Education is at the core of human development and empowerment. This is the most potent weapon to bring transformative changes in the lives of even the last person in the society. But this is only possible if the quality education journey starts early for the children. While India is close to universal enrolment in the age group of 6-14 years of children, various studies show that only approximately 70% of enrolled children attend classes regularly. Another sad state of affairs is high dropouts after primary level of education. In the rural areas the drop-out rate is as high as 60-70%. Additionally, fairly large percentage of boys and girls in the age group of 15-16 years are out-of-school in the rural area. Apart from issues of quality education including teacher-pupil ratio; learning attainments; poor infrastructure; classroom processes have been haunting our primary and secondary education system since long. In order to respond to this situation, the Company has initiated multiple interventions in thematic area of Primary and Secondary education around its plant locations.
Project Aaarambh is a unique project that focus on identification, remedial support and mainstreaming of out -of-school; never-been-to-school and drop-out children among the tribal; scheduled caste and low-income communities. Since its inception this project has enrolled number of children into various government schools. The drop-outs are either mainstreamed with schools or linked to NIOS for passing secondary level.
Around 23% of adolescent girls in the age-group 12-18 drop out of school after they begin menstruating because of inadequate menstrual protection like sanitary napkins; those who are in school absent themselves for an average of five days a month. Considering this issue CSR unit has taken initiatives and have installed sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerator in in girls’ toilets at various schools around some of the plant locations. The company also set up women managed low -cost-sanitary napkin units and undertakes activities for awareness creation.
Adult Literacy:- High level of adult illiteracy particularly in the marginalized communities have also linkages with educational attainment of their children. Company has undertaken structured “Adult Literacy” classes for women around its plant locations. Till date more than 8000 women have been made functionally literate. About 80% of them have been women from tribal and scheduled castes communities.
Supporting Differently Abled Children :- Another key area of neglect is the education of special children. Children with special needs are completely neglected and their families struggle with finding necessary support they need. JK LAKSHMI CEMENT Jhajjar CSR unit is supporting “Savera School” for empowering Mentally Retarded (MR) children through multiple interventions so that they shall attain skills to manage their daily lives. The school is being run and managed by District Child Welfare Office (DCWO), Jhajjar, Haryana.
Poor infrastructure of government schools affects the learning attainments of the children. The Company has supported number of government schools with libraries; renovation of buildings; construction of toilets and classrooms; provision of additional teachers support, etc.
The company has supported installation of software based “E- Learning Classes” at government schools to improve learning of students around it plant locations.
The company has also adopted ITI Sirohi in Rajasthan and have supported them for improvement of facilities and placement.