya’s tranport from school to Asha Home

Shelves for storing learning materials



Conveyance for conducting evaluation


For teachers from Olcott school who conducted the exams

Honorariums to Satyapriya & Thangadurai (for 15 days in Jan04)


 Rs1500+ Rs 1000 resply

Telephone ( Mobile) purchase


Instrument Nokia and connection artel

Tel. expenses


For the prepaid card and expenses so far for telephones



Balance on hand as on 20/02/03=

Rs 27,678