Press Release

For immediate publication

Asha Chennai committed to improve education in Tamilnadu

It is a known fact that a lot of initiatives have to be taken to improve the Tamilnadu education scenario. Particularly, the education situation in the Thiruvallur district is quite poor. 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. We at Asha Chennai believe the revival and strengthening of the government schooling system is essential to the implementation of any mass education initiative in India. 

Therefore, we have been actively involved in an endeavor called Project Sangamam in this district. Contributions are made to the government schools in the Poondi block of the same district. Learning material ranging from crayons to atlases and geometry boxes is provided as appropriate for the classes Apart from this storybooks and sports material like footballs, rings, skipping ropes etc…are supplied. The teachers of the school are trained by Asha-Chennai and then sent to the schools to tutor the children. The project would impact the lives of about 400 children at three Primary schools. In these institutions the boy: girl ratio is approximately 1:1. The on-going project hopes to ensure the following qualitative improvements: 

  1. An acceptable educational environment that is conducive to and promotes learning. 

  2. A motivated and trained group of teachers that cater to these children.

  3. Children who perform at or above the level expected for their age. 

The following schools are covered under this project:

Kuppammal Chathiram - The primary school in Kuppammal Chathiram has 110 students and 3 teachers. The school has adequate building space to comfortably seat the children. The roof of one of the three buildings at the school was repaired and new black boards were provided for the classrooms. In addition, two new trained teachers were added to guarantee proper attention for the students. The school is looking to add about 20 more students. The work for this school commenced in November and the school day was held on 2nd April 2005. 

Kanakavalli Puram - This is a small school with about 60 children. It has only one multi-age class for all the children (in classes 1 to 5). A cooking area has been built where they can cook without bird droppings and rain threatening the food and another trained teacher has been provided. In addition, desks, chair and blackboards have been given. The work for this school commenced in November and the school day was held on 19th March.

Pattarai Perambuthur - This school has strength of about 219 students and 4 teachers. The building space is inadequate but the panchayat has allocated them space for an additional building. It is hoped that the funds for the building would be sanctioned shortly. Two additional trained teachers have been provided at this school apart from desks, chairs and blackboards. The work for this school commenced in January and the school day was held on 19th March.

As the project progresses there is scope to develop better metrics to measure the progress of the children and the success of the project like monitoring levels of numeracy and literacy skills of the children. 

About Asha Chennai Chapter

The various chapters of Asha are organized loosely. We share the same basic goal of education but our focus may differ from chapter to chapter. Thus Asha-Chennai may emphasize improving government schools whereas some other chapter may emphasize health education. Asha-Chennai comprises more than 10 highly committed volunteers in India and several more contributing remotely from the US, Singapore etc. The administrative activities of the group are carried out by a 'core group' of volunteers who distribute the responsibilities among themselves. Asha-Chennai does not have a formal membership or organizational structure. Our membership consists almost entirely of volunteers who make their time and help available as per their interests and abilities.

Asha-Chennai has consciously placed project execution before fund raising or publicity. We are actively funding and executing about 10 projects. We have been raising funds for these from individual donations, donations from corporations and organisations as well as from other Asha chapters.
Currently the office bearers include the coordinators, Sundaram K, Rajaram Krishnan and the treasurer, Lakshmi Suryanarayanan. In financial year 2003-2004, the project disbursements were about Rs. 17 Lakhs.

For further details, please contact:

Rajaraman Krishnan  : - 24662475 / 52074060

Lakshmi Suryanarayanan  : - 24918093 / 98410-91424


Photos taken at the school day function held at Kuppammal Chathiram on 2nd April 2005.