In order to improve the reading skills of its children GKV partnered with not for profit organisation, India Literacy Project (ILP), to work on their library project called
GROW-BY. ILP runs a number of sub-programs under the Multi-Dimensional Learning Space program. The principal, Ms. Kausalya, along with a couple of other GKV teachers in Nov-18 visited a state aided school in Kadayam about 40 km from GKV to observe the MDLS programs run by ILP volunteers.
GKV chose to run two programs – the Science Lab and the Library initiative.
On 30th , 31st May 2019 ILP volunteers alongwith GKV teachers catalogued 1000+ books in the GKV library into the GROW-BY categories to ensure each and every book was tagged. The color of the tag maps the book to a certain level of reading skills. The program defines a structured process to assign children to a reading level and periodically assess their progression from one level to another.
GKV decided to rollout the library program for Classes 1 through 5. Accordingly a timetable has been drawn up to include one library hour per week per class. Classes 3 to 5 physically go to the library while classes 1 and 2 have the period in their classroom itself. The library classes, now in their fourth month since school session started in June 2019, have been a success so much so that students from senior classes (class 6 onward) also come over to the library in their free period to go through the books! Thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of the teachers of GKV this initiative to ensure every student is capable to read, comprehend and converse in English & Tamil is well and truly under way!
It has been the endeavor of GKV to provide holistic education to its students and encourage them to pursue their interests in sports, arts, music etc. It comes as no surprise that these children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds have diverse immense talent which only needs some nurturing and mentoring to blossom. One example of this is Rajanainar of class 5 who has been at the school since LKG. Due to his interest in drawing he drew a picture from a photograph and sent it to a local Tamil newspaper that runs a section to encourage young artists. It gives us immense pride that his drawing was accepted and published in the paper.
Gita Krishnamurthy Trust made a conscious decision not to add 11th and 12th grades to the school, at least, for now. Nevertheless, the Trust was keen to ensure that all of the 33 students of Gita Kirshnamurthy Vidyalaya who passed the Tamil Nadu State Public examinations in 2019 (the first outgoing batch of the school) took up further education based on their academic and career interests and financial ability. It is immensly satisfying to note that these children have all sought admission in various schools, colleges and polytechnics in the area.
Fourteen girls and two boys are studying in Sri Jayendra Golden Jubilee School also administered by our partner Sri Jai Sankara Trust. Most of them have opted for either the Mathematics, Biology or Accountacy, commerce streams. These students are financially supported through generous donations of Gita Krishnamurthy Trust’s well-wishers.
Five Children, including a girl, have joined a polytechnic (Sankara polytechnic and Ramana polytechnic) .Six students have taken admission in 11th standard of Sarah Tucker college – a government aided institution. Many of these children have opted for Maths, computer science group.
The parents of all these children received a little over Rs 3000/- each from the Trust towards supporting their further education. This is thanks to the Higher Education support scheme conceived and setup two years ago by a friend and supporter who is passionate about helping ensure that children from economically and socially disadvantaged families are not hindered from pursuing further education due to lack of finances.
It will be the continuing endeavour of the trust to keep in touch with these children and provide what ever support(financial or otherwise) that they need to complete their studies and take up employment of their choice.
Outgoing Class 10
Academic Year 2018/19 is a land mark year for GKV, which started in a small rented space back in 2009 with a little over 100 children in Classes LKG, UKG and 1. GKV is now 550 strong with Classes up to 10 and functions in its own Building.
Our first batch, most of whom have been at the school since the beginning in 2009, did us proud with excellent results in the Tamil Nadu Board Exam ( SSLC ) held in April 2019. Out of the 34 students, 21 Girls and 13 Boys, 33 came out successful. Even the one Boy who did not make the grade missed it narrowly. First two were girls with aggregate marks of 94% and 93% . Further 16 Students secured an average of over 70% and 29 of them above 50%. This is in no small measure due to the passion and perseverance of the teachers of GKV as well as the partner school – Sri Jayendra Golden Jubilee school. We would also like to thank all the donors and well wishers for the generous support during this journey.
It is heartening to note that all the 33 students are interested in studying further: either completing 11th and 12th and then obtaining a degree or getting a diploma at a polytechnic. While GKV currently does not have the provision of 11th and 12th standard it is the endeavor of the trust to ensure that all of these students are supported financially, if required, to complete the next stage of their education. We hope to do this with continued support from our well wishers!!
In line with our philosophy of providing a holistic education to all our children, we set up a language lab, to increase spoken and written English skills, for them. Our first batch of Class X students will graduate in the academic year 2018/19. It will be extremely important for these children to be competent in written and spoken English to adequately face up to the external environments they will move into beyond the realms of the small villages/hamlets they live in.. This will help to set them up to a solid future and further their academic endeavours and professional careers later.This is a great incentive to all the children in the School to improve their proficiency in English.
A physical space where expert pedagogical aids are made accessible, with individual and group workstation environments with headphones where the students can learn spoken and written language skills. This will facilitate self-paced learning enabled by Software based teaching aids to improve their spoken and written English. The Lab has been set up in a separate Room where a Smart Board Facility is also available with access to web based educational software.
A few photographs of the Digital Lab: