Bal VIkas Montessori School

Project Abrazos : Reforming the Reforms | Bal Vikas Montessori School

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Bal Vikas Montessori School


Child labour is not just an affront to the rights of a child but also a symbol of a society that has lost its way. We should, therefore, all strive to ensure that the fundamental rights of children are protected and that they are accorded the opportunity to go after their dreams and aspirations.

The future is much brighter when the younger generation has a good foundation for success. The innocence of a child should never be taken away for the purpose of making the lives of adults easier. It is both unfair and morally unacceptable.

Bal Vikas Montessori is the only private community school in Telibagh, Lucknow providing education to over 300 underprivileged children. School fees are voluntary.The school’s source of finances are monthly donations, and often the teaching staff has to pool resources from friends and family. The school cannot afford basic facilities such as proper sanitation, a computer lab, and the library has only 20 books.

The decrepit classrooms do not have even adequate lighting and are in need of repairs.There is no permanent teaching staff due to lack of finances. Many students drop out every year. Bal Vikas Montessori is close to shutting down. If the school shuts down, 300 children will be exposed to social evils.

They would be forced into child labour, to work in hazardous environments under inhumane conditions, and in some cases into illegal activities like prostitution and drug trafficking.

Abrazos is a vibrant project stratagem established under THE MASLOW INITIATIVE. The project aims to mould the school as an all-around academic institution promoting an overall development of the children. The program isn’t just confined to the educational purposes, but to construct the school as a self-sustained entity and provide education to future generations.

Over the next one year, we aim to implement all the of planned infrastructural developments to cater to the basic needs of the children; adequate sanitation facilities, a library with over 1000 books and a computer lab with a minimum of 2 computers. We also aim to reduce the current dropout rate to as low as possible and aim to grow the number of students from 300 to 500.

Our organisation, the Maslow Initiative Foundation, aims to develop a model of school adoption where we adopt one school at a time and help build the capacity and infrastructure of that particular school. We do this by raising a substantial amount of funding through our partners and crowdfunding platforms.
The raised amount then gets distributed to set up a corpus fund in the name of the school to help finance its teacher retention cost and basic maintenance of the building.
Then, with the rest of the amount, a library is set up for the students with 3:1 ratio of book to children.

Lastly, our foundation helps establish a volunteer program for the school to make the process more sustainable, we do this by connecting them to various volunteer organisations worldwide hence providing these schools with a good professional volunteer-base to help with professional teacher training and other daily activities at the school.

This is only possible though through the generous funding we can receive from the sensitized mass of humans like you.

We hope that you will be able to join us in funding the development of our much-needed community-based school.

Any support will be highly appreciated by us and the kids that we provide a service to. The aura demands to reform the reforms. The existence needs to be celebrated upon. I see the new dawn in their eyes. A dawn to rise from shadows of inhumane dungeons, a dawn to commemorate those reforms!


Education is the passport to the future : Project Abrazos

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“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
-Malcolm X

An apt statement synonymous with the definition of education, ultimately defining the purpose of education and imparting a meaning.

A few weeks ago, we visited a city, 600 kilometres from our office, a school we adopted under Project Abrazos. The objective of our first visit was to build a school library, for the use of both students and the community.

The intended-to-be-small visit became a field trip. The enthusiastic children were jovial and a delight to interact with. The teachers and students interacted with our team. The students with a will to learn, and the teachers, a drive to teach, yet, the woes they talked of, couldn’t be fixed with merely a drive and a will.

Education isn’t a language, nor it is the philosophies of sciences and mathematics.

Education could very well be Moonlight Sonata or a lesson in skinning deers.

Before the introduction of a proper, formal system of education, knowledge was preserved in the form of stories and skills, arts and crafts, imitation and application. This knowledge was passed down to the generations, each generation adding their own to the already existing skill, perfecting it, and honing it, one at a time.

This knowledge proved to be our survival.

Knowledge began to take turns when men began to think. Philosophy as a whole became a subject. People began to question. The silence was replaced by an audience cheering with ‘Why?’ and ‘What?’. One such philosopher, Plato of Greece, founded an Academy in Athens. This institution is regarded as the first of higher learning institutes.

Knowledge has evolved, from time to time. The purpose of education has changed, from survival to innovation and inventions.

Yet, the generation now strays away from the purpose.

Knowledge nowadays is merely theoretical, taught like a formality, with no applications.

What if our ancestors were taught hunting, not along with axe and arrows, but solely through stories and pictures?

We wouldn’t have made this far, had it not been for their own improvements each generation, and their diligent practice of the craft.

The purpose of knowledge accumulated throughout thousands of years, we have forgotten.

The method of imparting knowledge has not changed, despite the vast syllabi, our system continues to hold onto the orthodox methodology.

Some children, if not all, do not find anything enthusiastic, yet they continue to churn the words to make sense and fail miserably.

The education system has a grip on the children, relieving them of their freedom. It is slow, yes, but steady. The system focuses more on the children become followers of the system rather than leaders.

Some countries, have fought back on this monotony.

Finland, lets the students decide when they wish to study. Every child starts their schooling when they reach the age of 7. The first few years of their schooling, they focus on learning for the sake of it, rather than the sake of passing an examination. The only mandatory exam for them is when they reach the age of 16. The country spends 30% less than US on its education yet produces brilliant mathematicians.

UK and Canada, to tackle the absenteeism of students, allowed the students to sleep in during their class. This increased the students’ alertness and they could concentrate better during their classes. A rather simple and intuitive method.

In fact, there are several countries like Sweden and Denmark which pay students to attend school.

An honest opinion, I believe offering monetary reward is not a valid solution, but students do attend classes regularly in such countries.

The point here is, they offer an incentive to students to attend the institutes. The students find benefit in the task they do.

“What is a point of Trigonometry?” inquires one student.

“This question is important for the exam.” the teacher replies.

The teacher failed to answer the student’s question. His drive to learn is replaced by a chase for marks.

Our education system rewards the orthodox than the innovative, and this causes a decrease in children’s creativity.

Israel rewards innovation. The country has been one of the most innovative countries. The entrepreneurs thank their education system.

Where does The Maslow Initiative stand among all these?

The Maslow Initiative wishes to change this.

Our programmes involve providing training to teachers and students alike, to make them future-proof, and putting the knowledge to use. Our schemes are inspired by other countries and through our own experimentation.

At Maslow Initiative, we believe knowledge is never redundant.