Olcott Education Society - High School Facilities Improvement Project

Project Brief: Olcott Memorial High School (OMHS) is an integral part of the Olcott Education Society (OES) that is a registered Charitable Society run by the Theosophical Society (TS).
Project Type: Formal Schools (description)
Primary Focus: other (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: Irvine
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Murthy S
Project Partner(s): Lakshmi Suryanarayanan
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , No.2 Besant Avenue, Besant Nagar,,Chennai,
TAMIL NADU  600090
Tel: 91-44-24915826
Stewarding Chapter: Irvine
May 2011Work an HourUSD 3975
Dec 2009Work an HourUSD 8000
Nov 2009IrvineUSD 4000
Mar 2008IrvineUSD 3555

Total = $19530

The Kantilal and Taragauri Modi Foundation based in Brea (California) has donated $2,000 to Asha Irvine in 2008 specifically for this project. Asha Irvine supplemented this with additional funds and is supporting the construction of a resource center room. The goal is to improve social and thinking skills in the students. A number of educational games and activities are provided to the primary children. On an average the primary children spend 2 hours a week in the room, learning through playing games facilitated by the Resource teacher and teacher of the class for that particular subject. The teachers get to observe the students’ learning processes and provide caring and one to one intervention for those children who learn slowly differently.

The school has been able to identify children early enough with learning difficulties, emotional disturbances and attention deficit disorders or children with learning difficulties.
Colonel Henry Steele Olcott of the TS started the school in 1894 with the vision of bringing about social change through the education of the underprivileged. The school is located in Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The community that lives in the area comprises of the rich and the very poor. The gap in the social status is extreme.

Most of the students, boys and girls, in the school come from poor and below the poverty line families living in the above area. These children also belong to the socially under privileged sections who are trying to break through the shackles of class discrimination The mission of the school, is to provide a better tomorrow for them by imparting proper education and skills. The students would leave the school with the right values of hard work and ethical practices and skills in at least one income generation activity. The school aims towards the students passing the 10th standard creditably. The school average attendance figure is more than 85% last year in all classes.

The school does not charge any tuition fees or any other fees. No charges are collected for any activity of the school. In addition it provides breakfast (gruel- nutritious porridge), midday meal, uniforms, textbooks and notebooks to all the students totaling 600. The campus is green and spread out with a good play ground area ad joint. Today, the school has 22 class rooms, meeting hall, craft center, Library, Resource Room and Computer room, Audio Visual Room, a language lab, a computer room. All of this has slowly been put together due to the goodwill of philanthropists.

Among the staff of 45 committed teachers, and many are computer literate. All teachers are comfortable with the use of computers. Some of our teachers are creating material for Technology Aided Learning (TAL), involving a few students. The Headmistress of the OMHS has been in the field of education for over 30 years and is committed towards bringing a social change in the lives of the downtrodden families and children through
Education.

For details and pictures please visit:
Lakshmi Suryanarayanan - Head Teacher of the School