Educating poorest of the poor
TNF’s ABC education initiative was first piloted in Sivaganga district in 2011 with funds generated from the TNF National Convention held in Philadelphia in 2010. TNF USA Director Dr. Somalay Somasundaram and Chennai Executive Director Mrs. Manmathai Devi extensively toured the schools in Sivaganga district and with input from students, parents, teachers and district school officials developed the ABC concept.
The initial focus of the project was to enable grade level proficiency for underprivileged rural students who otherwise will become school dropouts. Based on the positive feedback on the pilot, ABC project’s scope was expanded to benefit all students, ranging from academically challenged to highly ambitious, in TNF adopted schools. As of 2017, ABC projects are operational in 50 government or government aided schools across 10 districts in Tamil Nadu and has enriched more than 50,000 students.
The 3 core components of the ABC initiative are:
- A – Achieving grade level proficiency
- B – Boosting the morale
- C – Championing for higher aspirations
TNF launched the ABC project in eight schools in Sivaganga district. The project has transformed the schools, and the students, for better, in many ways.
Dr. Somasundaram, director of TNF along with Chennai executive director Mrs. ManmathaDevi, visited Kalanjiam project and reviewed the methodology and visited many schools in Sivaganga district. They had extensive discussions with education officials and community leaders in Sivaganga area, TNF Chennai chapter. They also reviewed the special coaching sessions conducted at Elathur and Kattupakkam schools. With input from TNF board USA, Dr.Somasundaram came up with a winner, the ABC Project. Results show that students who are part of the ABC Project have become academically competent and on par with fellow classmates. Armed with this good information, TNF has launched a second cluster in Vellore, North Arcot district in five schools. The third cluster is slated for Cuddalore.
- Focus is on educating the poorest of the poor
- Government schools are our priority
- > 10 Million children go to 36,000 government schools across 30,000 villages in Tamil Nadu
- Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Tamil Nadu to work inside the government schools
- Goal is to enrich and empower underprivileged students by providing resources, programs, and tools currently not provided by the government
- Objective is to build a unique, sustainable and cost effective statewide initiative that can be replicated in all 32 districts
- Focus is on the entire student population, ranging from academically challenged to highly ambitious students