PNT SCHOOL PROJECT

The very first endeavour of PNT-PINFRA is to start an Early Learning Centre & Pre-school with excellent amenities. The building in a land of 55 cents at Kunnathurmedu will be ready by beginning of 2012. This land is given to us with the blessings of Dr. Kesavan Nair, a veteran social worker who took initiative long back, in building the current Linos School, NSS Engg College & Govt. Polytechnic etc. As part of future expansion plan, PINFRA gave advance for another 2.3 acres land near NSS Engineering College, Akathethara.

OUR PROJECTS

OUR FUTURE ENDEAVOURS
  • Starting Palakkad NRI International School at Palakkad
  • Starting Palakkad NRI Medical College at Palakkad
  • Starting Palakkad NRI Engineering College at Palakkad
  • Starting Palakkad NRI Convention Centre at Palakkad
  • Starting Palakkad NRI Exclusive Social and Sports Club at Palakkad
L P SCHOOLS-A CONCEPT PAPER

Preamble

In a recent survey conducted by PNT it is found that in all 876 (Lower Primary 256 Government, 22 Private Unaided, and 598 Private Aided) L.P. Schools are currently functioning in our district - Palakkad.  Except Private Schools under the management of well-known names, majority of the Government and Private Aided Schools are in a pitiable condition; lacking even the very basic amenities like benches & desks, drinking water, toilets etc. 

The preliminary survey also revealed that Government though earmarked large amounts for improving facilities of Government Schools, deployment of funds under various heads dangles in the bureaucratic sojourn.   Facilities provided to Private Schools are moderate even in schools run by well-known names like NSS.  Conditions of Private Aided Schools are pathetic, particularly in single units held as ancestral property - in some cases they are in the verge of closure.  This is because the management often is not in a position to run the school because of the dwindling number of students; dilapidated condition of the building (mud structures built a century back and government issued orders to such schools not to operate from existing structures from next academic year), and are not in a position to construct new buildings. 

The prevailing system of running Private Aided Schools are:  Management provides facilities in reasonably good condition to run the school; not to charge any fee to students; uniforms, school books etc., are to be supplied free; And government would give mid-day meals to students, pay salary to teachers; and reimburse @ Rs.3.75 per student/year to the Management for providing required facilities as specified by the authorities.  Management has no other income except the grant of Rs.3.75/student per year which in total works out to less than Rs.400  per year for majority of School because of their student strength of 120+  in these schools.

As it has become a craze of even poor households to send their children to English-medium Schools, these schools are mushrooming all over the place.  Because of that student population of Aided Schools are dwindling to uneconomical levels year after year thus forcing single unit Aided schools to close down.   Heartbreak is that the unfortunate families find it hard to meet the requirements of standards set out by English Medium Schools which results in stopping their kid’s education half way. 

One way to counter this dilemma is starting English Medium simultaneously with Malayalam Medium classes in the aided schools for which sanctions can be obtained from Government without much difficulty.  But in such a scenario Government pay salary only to teachers of Malayalam section, and running English-medium section would be the responsibility of the Management.  The advantage of starting English Medium parallel to Malayam Medium classes is that: in the event a parent finds it difficult to pay tuition fee after a short time, swiftly the student can switch over to Malayalam Medium in the same school without losing the year consequently avoiding school drop-outs.  By such an arrangement schools would get large number of students enabling Managements to run their schools economically.  But for that they require reasonably good facilities.

Based upon the findings and shared views of a handful of Aided School Managers, PNT propose to collaborate in creating opportunities for willing school managements to join hands to implement a comprehensive facility development program of Lower Primary Schools in Palakkad District, Kerala.

Guidance

  1. Objective:
    To standardize school buildings, furniture and computer learning facilities of  Lower Primary (LP) Schools in Palakkad district, with financial participation from Palakkad based NRIs, School Management, Well wishers, and Local community including Parents.
  1. Synopsis:
    This proposal contains the objective, methodology and source of finance in order for Palakkad NRI Trust (PNT) to undertake a project to standardize school buildings, furniture, and computer learning facilities of all Lower Primary (LP) Schools in Palakkad district.  After survey of possibly all Aided LP schools in Palakkad, (at this point in time not scheduled to take up any Government run schools as they have enough funds and  would only think of taking up Government run schools at a later stage in consultation with Government officials after showcasing improvement made in selected Aided schools), PNT will choose one or two LP schools as models for implementation of the project under discussion. Anchored on the learning component of the models put into operation, projects akin to the operational ones could be reproduced to other schools on a priority basis.
  1. Discussion:
    1. Why this project?

      There are two major reasons for Palakkad NRI Trust (PNT) to undertake this project. One is the individual/personal reason and the other one is the social reason:

      Individual/Personal: We realise that there are innumerable children who do not have adequate or even basic facilities in their schools. Possibility is high that one of those unfortunate children could be one from our midst.

      Social: Education is one of the important segments influencing social upbringing of our offspring’s and our participation in this sector would definitely pay rich dividends in the future. We NRIs have a social commitment towards the place where we happened to take birth - let us fulfill our social commitment by helping our little children!

    2. Methodology:

      Another survey would be conducted using a questionnaire, preferably interviewing willing School Managers, to gather requisite data from a few selected LP schools in Palakkad district.  Based on the survey report, PNT would choose one or two LP schools for their initial project.  Prior to implementation, however, necessary permission is to be obtained from related Government authorities and School Management. Separate MoU need to put in place for each school.

      A Committee will be formed with representation from School management, PNT Trustees, NRI family members, and prominent Educationalists. This Committee would coordinate overall implementation of the project, including preparation of project report, budget etc., of the selected school.

      While choosing schools, preference can be given to the schools where Trustees of Palakkad NRI Trust studied/have interest, if all other parameters of selection become equal.

      Publicity material shall be prepared for mobilizing resources with a model school building with appropriate elevation etc. This publicity material shall highlight the current situation of the school as well as the situation after PNT get it renovated.

    3. Limitation

      There are several constraints in implementing this project which we need to overcome.  A handful of them are enumerated below:

        • This is probably the first project of its kind and we really cannot define the modalities with absolute clarity.
        • It is not at all feasible for us to take up all the schools in one go because enormity of the project,  resource mobilization, work-load, finance etc.  If we consider at an average of Rs.10 lakh/school (which is small if building is to be constructed/renovated to the standard PNT model and furnishing it thereafter) cost of 598 aided schools alone works out to approx Rs.60 crore.  Even to remodel one or two of the selected schools for implementation immediately, the rough calculation is Rs.15 – 20 lakh per school.  If PNT consider to take over management of a single school with only 4 classes and 4 or 5 teachers in a remote place with an idea to model it for implementation in other schools, minimum Rs.40 – 50 lakh is needed.
        • To coordinate with all Palakkad NRIs is a difficult task as we do not have any representative offices set up in any of the countries where Palakkad based NRIs work. We need to depend much on word of mouth and e-mail communication.
        • We need to study all the legal aspects of the project as we do not intend to take up the management of the schools we renovate at the moment.
  1. Source of finance:
    Anticipated source of finance is: Palakkad based current and settled NRIs and people known to them, School Management, Well wishers, Government authorities, Local community including Parents of the school children, Banks and other business organizations.
  1. Way forward:
    Let us visualize a district in Kerala where all the LP schools have same standard of building, furniture, and computer learning facilities.  With all your wholehearted support definitely we can make our dear Palakkad the first of its kind anywhere in India!
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