Education is a topic that is very dear to me. I have always wanted to do something in this area. Something Big! Don’t know when I will be able to do that but till then I will continue to dream of that. In the meantime I have come accross this organization called Schools For India. They seem to have taken the first step in that direction.
The objectives of the trust are admirable. I always thought that something like this will be needed to bring rural India in the mainstream.
To design, construct, establish, run and maintain educational schools in various
districts in India.
To apply the Trust Fund or any part thereof for the general purposes of
designing, constructing, establishing, running and maintaining of schools and in
payment of all rents, rates, taxes, cost of insurance, repairs and other
outgoings payable from time to time in respect of the schools or any property
on which schools are constructed.
They have plans to setup schools in all parts of rural India. And they have big plans.
6000 schools across the country have been planned. Each of the schools will
have the capacity to teach 945 students, including up to 15 special children from
Primary to secondary school.
This is an amazing effort and I think it has huge potential. If done right they can achieve the objective of opening 6000 schools by 2020. It is a huge task and in that they will need every help they can get. They are doing some right things like roping in the corporations to sponsor one or more cluster for a period of 15 years. This willgive a chance to the corporations to discharge their corporate responsibilities to some extent. A similar model will be followed for celebrities.
In addition to this I think they would do good to focus on the revenue model of the schools. The schools should not be run entirely on donations. Donations should be used for the initial setup of school infrastructure and to get it off the ground but the daily maintenance and running of the school should come from a continuing source. In this case it will be fees. It is a very important point to consider.
Another thing that I think they can do is open one good school in urban area where they can get more success and use the profit from there to run a couple of schools in the rural areas. If they see success here then the model can be repeated. It is important to have a revenue source for plans like these to succeed and depending solely on charity can prove detrimental.
On the whole it is a very commendable effort and I wish them well. I, for one, definitely want them to succeed.
cross posted here