Towards a Bright Future
It is widely acknowledged that education has an important role to achieve a greater degree of social justice. There is a need to equip all children to the best of their ability for securing a meaningful place in society and thus fostering a process of developing an egalitarian society.
Education has been a focus areas for CII Foundation with the vision of bringing back children to schools and creating a healthy learning environment for their growth and sustaining their interest in pursuing further education. Interventions have ranged from providing quality elementary and early childhood education, to bridging the digital divide in schools to supporting and creating school infrastructure to enhance and retain enrolment especially in geographically vulnerable areas.
Following the Uttarakhand devastation in 2013, CIIF initiated a number of rehabilitation interventions to improve the lives of people impacted with education as one of the focus areas, CIIF rebuilt eight completely damaged primary and upper primary schools in the Tehri district. With the purpose of creating a robust learning environment, CIIF focused on providing learning aids and tools and training of teachers in the schools.
A similar project is being undertaken by CIIF in Baramulla district of Jammu & Kashmir where in select schools with CIIF is supporting infrastructure, teacher training, scholarships and computer education to students.
With the aim of bridging the digital divide, CIIF is undertaking an e-connect initiative, by introducing laptops to students in rural schools for whom access to such infrastructure and technology has been a challenge. Supported by CISCO Systems (India), the project is reaching out to over 7000 students from 25 schools in villages of Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. Not just limited to computer essentials, the project seeks to introduce children to internet and explore the world.
The Foundation has realised that one of the challenges has been retaining students and reducing dropout rates. One of the most significant factors affecting dropouts is the absence of toilets, especially for girls in schools.
To reduce school dropouts, CIIF launched Mission Sanitation in Schools (SoS) in 2014 to construct, operate and maintain toilets in various Government Schools across the country. While CII facilitated construction of 4193 toilets through corporate engagement. CII Foundation undertook construction of 206 toilet units in Government schools of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Delhi and Maharashtra.
Along with construction and O&M of toilets, CII Foundation also provided WASH training to the students and teachers of intervened.
Apart from elementary education, the Foundation has also been focusing on early childhood care and education. CII Foundation’s, Anganwadi Adoption Programme in Kolkata, aims to create model Anganwadi centres to support early childhood education and provide adequate nutrients to the children.
Targeting the most vulnerable groups within society, belonging to poorest of the poor families and living in disadvantaged areas and urban slums, the Anganwadi Adoption Programme provides direct support in terms of infrastructure, equipment and capacity building to the Anganwadi Centres; ensure early childhood education; reduce morbidity, mortality and malnutrition in children, and of pregnant and nursing mothers.
Presently running in 25 Anagawadis, the program is creating conducive learning environment through infrastructure improvement, pre-school education (PSE) toys, mats, utensils, water dispenser, educational aids, medical kit etc. In addition to nutrition, Anganwadi workers have been trained on early childhood education. Trainings have also been conducted on child psychology, child centered approach, School Readiness Instrument (SRI), use of educational kits and strategy principles and monitoring of development