A very concerned headmistress, Mrs. Ambika, dismayed at the miserable passing rate of her students provided the primary reason for TNF starting a customized coaching program for the tenth grade students at Elathur government high school in Vellor District, an Adhi Dravida school functioning under Adhi Dravida welfare department. In the year 2006-2007, the passing rate was 28%.
Four months of customized coaching was given in all subjects. Food was provided for the students as the coaching sessions went into late evening. The results were phenomenal. The passing rate jumped to 82% in 2008 compared to 28% in 2007. During the school term 2008-2009 there was an opportunity for failed 10th grade students to reappear for the examination. TNF, with the help of Mrs. Ambika, recruited field staff to bring back the failed students. Almost all the students were working as laborers. A few of the girls were engaged to be married. Some were just idling, but all of them were interested in completing 10th grade standard. However, prior to TNF’s involvement, no one in the village had the capacity to motivate them.
TNF gave additional coaching to all the 75 failed students and enabled them to take the board examination. The passing rate for this group was 85%. All of the passed students continued their school education.
In 2009, Mrs. Ambika was transferred and the new administrative staff was not keen on continuing the program. In 2009 the passing rate dropped down to 35%! Mrs. Ambika, alarmed at the number, was able to get Elathur High School back into the program and in 2010; the 10th grade passing rate was 100% for the first time. Thanks to Ms. Kavitha, treasurer of the TNF Foundation, who took the initiative and followed through for successful completion of the program.
Kattupakkam Government High School is the only school for five villages. 242 students are enrolled for grades 6 through 10. TNF, at the request of Kattupakkam village people and school administration, started a similar coaching program. The passing rate for both 2012 and 2013 academic years at Kattupakkam was 100%. The Elathur and Kattupakkam programs were funded by Mrs. Kavitha and Mr. Thukkaram.
Starting in 2013, Elathur and Kattupakkam have become part of second cluster in Vellore District for ABC Project and are now funded by Houston Convention funds and the TNF Chennai chapter.