Karnataka has over 50,000 schools of which 22342 are Government lower primary schools and 26,374 are Government Higher Primary Schools. Government Schools cater to 92% of the school-going child population, who are largely children from families living in deprived circumstances. In Bangalore alone 35000 children were living in the streets in the late 1980s and the number has risen to 60000. Though there is good percentage of literacy rate yet, the dropout rate is also matter for concern. A major cause of poverty among rural people in India is lack of access to schools and quality education. High levels of illiteracy, inadequate health care and extremely limited access to social services are common among poor rural people.
Banyan Community School has been a bench mark program of Lovedale foundation.
Lovedale’s Banyan Community School was conceived with the idea to promote integrated development of children in need and distress by increasing their opportunities for quality education and Offering supportive services at community level to ensure over-all growth of target children. Banyan Community School has been a bench mark project of Lovedale foundation. Situated at Anagalpura, is a small village surrounded by quarries,16 km down the city central of Bangalore. The school caters the holistic needs of 350 children from nearby impoverished quarry workers families and orphanages.
Low wages of parents (a monthly average of 1000 per family) incidence of child labour, bonded labour, alcoholism, labour oriented migration, poor accessibility to health and educational institutions, absence proper housing, clean water, other basic facilities etc are the characteristic features of the community to which these children belong. Many children of quarry workers are born at and grow up around quarrying sites. These children get used to helping their parents with quarrying activities. They tend to naturally develop a disinterest in studying even if educational opportunities are present. There are hardly any decent studies on the health of children of quarry workers. Indeed it is practically impossible to get any reliable statistics on their numbers, prevalence, whereabouts, etc. It’s hard enough to get state government facts about the population. They are not a significant vote bank because of their undocumented status. The kids are totally ignored in the government statistics.” Children working in quarries are even less significant than cattle or tools.
The Beneficiaries are from 20 backward quarry villages of Bangalore rural district, they are as follows;
We Nurture, We Believe in every Child’s potential
The educational programme at LOVEDALE endeavours to create an environment that nurtures this capacity for inquiry. Over the years in school, the student is encouraged to explore areas of interest, academic or otherwise, and attain the competence that she is capable of. This process does not rely on competition and comparison. Dialogue is a central feature of the life in the school. The student is encouraged to question issues in the classroom and in the larger domain of the relationships at home and school.
The school tries to help the student discover interests and vocations that are not merely the reflection of current values and trends in society. This demands that teachers and parents do not succumb to anxiety about the future, and instead look at creative livelihood options.
Parents, right from the start, are invited to take an active part in this learning and the dialogues that are part of it. The potential of this learning can only be realized if parents, teachers and students are deeply engaged in it.
At the core of the Lovedale Model is the delivery of top-class education so that the children can have equal access to the best opportunities. There are several hurdles to making this happen. These children come from backgrounds where most of their families have not been through school. They come from households and communities that are full of limitations of the possibilities of living a dignified life. Add to that English is non-existent as a language of communication in the communities, making it a difficult task for children to learn and acquire proficiency in it. We have focused on different strategies.
We believe that for change to happen it is necessary to touch the life of a child in its entirety. Therefore, our development program consists of not just education but includes healthcare, nutrition, community involvement and career counseling. We are committed to offering the highest quality of care within these areas.