In 2019, through various fundraising activities, including an East meets West evening with bi-cultural food, music and dancing, and a sponsored ‘Loop the Loop’ in a glider, Rotary MK began a project to support education in India. A generous grant was awarded from Rotary Foundation, allowing a three-year, £28,000 project to begin, taking education to new heights and building a happy school; one where children are eager to learn.
History of the Project
In 2018 two members of Rotary MK who had originated from Bihar State, NE India, visited their families back home. They had been asked to keep an eye out for a potential project with which our club could get involved.
Jinpura Primary school was identified as a suitable first step into an international project:
Photos were taken and Rotary MK informed of the despair and low morale at the school.
Children sat on the floor with no books or stimulation. No running water and one building in a dangerous state of disrepair.
Attendance was down to 35% leading to a cut in school budget, fewer teachers and mixed age classes.
Patna Rotary club, 20 miles from Jinpura Primary school, agreed to partner with us and they held a meeting with local dignitaries, the headteacher and Jinpura staff to evaluate the need for the school to be refurbished.
It was agreed that the morale would improve if the learning was enhanced and the environment was improved.
Reassurance was given that once the project was finished, morale would have lifted, the attendance rate improved, and, with a resultant rise in school budget, the project would be fully sustainable.
A grant application was made to Rotary Foundation detailing the work, the hardware that would be given and the teacher training undertaken.
The derelict building would be repaired and the whole school painted. Desks and benches for all the students would be built locally, the water pump replaced and running water reinstated with new toilets and a hand washing station built. Books, computers and science equipment would be given, and the teachers trained in interactive learning and IT.
The £28,000 project was approved by Rotary Foundation and a generous grant given.
Work began in November 2019 with the traditional breaking of a coconut to bring good luck.
And Now … From this to this
Despite the pandemic closing the school for much of 2020/21 refurbishment continued. When the school reopened, many children remained working on their family farms but many more reengaged with learning in their New, Happy School.
2019. Distracted and demotivated children sat on the floor with no books or pens.
2022. Packed classrooms with motivated and engaged children all seated at desks with books and pens, cooled with ceiling fans.
2019. One water pump served the whole school.
2022. Toilets refurbished and tiled with new hand washing station outside.
2019. Lorries had churned up the ground around the school
2022. All the outside areas repaved.
Computer skills, alongside basic English, is taught by volunteers from Being Helper charity, three times a week.
2021. Children taught in a large group
Early 2022. Small groups get hands–on opportunity with the teacher.
Mid 2022. Groups work independently.
Computer work became so popular that in Summer 2022 many children asked if they could continue through their Summer Holidays. The volunteer teachers were happy to oblige.