Published: 03rd September 2020
Check out these Single Teacher Schools in Tamil Nadu villages where children don't have access to regular schools
Today, Single Teacher Schools caters to more than 32,000 students from over 1,050 villages all across Tamil Nadu. It began in 2006
What if there's no school around for a child to go to? Fret not, the school will apparently go to the child, if the child is somewhere in Tamil Nadu. Sounds unbelievable? Then you surely have to check out the Single Teacher Schools (STS) initiative by the Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society. As part of this initiative, the volunteers here identify villages in rural Tamil Nadu where children do not have access to schools, train a graduate as a teacher and help them set up a temporary school in a common space to teach the children. The classes are mostly held in community halls, temple grounds or sometimes, at the teacher's house. "It all started in 2006 under the leadership of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. We identified 50 villages from where we trained young people as teachers and helped them conduct these classes," says R P Krishnamachary, Honorary Secretary, STS. Most of the children who attend these classes are first-generation school-goers.
I have visited many of these schools in villages which do not even have proper access through roads. When we meet and interact with the children of the Schools, there is a spark in their faces. They are extremely happy and vibrant, attending classes enthusiastically and interacting with their teachers
Dr Akhila Srinivasan, Vice-President, STS
He says that today, STS caters to more than 32,000 students from over 1,050 villages all across Tamil Nadu. "Almost all the teachers here are women. Apart from training the students in the government-approved curriculum, we also train them in yoga, sports and life skills," says Krishnamachary. "The teachers too undergo training once in 15 days," he adds. The training and classes have however come to a standstill, owing to the pandemic.
At the same time, STS' members have a new target in mind — to set up 1,000 schools by 2022. To meet their goal, they are now raising funds on the crowdfunding platform Milaap. Apart from that, seven classical singers, including Bombay Jayashri, also conducted an online live concert to raise funds for them. "We are hoping that we raise enough funds. Apart from this, we are also providing COVID relief in these villages and desilting ponds there," adds Krishnamachary.
Reach Out: https://milaap.org/