Closing Ceremony- Residential Learning Camp

Seva Mandir runs Residential Learning Camps to give out-of-school children and drop-outs basic literacy and math skills. After 3 camp sessions of 60 days each, the average camp graduate qualifies for entrance into Class 5 in government schools. To take a child with zero educational attainment to Class 5 costs just Rs. 34,500 ($600). Over the past 12 years, Seva Mandir has run 35 camps enrolling an average of 575 children every year.

The highlight is the closing ceremony of the camp which is organised at Kaya Training Centre. This camp was from 7th November to 31st December. 196 children from all the blocks attended this camp. Before the main function, teachers of the camp organized a ‘Baal Mela’ with various exciting game stalls.

 

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Nimit Chawat, who supports learning camps, was the chief guest of the program. He works in IBM, Norway.

Every year children and teachers try to make the closing ceremony better and enjoyable through a variety of performances including dance and drama. Students looked adorable in colourful dresses and make-up.

 

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While the Learning Camps focus on an academic core curriculum, they take a holistic approach to children’s development. Children receive health checkups from Seva Mandir health staff, and are taught basic hygiene (e.g. washing hands before meals). Activities and games impart invaluable non-cognitive skills, such as discipline, teamwork and leadership. At the end of camp, students prepare and perform a cultural show for parents and the community.

Participation certificates were distributed to all the students and teachers.

 

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Perhaps the most transformational outcome of camp is that it arouses both the child’s and the parents’ interest in further study. About 70% of children enroll in schools after camp. The next camp is from 13th January to 13th March.

 

SCHOLARSHIPS

Seva Mandir awards selected graduates of our Learning Camps a scholarship equivalent to their earning power as migrant laborers (Rs. 3,000, or $52, per month). The results are impressive: during the 2010-2013 pilot, 81% of scholarship students stayed in school. A rigorous, randomized monitoring system ensured scholarship installments were conditional upon attendance. We provided scholarships to around 157 students in 2013.

Seva Mandir now plans to concentrate more resources on the scholarship students in an effort to raise levels of achievement and support them through Class 10, a critical benchmark for employ-ability.

View our Photo Essay- here.