We find the right location, secure the right partners, and create a firm timeline to ensure a successful project with maximum results. Our goal is to effectively end illiteracy in Calcutta.
Steps to Success
Choosing the location
We select school locations based on local partnerships, assessments of need, and absence of government aid. We build many of our schools near our rural clinics, in impoverished communities where we have already built relationships.
Finding the right solution
The type of school project we deliver to a community depends largely on its illiteracy and poverty levels. Each student is also individually accessed to determine their learning level and placement.
Securing the right partners
We select partners that are equally determined to make a difference in the lives of the children in India. Many of those partners operate holistic ministries near our schools, and work closely with us to create stronger and more effective education initiatives.
Applying best practices
There are many ways to operate a school in India. Renting a school facility is more cost effective than constructing. We hire teachers based on their resumes, qualifications, and interviews. We employ a local screening committee to identify impoverished children who cannot afford a government education. School commences as soon as we receive sponsorship for each child.
Determining the cost
General costs include rent, staff salaries, and school supplies. Here is a basic breakdown of monthly costs for one K-12 student:
$11 for administration
$6 for utilities
$7 for tuition
$4 for school supplies
$7 for lunches
Following a timeline
It takes approximately 6 months to start a basic school using a rented facility. Constructing a school from the ground up can take up to 1 year.
Working with local authorities
The Indian government is working to eradicate illiteracy through the Right to Education Act, which supports free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India. We do not receive any funding from this Act, but help the poor understand the support it offers.
Sources of funding for our schools largely comes child sponsorships. The average life of a donor to a sponsored child is three years. This increases to six or more years when a church or organization commits to a school project.
Monitoring and evaluating
We conduct evaluations every six months that assess a child’s learning level, health and nutrition, and social skills. This is especially important in our less formal Mercy Schools where children begin at foundational levels, and at varying levels of competency. When students are progressing well at our Mercy Schools, we transfer them into formal government schools where they receive advanced learning in a wider range of subjects.
Developmental milestones, academic progress, sponsorships, and student retention are a few samples measurements that determine the success of a project.