Monday, May 01, 2006

Floating school: Education delivered at home

Tejeswi Pratima
Saturday, March 11, 2006 (Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh):

Educationists in Andhra Pradesh hit upon the idea of a floating school to draw children who would otherwise be helping parents at work.A perennial problem in rural India is of parents refusing to send their children to school. So a team of enterprising educationists in Andhra Pradesh took the school to where the children are. Every morning at nine, a special boat comes to pick up fishermen's children who otherwise remain busy helping their parents. Now they spend the day the boat school near Kakinada, in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district. "I used to go for fishing with my parents. Now I want to study," said Sita, a student.Home deliveryThe fishing community here was reluctant to send their children to school and preferred that they helped them at work. So the administration under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme decided to take the school to the homes."It is not a teaching and learning process. It is to create awareness. The 10-15 days on the boat is to give child friendly activity. "After 15 days, we admit them in residential bridge camps," said DN Murthy, Additional Project Director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.The orientation stint on the boat is for two weeks. Since September 2004, when the project began, 250 children now go to a regular school. Clearly, the boat school has managed to do much more than just stay afloat.

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