Free Second Chance Education
SISP believes that a quality education is a key ingredient to improve the life opportunities for our children. Although education is normally 'free' and accessible to all children in India, many youth lack the required financial resources or have difficulties attending a government school. This make acquiring a quality education impossible. SISP strives to remedy this situation by offering a completely free education. The majority of SISP students are dropouts. To convince the very poorest parents to send their children to school instead of working, families are paid a modest school allowance as a replacement income. SISP’s Free Second Chance Education curriculum is structured in such a way to assistant our students in passing the state board examinations necessary to successfully enter into fourth, seventh, and tenth classes, respective to their age, in a standard government school.
When a child drops out of the education system they will rapidly fall behind. We provide a safe space learning environment which recognizes the children’s very real problems growing up in abject poverty. Our second chance education curriculum aims to strengthen our students’ academic and self-confidence so that these children can return to mainstream school after their time at SISP. When motivated students have reached an adequate level of education as assessed by our teachers and staff, these students can take the exam for re-admission to a state school. If they pass, SISP continues to pay replacement income, school costs, and transportation to and from school for the child.
Our students follow both traditional subjects (English, Mathematics, Malayalam, Hindi, History, etc.) as well as creative learning courses in arts, sports, games and dance. We provide three nutritious meals and tea throughout the school day. When the school day ends, we provide tuition for past SISP students who are now enrolled in government schools to assist with homework assignments or school-related tasks.
In 2003, SISP started a pathway program for our oldest students whereby the students study offer in the mornings and work for a modest allowance in our craft workshops in the afternoons. SISP runs a small school clinic where students receive medical treatment for small cuts and illnesses. We are fortunate enough to receive clothes as donations from time to time from our supporters abroad and locally. At the end of the year, if we have the resources, we try to buy footwear or clothing items as presents.
SISP is one of the few mixed schools in the area. Our staff comprise one head teacher (Ms. Kumari), six teachers for the traditional subjects, one professional creative arts teacher, and one professional dancer teacher (all Indians).