At present, Project EDU is a regional program that focuses on making education a priority for the underprivileged children. We believe that education serves as a catalyst towards leading a better life. By supporting bridge schools we try to ensure that maximum number of children in the region make it to school every year.
Despite the Right to Education Act (2005), thousands of children in India are either unable to go to school or complete their education because of extreme poverty. Since one square meal a day itself is a luxury for such families, education is never a priority for these kids. Hence, instead of going to school, these children take up odd jobs at a very young age.
Project EDU focuses on ensuring basic education to such underprivileged children living in slums and semi-urban areas of Delhi NCR. The project caters to these children by supporting the formal schools run by non-profit organizations. The ultimate aim of Project EDU is to ensure that these children get their basic education and emerge as self-reliant and confident individuals who contribute positively to the society. At present, project EDU touches the lives of more than 800 students.
“Education is the powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” - Late Nelson Mandela.
1. Target Schools - We find schools within Noida that match a select set of criteria and finalize the schools based on the findings of our 'Need assessment' process. The target schools must already have a leadership team in place and a teaching staff on board who are committed to long-term success of the school. We prefer primary or middle schools that have a transparent reporting system and very limited financial support to run their daily operations.
2. Provide Infrastructure - Our primary focus is on providing school supplies such as power backup, blackboards, books, stationery, fans, lights, and furniture. Project EDU also focuses on developing computer labs in schools; which will eventually make way for better teaching and learning experience and also help in enhancement of specialized skill set. Through partnerships with NGOs, we also provide the necessary human capital support to ensure schools have the necessary faculty in place for the program.
3. Quantify Performance - Each school within Project EDU is defined by different goals; however, multiple metrics of success are defined through: student performance, increase in matriculation rate etc. Project EDU itself is rated by the number of overall students within the program that matches the target success rate set forth. Partner schools' performance evaluation and assessment activities are carried out through IFG's volunteering events.
Our Operating Principles
How does IFG Identify Schools?
IFG conducts a preliminary research to identify potential partner schools. Next, the IFG team visits these schools to perform a ‘Need Assessment’ exercise. Based on the outcome of this process, the IFG team finalizes the partner schools. Key elements of our 'Need Assessment' process are listed below.
• Primary or Middle Schools that provide free or low cost education to underprivileged children.
• Run under the guidance of non-profit organizations or charitable trusts.
• Cater to underprivileged students who are first generation learners.
• Have a formal teaching setup and conduct classes on a regular basis.
• Have a transparent reporting system.
• Have very little or no financial support for their infrastructure, staff salary & other basic amenities.
• Have a scope to scale-up and benefit more kids with similar backgrounds.
How IFG Initiates the Partnership?
We follow a three-step approach to initiate partnership with schools that meet our selection criteria.
The IFG Team meets the target schools to discuss the findings of the ‘Need Assessment’ process and prepares a list of their immediate needs that IFG can support.
We also prepare a concrete plan and budget for each target school; sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the target schools and clearly mention the partnership clauses including the purpose of the partnership, expectations from each other, time duration, among others.
How IFG Monitors Target Schools?
After initiating the MoU with the target schools, the IFG team monitors the performance of each school and evaluates the effectiveness of the Project EDU activities. Some of the key elements included in our monitoring and evaluation process are:
• Financial transparency, which is ensured through maintaining bills and vouchers received from the schools against donations made.
• Monthly volunteering events are conducted, where IFG volunteers interact with students and school staff. These events serve as a mechanism to find out information related to the funds utilized by the schools.
• Annual reports are submitted by the schools.
Project EDU Volunteers
At IFG, we believe that our employee volunteers are the backbone of Project EDU. We involve volunteers in Project EDU at various stages including planning, implementation, and performance evaluation of new projects. Our volunteers regularly conduct activities at partner schools and help us in performance evaluation of the schools. The involvement of employees helps create a long-lasting impression on the minds of these first generation learners and they are motivated to come out of poverty through proper education.