Project Sangamam-Poondi

Improvements to Government Schools in Poondi Block, Thiruvallur Dist.
Asha Chennai Proposal – Year 2014-15

May 19th 2014




Asha Chennai has been working with eight government primary schools in the Thiruvallur district under Project Sangamam-Poondi.

Thiruvallur is one of the poorer districts of Tamilnadu. It has always been a water scarce region. Proximity to Chennai has its positives as well as negatives. While a lot of people find employment in Chennai and auxiliary industries for Chennai (like brick kilns and sand quarrying), the local resources are taken away from the region including water in the form of Poondi reservoir, river sand, human workforce etc. All this has left the mainstay of this region agriculture in a bad situation.

The scenario as regards education in this district is similar to the rest of Tamilnadu. Government schools exist but with serious deficiencies. Private (read English medium) schools are coming up and eating into the student force of the government schools. But the private schools are often worse in terms of the quality of the teaching. Asha Chennai believes the revival and strengthening of the government schooling system is essential to the implementation of any mass education initiative in India.

Government has been progressively giving more funds to the education sector. This has also had a beneficial effect on these schools in our project. ABL has been implemented in all the schools. Infrastructure at all these schools has been improved. Recently laptops have been given to middle schools. However like in other measures by government these also end up as half-measures. Buildings are not made fully functional with required things like weathering course, electrical wiring and fittings, plumbing and water arrangement etc. Appropriate training and staff level to effectively use ABL and also materials like trays etc. are not provided. Training is not provided to the teachers to use the computers effectively at the schools. We are looking at plugging these holes.

Here is a brief timeline of the things that have been taking place at this project.


Asha Chennai started the project with Panchayat Union Primary schools at Kuppammal Chathiram, Kanakavalli Puram and Pattarai Perambudur


We also started supporting the school at Kunnavalam and the Balwadis at Kunnavalam and Kuppammal Chathiram.


We extended our support to the schools at Placepalayam, Nemiliagaram and Pudhur and also the Balwadis at Nemiliagaram.


We added support for the school at SSA-Korattur. We also added libraries in all these schools. These are still functioning well.


We discontinued the support for Kanagavalli puram, Kunnavalam and Pudhur and in its place added support for T.B. Puram and Yelappanaidu Pettai. We stopped support at Kanagavalli puram, Kunnavalam and Pudhur because of several factors like lack of adequate support and since the number of government teacher were sufficient for the strength of the school. We provided computer labs at all the schools with computers that were donated for us by the company Inautix.


We discontinued support for Nemiliagaram because the government started one more primary school in that area and each school was so small that one teacher could manage the number of students (less than 30 each). We also discontinued support at SSA Korattur since the government itself appointed a third teacher (for 80 students) and our teacher also stopped working because of marriage.


We added support for the school at Allikuzhi and Thomur.


We withdrew support for T.B. Puram and Yelappanaidu Pettai as both these schools have got additional teachers from the government and the teacher student ratio is good at these places. We added support for two more schools at Gandhigram and Kachur at the start of the year. Then we received a request from the middle school at Ramancheri as they were converting to an English medium school and they didn’t have any teacher to teacher English medium at the primary school. Since we wanted to participate in this experiment of the government we decided to support this school as well. During this year we also built toilets for the schools at Placepalayam and Allikuzhi with funds from Asha Frankfurt.


We are currently supporting Kuppammal Chathiram, Pattarai Perambudur, Placepalayam, Thomur, Allikuzhi, Gandhigram, Kachur and Ramanchery.

Locally the activities of the project has been coordinated by the project coordinator Srinivasan. We have further provided teachers to these schools. We have been continuing to improve the infrastructure at these schools. We also sponsored the annual day functions at all these schools.

In doing all these activities we have been happy to find a supportive and energetic set of teachers at these schools. The district and panchayat officials have also been very supportive.


Schools/Balwadis to be covered:

Kuppammal Chathiram School (from August 2004)

The primary school in Kuppammal Chathiram has 85 students and 3 government teachers. The school has adequate building space to comfortably seat the children. Asha is providing one teacher Deivanayagi to this school. The number of children at this school has been reducing over the years because of the presence of a English medium school right adjacent to this school. In the last two years the trend has started reversing.

Pattarai Perambuthur School (from Dec 2004)

This has 105 students and 4 teachers. This school has also seen a big drop in the number of children because of various factors including drop in the population of children in this area, joining convents in Thiruvallur and the closure of two brick kilns in the area which meant the children coming from there are no longer coming to the school. This trend has started reversing in the last two years.

Asha has been providing one teacher, Tamilselvi, to this school. The school was first chosen as one of the model schools for Activities Based Learning. This has now been adopted at all the schools we are supporting.

Placepalayam School (from Dec 2006)

The Panchayat Union Middle School at Placepalayam has been in existence since 1948. In 2012-13 thanks to the improvements we have done to the school, this has been converted into a high school. The high school (classes 6 to 10) and the primary school (classes 1 to 5) will function independently. The high school has 122 children and 6 teachers. The primary school has 65 children and two teachers of which one of the teacher is not effective because of health problems. We are proud to report that the students our teachers trained for a number of years have now performed very well in the 10th std board exams.

Asha is providing one teacher Anitha Devi for the primary school. They needed one more teacher at this school. The teachers appointed a PTA teacher Hepsiba to this school. We are planning to bring in Hepsiba also into the Asha fold this year.

Thomur (from 2011)

This school has also been upgraded to become a high school last year. Once again the primary school and high school will function independently. The high school will have 120 children and 5 teachers. The primary school will have 55 children and 2 teachers. We will continue our involvement with the primary school. Our teacher was helping them with their computers. We will continue teaching computers to the high school children as well.

Allikuzhi (from 2012)

This is also a remote school in the same vicinity as Placepalayam and TB Puram. Being a remote school getting government teachers who would stay is a problem. The school has 72 children and three government teachers of which two are very new. Asha has been providing one teacher for the school who also helps with teaching computers at that school as well as T.B. Puram and Placepalayam.

Gandhigramam (from 2013)

The schools is situated in a tribal area. The primary school there has 55 children and 2 government teachers. The area is a very poor area and is badly in need of our support. The Balwadi in the village attached to the school has not been functioning. We hope to add support for this school and Balwadi. One teacher we provide would be able to manage both these roles. Asha has been providing one teacher for this school.

Kachur (from 2013)

The school has 90 children and 3 teachers. They are in need of an additional teacher. Asha has been providing one teacher for this school.

Ramancheri (from 2013)

The school is a middle school. There are about 60 children in the primary sections (class 1 to 5) and about 20 children each in classes 6, 7 and 8. The school has 6 teachers which is close to being adequate. However this is one of the schools where English medium has been introduced. English medium has been introduced in classes 1 and 2. They need an additional teacher who knows English to teach these classes. It is to be noted that three of the government teacher in this school have good English. Couple of them have taught in English medium schools for several years before joining as government teachers. Asha has been providing one teacher at this school from about Sept 2013.

Balwadis at Kuppammal Chathiram, Gandhigram, Allikuzhi and Thomur

These Balwadi are the feeder Balwadis for the respective schools. There are 25 students at each Balwadi with one teacher and two Ayahs. We provided some mats and play materials for the Balwadis every year. We provided some sports materials, painted the Black boards and provided plates and tumblers to all the Balwadis. We need to provide some more materials to these Balwadis. All of them require electric connection/fittings and some sprucing up of the insides.


Other General Inputs From Asha

Asha Chennai has undertaken several projects with government schools. As part of these projects Asha Chennai provides several standard inputs including,

  1. One set of Uniforms for the students. The one set that the government gives is grossly inadequate for wearing every day for a year.
  2. Notebooks/Slate for the children.
  3. Other education material as appropriate for the class. This would range from crayons to atlases and geometry boxes.
  4. Computers and a library of books along with the required furniture for all the schools. Most of the expenses related to this are covered as part of other projects.
  5. Bring the teachers from these projects to Chennai for training. This would be covered under the budget for Project Rightstart.
  6. Trips by educationists from Chennai to these projects to monitor, provide onsite training and other inputs for the teachers in these schools.

Further this project being in a remote area would require a local coordinator and cannot be executed directly by the volunteers in Chennai. Srinivasan would perform the role of coordinator for the project would require a salary.


Financial Report for 2013 – 14


The following table identifies the allocated and actual expenses under various heads for the project in the year 2009-10.





Work Item (and what was executed)

Amount Budgeted

Amount Spent (approx)


Teachers’ salaries – We added support for one more additional school (Ramancheri) with the same number of teachers.

Rs 423,000

Rs 418,275


Coordinator’s salary

Rs 117,000

Rs 117,000


Infrastructure Works and materials at the Sangamam Poondi schools and BalwadisFans were purchased for the schools at Katchur and Gandhigram. Black boards were repainted at all schools.

Rs 55,500

Rs 40,075


Educational, reading and sports materials for the schools and Balwadis. Sports and learning/teaching materials were provided.

Rs 150,000

Rs 75,500


School bags for Children from all schools. Tumblers and Plates for children. Mats for children to sit on. Other material for the schools.

Of these we provided only mats. We did not provide school bags for children because of lack of funds.

Rs 261,000

Rs 12,100


Admin Expenses

Office room rent/maintenance and materials – We more or less spent this entire amount. Note we are not paying rent for this year.

Miscellaneous Emergencies/Services

Documentation/Conveyance – One camera was purchased with this budget. This is used heavily for all the project photos.

Coordinator Vehicle Maintenance

Rs 50,000

Rs 32,300


Evaluation and training

Volunteer/Intern travel


Only one volunteer site visit was charged against this.

Rs 35,000

Rs 3,000


School day functions at all the Sangamam Poondi schools.

Rs 60,000

Rs 42,500


Toilet construction at Placepalayam and AllikuzhiThis is completed at Placepalayam. At Allikuzhi construction of the new toilet is mostly complete. But repair work on old toilet is still pending.

Rs 280,000

Rs 249,000


Total Expense

Rs 14.36 Lakhs

Rs 10 Lakhs



Project Details and Estimates for Year June 2014 to May 2015




Work Description

Cost and Modification Details

Total Cost for Asha

Common Items


Additional teachers (Incl travel)

     Kuppammal ChathiramDeivanayagi -- Rs 3200

     Pattarai PerambudurSanthasophya -- Rs 4400

     Placepalayam -- Anita + 1 -- Rs 2775.

     Thomur - Gayathri -- Rs 3850

     AllikuzhiSandhya -- Rs 3775

     GandhigramamSathyavani  -- Rs 4075

     KachurJanova – 4400

     Ramancheri – New Hire

     Computer Teacher – Sailaja (to be replaced by Asha -- 4200).

8 schools. Currently 8 teacher. Need one more at Placepalayam. Average cost was Rs 3850 incl. conveyance. The base salary would increase by 300 and there would be a performance based increase of between 0 and 500 (expect average of Rs 250). Travel allowance will be increased to Rs 800 from current Rs 500. Expect average salary incl. conveyance to be Rs 4600 per person.


10*4500*12 + 10*3000

Rs 570,000


Tumblers and Plates. Some replacements, say a total of 200 would be required at all schools.

At the existing 8 schools only replacements required.

200 * Rs.100

Rs 20,000


School bags for all children.

The Rs 200 is the average price for a mix of small and big bags from our vendor. This would depend on the vendor selected.


This year requirement is about 650 * Rs 200.

Rs 130,000


Educational materials


Geom. Instruments


Teachers kits




Just FYI, this does not include computers and accessories which we are doing for all our schools as part of the Education and technology effort.

Rs 80,000


Sports Materials


Plastic balls for younger children, Footballs for older children, Tennicoit rings, Skipping ropes, Snakes & Ladders, Ludo etc. board games


Rs 30,000


Teachers travel to Chennai


This year we intend to bring the teachers to Chennai once a month for interaction with volunteers, potentially have follow up training etc.

Van rental – Rs 2800. Breakfast, Lunch and tea/snacks – Rs 1200.


Rs 4000 * 10.

Rs 40,000.


Evaluation and other training costs

For trainers going to Thiruvallur for follow up training at the schools.

Rs 10,000


Black board and scribble area repainting

Twice a year for all schools.

Rs 40,000



Volunteers/interns from Asha Chennai would need to make one trip a month for two days to the villages to monitor the work, retrain the teachers and report back to Asha.

Each trip would require the following,

Bus Fare + Local auto etc. – 500

Food – Rs 150.

Honorarium – Rs 600


We are assuming two people travel together for the above. There would be 8 trips during the project duration.

Rs 10,000


Coordinator Salary   Rs 12000 * 12 + 3000

Given the increase in the number of schools etc. I will propose to increase this to Rs 12,000.

Rs 147,000


Coordinator Vehicle Maintenance

Rs 5000

Rs 5000


Furniture for the office (note we are not paying rent this year)


Rs 20,000


Miscellaneous (emergencies, services, etc.)

Rs 10,000

Rs 10,000


School day and other school functions


Rs 60,000


Other Admin expenses (conveyance, documentation etc.)


Rs 15,000


Replacement Mats at all schools

200 * Rs 120.

Rs 24,000


Kitchen shed at Gandhigram. Currently they lack proper cooking area. It is done with wood burning stove indoors.


Rs 20,000


Kitchen shed at Placepalayam. Currently they lack proper cooking area. It is done with wood burning stove indoors.


Rs 20,000


Play/Learning materials for the Balwadi.

For each Balwadi


Open shelves – Rs 3000

Other materials – Rs 7000

Rs 40,000


Painting of scribble area and one black board at the Balwadis

4 * 1500

Rs 6,000


Two uniform sarees and bag for teachers.


Rs 20,000.


Rent + Electricity + Internet Connection for Thiruvallur Office

Rs 1000 rent + Rs 1000 for electricity + Rs 1000 for network.

Rs 36,000.




Fund Requirement/Schedule Summary


Total Project Funding Requirement                  Approx Rs  13.5 Lakhs.