Don Bosco Anbu Illam wants to bring about a change through its continuous education programme that provides free coaching for children who failed in their Class IX or X exams

It took a lot of coaxing to make Ramesh reattempt his Class X examinations. He dropped out of school since he failed in Science and Mathematics. But he passed the subjects the same year, thanks to Don Bosco Anbu Illam. Ramesh now pursues a diploma course in civil engineering. Both his parents are daily-wage labourers. Ramesh’s education could change his life and that of his family.

It is this kind of a change that Don Bosco Anbu Illam wants to bring about through its continuous education programme that provides free coaching for children who failed in their Class IX or X exams.

Apart from coaching by a trained educator, Don Bosco also sees to it that the students sit for the supplementary exams conducted by the Government the same year. The programme is aimed at children from less-privileged backgrounds. According to P. Thangadhurai, Program Coordinator, 103 children were provided free coaching last year. The children are identified through field work by a dedicated team. The team travels to the various slums in the city to spot school drop-outs.

“It all comes down to poverty,” begins Mr. Thangadhurai. “Because of it, children do not have a conducive environment to study at home. Their parents, most of them uneducated themselves, lack awareness about the importance of education. So, when they come back home after a hard day’s labour, they neither have the energy nor the time to guide and encourage their child to study.”

The child loses interest in studies and eventually drops out of school. Or worse, is sent for work to support the family.

“Which is why we find it hard to convince the child to study,” says Mr. Thangadhurai. Then, there are problems due to alcoholism. An alcoholic parent could make life hell for a child, he adds.

“It takes a lot of motivating to get a school dropout to get back to school,” says Mr. Thangadhurai. “Once we identify a child, we talk to his/her parents and explain the importance of sending their child to school. We then approach the child. We first talk to him, give him something to eat, indulge in some playful banter and then gradually make him understand what education can do to him.”

At Don Bosco Continuous Education Centre, children are given a comprehensive training by A. Rexline, the instructor. “Classes are conducted from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. every day,” explains Mr. Thangadhurai. Students are given model exams, and are mentally prepared to face the exams. “We also assist them in availing of the welfare schemes provided by the Government, such as those provided to the unorganised sector.”

With help from donors, Don Bosco provides guidance for higher studies as well. Fashion designing, industrial training… some of their students have taken up courses they had only dreamt of.

If you want to chip in, call 91710-01678 or 98654-62261. Don Bosco Anbu Illam is located at No 38, G.M. Nagar, Ukkadam.


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