Asha Trust - Project Sangamam

Project Brief: Asha Chennai is working to improve the conditions and infrastructure at several government primary schools and Balwadis (nurseries/creches) in Thiruvallur district.
Project Type: Formal Schools (description)
Primary Focus: other (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Chennai
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Rajaraman Krishnan
Project Partner(s): Rajaraman Krishnan
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , ,,,
Stewarding Chapter: Chennai
Aug 2017ChennaiUSD 14742
Dec 2016ChennaiUSD 9766
Oct 2015ChennaiUSD 4678
May 2014ChennaiUSD 14210
Mar 2014FrankfurtEUR 1600
Sep 2013FrankfurtEUR 1493
May 2013ChennaiUSD 15078
Sep 2011ChennaiUSD 12000
Jun 2010ChennaiUSD 4504
Aug 2009ChennaiUSD 20697
Nov 2008ChennaiUSD 1942
Aug 2008MadisonUSD 20000
Jun 2008ChennaiUSD 3876
Dec 2007ChennaiUSD 1947
Nov 2007CanadaCAD 3000
Nov 2007ChennaiUSD 2911
Jul 2007ChennaiUSD 9805
Nov 2006ChennaiCAD 3000
Sep 2006CanadaCAD 3000
Jun 2006ChennaiUSD 2442
Oct 2005CanadaUSD 2500

Total = $152316.66617

Thiruvallur is one of the poorer districts of Tamilnadu. It has always been a water scarce region. Proximity to Chennai has its positives as well as negatives. While lot of people find employment in Chennai and auxiliary industries for Chennai (like brick kilns and sand quarrying), the local resources are taken away from the region including water in the form of Poondi reservoir, river sand, human workforce etc. All this has left the mainstay of this region agriculture in a bad situation.

The scenario as regards education in this district is similar to the rest of Tamilnadu. 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. Asha Chennai believes the revival and strengthening of the government schooling system is essential to the implementation of any mass education initiative in India.

There have been several positive changes in the government schooling system including the following,

  • Introduction of good quality text books under the Samacheer Kalvi. But in the process the ABL (Activities Based Learning) a good system that was introduced in 2007 has been abandoned.

  • Regular assessments being done by SSA at every school and by NCERT through random sampling of the schools for the whole of India of the basic educational attainments (reading, writing and basic maths skills).

  • Provision of computers and books to the schools.

  • Introduction of English medium section in many schools.

While these are positive steps, for them to achieve their desired goals a lot more needs to be done. Rote learning without understanding of basic concepts is still the norm. Even the assessment conducted by SSA specifically tests reading skills without testing comprehension! While computers are provided they are not being used effectively in many of the schools. While Asha started teaching basic computer skills to the children at the schools we support, we also have a lot to do in terms of effectively using the computers for delivering curriculum contents in other subjects. Further the introduction of English medium has been done purely to stem the tide of children going to other private schools. While it has been somewhat successful in doing that, they have not done anything to teach the children meaningfully in English.

Asha Chennai has been working with eight government primary schools in the Thiruvallur district under Project Sangamam-Poondi. The project was started in the year 2004-05 with support to three primary schools. This year we are adding support to two more schools to bring the total number of schools we are working with to ten. The following timeline shows the history of our support to these schools.

2004-05Asha Chennai started the project with Panchayat Union Primary schools at Kuppammal Chathiram, Kanakavalli Puram and Pattarai Perambudur
2005-06We also started supporting the school at Kunnavalam and the Balwadis at Kunnavalam and Kuppammal Chathiram.
2006-07We extended our support to the schools at Placepalayam, Nemiliagaram and Pudhur and also the Balwadis at Nemiliagaram.
2007-08We added support for the school at SSA-Korattur. We also added libraries in all these schools. These are still functioning well.
2009-10We discontinued the support for Kanagavalli puram, Kunnavalam and Pudhur and in its place added support for T.B. Puram and Yelappanaidu Pettai. We stopped support at Kanagavalli puram, Kunnavalam and Pudhur because of several factors like lack of adequate support and since the number of government teacher were sufficient for the strength of the school. We provided computer labs at all the schools with computers that were donated for us by the company Inautix.
2011-12We discontinued support for Nemiliagaram because the government started one more primary school in that area and each school was so small that one teacher could manage the number of students (less than 30 each). We also discontinued support at SSA Korattur since the government itself appointed a third teacher (for 80 students) and our teacher also stopped working because of marriage.
2012-13We added support for the school at Allikuzhi and Thomur.
2013-14We withdrew support for T.B. Puram and Yelappanaidu Pettai as both these schools have got additional teachers from the government and the teacher student ratio is good at these places. We added support for two more schools at Gandhigram and Kachur at the start of the year. Then we received a request from the middle school at Ramancheri as they were converting to an English medium school and they didn’t have any teacher to teacher English medium at the primary school. Since we wanted to participate in this experiment of the government we decided to support this school as well. During this year we also built toilets for the schools at Placepalayam and Allikuzhi with funds from Asha Frankfurt.
2014-15Hyundai Glovis came forward to support the project at the eight schools we were currently supporting. This has enabled us to take up support for two more schools at Ammambakkam and Nemiliagaram. We used to support Nemiliagaram till 2011 when the number of children dropped and our support was not needed any more. Children from nearby brick kilns come to this school nowadays which make it very difficult for them to manage during those 7 months.

Locally the activities of the project has been coordinated by the project coordinator Srinivasan. We have also helped improve the infrastructure at the schools by repainting the boards, fixing the roof, building cooking areas, building toilets, providing electric fittings, plumbing facilities etc. We also sponsored the annual day functions at all these schools.

In doing all these activities we have been happy to find a supportive and energetic set of teachers at these schools. The district and panchayat officials have also been very supportive.

GLOVISHyundai Glovis a logistics company that is part of the Hyundai conglomerate is based in Sriperambudur near Chennai. They have decided to fully fund the project for the all the 8 supported schools of this project. In addition to this they also intend to engage with the children of these schools by interacting with them, conducting functions for them etc. We are happy to welcome their generous support for this project!

Schools/Balwadis to be covered:

Kuppammal Chathiram School (from August 2004)

The primary school in Kuppammal Chathiram has 85 students and 3 government teachers. The school has adequate building space to comfortably seat the children. Asha is providing one teacher Deivanayagi to this school. The number of children at this school has been reducing over the years because of the presence of a English medium school right adjacent to this school. In the last two years the trend has started reversing after we provided computer and computer teaching at our schools.

Pattarai Perambuthur School (from Dec 2004)

This has 105 students and 4 teachers. This school has also seen a big drop in the number of children because of various factors including drop in the population of children in this area, joining convents in Thiruvallur and the closure of two brick kilns in the area which meant the children coming from there are no longer coming to the school. This trend has started reversing in the last two years. Asha is providing one teacher, Santha Sophya, to this school.

Placepalayam School (from Dec 2006)

The Panchayat Union Middle at Placepalayam has been in existence since 1948. When we started supporting this school it was a primary school. This was converted into a high school. The high school has 122 children and 6 teachers. The primary school has 65 children and two teachers of which one of the teacher is not effective because of health problems. We are proud to report that the students our teachers trained for a number of years have now performed very well in the 10th std board exams. Asha is providing two teachers Anitha Devi and Hepsiba for the primary school.

Thomur (from 2011)

This school has also been upgraded to become a high school last year. Once again the primary school and high school will function independently. The high school will have 120 children and 5 teachers. The primary school will have 55 children and 2 teachers. We will continue our involvement with the primary school. Our teacher was helping them with their computers. We will continue teaching computers to the high school children as well.

Allikuzhi (from 2012)

This is also a remote school in the same vicinity as Placepalayam and TB Puram. Being a remote school getting government teachers who would stay is a problem. The school has 72 children and three government teachers of which two are very new. Asha is providing one teacher for the school.

Gandhigramam (from 2013)

The schools is situated in a tribal area. The primary school there has 55 children and 2 government teachers. The area is a very poor area and is badly in need of our support. The Balwadi in the village attached to the school has not been functioning. We hope to add support for this school and Balwadi. One teacher we provide would be able to manage both these roles. Asha is providing one teacher for this school.

Kachur (from 2013)

The school has 90 children and 3 teachers. They are in need of an additional teacher. Asha is providing one teacher for this school.

Ramancheri (from 2013)

The school is a middle school. There are about 60 children in the primary sections (class 1 to 5) and about 20 children each in classes 6, 7 and 8. The school has 6 teachers which is close to being adequate. However this is one of the schools where English medium has been introduced. English medium has been introduced in classes 1 and 2. They need an additional teacher who knows English to teach these classes. It is to be noted that three of the government teacher in this school have good English. Couple of them have taught in English medium schools for several years before joining as government teachers. Asha has been providing one teacher at this school from about Sept 2013.

Nemiliagaram School (from Dec 2006 to Apr 2011 and now from 2014)

Asha supported this primary school from 2006 to 2011. However with the opening of another primary school in another part of the village and because the brick kiln children stopped coming to the school the number of children coming to the school dropped significantly (to just about 35). The brick kiln children have once again started coming to the school. So in addition to the 35+ children the school has for 6 or 7 months they get an additional 20 children. They once again need our support. The school has adequate building space and a nice compound enclosing the school. Asha is providing one teacher for this school.

Balwadis at Kuppammal Chathiram, Gandhigram, Allikuzhi,Thomur and Nemiliagaram (from Dec 2006)

These Balwadi are the feeder Balwadis for the respective schools. There are about 25 students at each Balwadi with one teacher and two Ayahs. We have provided some mats and play materials every year. We also provided some sports materials, painted the Black boards and provided plates and tumblers to all the Balwadis. We are continuing to do the same.

Other General Inputs From Asha:

Asha Chennai has undertaken several projects with government schools. As part of these projects Asha Chennai provides several standard inputs including,

  1. One set of Uniforms or bags for the students. The one set that the government gives is grossly inadequate for wearing every day for a year.

  2. Education material as appropriate for the class. This would range from crayons to atlases and geometry boxes.

  3. Bring the teachers from these projects to Chennai for training. The annual training would be covered under the budget for Project Rightstart. Further we also have a monthly training program to improve the skill levels of the teacher both in terms of basic knowledge of English, Maths and Science as well as their teaching skills.

  4. Computers for the schools have been provided both by Asha and the government. We use these computers to tech the children computer skills as well as deliver general curriculam contents over these.

The project would impact about 1000 children at eight Primary schools and about 100 children in the four Balwadis.

In these institutions the boy:girl ratio is approximately 1:1. We hope to see the following qualitative improvements due to this project,

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.

As the project progresses we hope 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.
May 2017 Project sangamam proposal 2017-18
Apr 2017 Project Hysco Sangamam proposal 2017-18
Apr 2017 Photos from sangamam excursion -2nd batch
Apr 2017 Glovis Sangamam Apr-May 2017 - Monthly report
Mar 2017 Photos from sangamam excursion -1st batch
Feb 2017 Glovis Sangamam Feb-Mar 2017 - Monthly report
Jan 2017 Glovis Sangamam Dec-Jan 2017 - Monthly report
Jan 2017 Photos from distribution of relief materials at Gandhigram
Dec 2016 Photos from Glovis computer donation
Dec 2016 Photos from Teacher training for Third term
Nov 2016 Photo ablum of oral Assessments
Oct 2016 Glovis Sangamam Oct-Nov 2016 - Monthly report
Oct 2016 Photos of Blackboard painting at Sangamam Schools
Oct 2016 Site visit report 2016
Aug 2016 Glovis Sangamam Aug-Sep 2016 - Monthly Report
Aug 2016 Distribution of materials at all the 8 Sangamam schools
Jul 2016 Glovis Sangamam June and July 2016 - Monthly Report
Jul 2016 Glovis-Sangamam MOU signing event photos
Apr 2016 Glovis Sangamam Apr-May 2016 - Monthly report
Apr 2016 Photos from sangamam excursion -2nd batch
Apr 2016 Project sangamam proposal 2016-17
Mar 2016 Glovis Sangamam Mar 2016 - Monthly Report
Mar 2016 Project Sangamam activities in March 2016
Mar 2016 Photos of assessments at Sangamam - 2016
Mar 2016 Photos from sangamam excursion -1st batch
Feb 2016 Photos album of blackboard painting
Feb 2016 Glovis Sangamam Feb 2016 - Monthly report
Feb 2016 Distribution of materials at all the 8 Sangamam schools
Jan 2016 Glovis Sangamam Jan 2016 - Monthly Report
Dec 2015 Glovis Sangamam Dec 2015 - Monthly report
Nov 2015 Glovis Sangamam Nov 2015 - Monthly report
Oct 2015 Glovis Sangamam Oct 2015 - Monthly report
Sep 2015 Photo albums - educational and sports materials distribution
Sep 2015 Glovis Sangamam Sept 2015 - Monthly report
Aug 2015 Glovis Sangamam Aug 2015 - Monthly report
Aug 2015 Photos album of blackboard repainting
Jul 2015 Glovis Sangamam July 2015 - Monthly report
Jun 2015 Glovis Sangamam June 2015 - Monthly report
Jun 2015 Photo album of opening of new libraries
May 2015 Glovis Sangamam May 2015 - Monthly report
Apr 2015 Glovis Sangamam Apr 2015 - Monthly report
Apr 2015 Annual day Celebration Photos
Mar 2015 Glovis Sangamam monthly report Mar 2015
Mar 2015 Proposal for the year 2015-2016
Feb 2015 Glovis Sangamam February 2015 Report
Jan 2015 Glovis Sangamam January 2015 Report
Dec 2014 Photos from Volunteers' (Frankfurt/Delhi) visit
Dec 2014 Sangamam Balwadi distribution December 2014
Dec 2014 Glovis Sangamam December 2014 Report
Nov 2014 Project Sangamam KaniniProposal
Nov 2014 Site visit report November 2014
Nov 2014 Photos of Meena Suresh visit of Sangamam schools
Nov 2014 Glovis Sangamam November 2014 Report
Oct 2014 Glovis Sangamam October 2014 Report
Sep 2014 Glovis Sangamam Sep 2014 Report
Sep 2014 Teacher Report September 2014
Aug 2014 Glovis Sangamam Aug 2014 Report
Aug 2014 Teacher Report August 2014
Jul 2014 Glovis Sangamam July 2014 Report
Jun 2014 Proposal for additional schools 2014-15
Jun 2014 Updated proposal for extra schools_Year 2014-2015
Jun 2014 Glovis Sangamam June 2014 Report
Jun 2014 Project Proposal 2014-2015
Feb 2014 Site visit report February 2014
Nov 2013 Placepalayam toilet construction with photos
Sep 2013 Proposal for Toilets in Placepalayam
Jul 2013 Project Proposal 2013-2014
Jul 2013 Project Proposal 2013-2014
Apr 2013 Thiruvallur site visit report
Mar 2013 Site visit report - Kuppammal Chatiram
Oct 2012 Site visit report 2011-12 tamil
Oct 2012 Site visit Report 2011-12 English Translation
Oct 2012 2012-13 site visit report - Tamil
Oct 2012 2012-13 site visit report - English translation
Jun 2012 Project Proposal 2012-2013
Aug 2011 Site visit by Rajaram
Jun 2011 2010-11 report & 2011-12 proposal
Aug 2010 Site visit by Rajaram
Jul 2010 2009-10 report & 2010-11 proposal
Aug 2009 ASER2008 and Sangamam schools comparison
Jun 2009 Site visit by Sangeeta & Kasturi
May 2009 2009-10 Proposal+Budget
Apr 2009 Pattarai Perambudur Annual Day function - Report by Saravana
Mar 2009 Report for 2008-09
Aug 2008 Govt school report cards for 2007-08
May 2008 2007-08 Report and 2008-09 Proposal
Apr 2008 Site visit by Sachal
Jan 2008 Placepalayam - Proposal
Jan 2008 Site visit by Neelima
May 2007 2006-07 Report and 2007-08 Proposal
Dec 2006 Report
Jun 2006 Proposal for 2006-07
Jun 2006 Report
Dec 2005 Report
Aug 2005 Report(Apr'0 - Aug'05)
May 2005 Proposal for 2005-06
Apr 2005 Press Release
Mar 2005 Report
Feb 2005 Report
Jan 2005 Report
Dec 2004 Report on the progress of this project
Sep 2004 Asha Chennai Proposal