Project Mala seeks out working children in remote villages of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India and gives them quality education in four R’s reading, writing, arithmetic and respect. Respect for others and the environment as well as self-respect in personal hygiene good manners.
In the three year primary school course, we cover grades 1-5 of the national education standard. In the three year middle school course, we cover grades 6-8. In the two years of secondary school we cover grades 9-10 and in intermediate college we cover grades 11-12.
We are affiliated by the National Institute of Open Schooling who provide certification at grade five level. Uttar Pradesh Board of Senior Secondary Education gives us certification up to grade twelve, so children passing out can progress into further education. In addition we also provide some training in life sciences cooking, gardening, sewing etc. in order for them to make the most of their lives within the primitive environment of their rural village.
We help the children's rehabilitation after schooling by providing some occupational skills, including sewing, kitchen gardening and food preservation. We also arrange visits to local industries, hospitals, post offices, etc.
We try to get all our children to reach their full potential in whatever they do best. Not all children are academic but they may be good at sport or art. Our aim is to make their school days happy and enjoyable through a range of academic, sport and cultural activities.
All the children in our schools are provided with a cooked midday meal. They are allowed to eat as much as they want, as in some cases the child will not receive food at home. Our meals are supplemented with fruit in season, the majority of which is grown within our own campuses.
The children are examined on enrolment and full health details recorded. We take care of their health problems throughout their time with us.
We provide the children with school books, stationery, school bags, two sets of uniforms every year and one sweater at the time of enrolment. We do not yet provide shoes but we are considering this as most children are barefoot.
Achievements since our formation
- To April 2018 we have enrolled over 10,000 children from 45 villages
- over 8,500 children have completed the three years primary school course
- In 2018 we achieved over 95% average attendance in our schools
- we held four parent/teacher meetings per year in all our schools
- we have conducted three impact studies to monitor the effect of our work on the community (see independent reports)
Staff and Infrastructure
- The organisation has highly motivated, dedicated and trained staff to teach the children. Regular in-service teachers training is compulsory. Three community workers have a close rapport with the parents.
- The head office is at our flagship school in the village of Guria, Varanasi District
- 5 Pre-schools
- 6 Primary schools
- 4 Middle schools
- 1 Secondary school
- 1 Intermediate college
- more than 100 teaching and administrative staff
- Most of the primary school teachers are not trained teachers but have reached graduation level in education. In the secondary school, our teachers are trained/experienced. We hold professionally run teacher training courses twice a year. The social workers are the liaison between parents and schools.
- The schools have all been purpose built and have large classrooms to accommodate up to 50 children. Each school has a sports field, dining hall, kitchen facilities, sick bay and library.