Chennai: To help deserving underprivileged school children achieve academic excellence, Mahavidhyasala’s KALVI, an NGO based in Mylapore is offering free after-school coaching to boys and girls studying in schools in city.
KALVI which is an acronym for Knowledge and Literacy through Volunteering Initiatives was the brainchild of S Balasubramanian, alumni of PS High School, who is currently residing in Singapore. With a vision to provide supplementary education to students of low-income households, KALVI collaborated with Mahavidhyasala’s Gurukripaa, an institution in the field of education for more than ten years and started the free tuition centre which is currently functioning from two centres – PS High School for Boys and Children Garden School, RK Salai for girls in which teachers are appointed specially to teach the students.
Speaking about the initiative, Rama Srinivas, who is currently taking care of the operations, says, “I run an academic tuition centre in Chennai for the last 10 years and I thought that I need to do something more towards the society and through a friend I got to know about KALVI started by Balasubramanian. He wanted some people with the right intention to take care of its execution. So since I was thinking on similar lines, the click happened at the right moment and I started taking care of the execution of the initiative.”
The first centre of Kalvi was started in PS High School, Mylapore on 15 August 2018 for the boys of sixth and seventh standard and later by January 2019, it was started for girls in Children Garden School, RK Salai where classes are conducted for the students regularly after school hours.
“For many children, whatever they learn in schools is not enough as many never read after reaching homes. That was the main idea behind starting KALVI and it was started in these two schools as they have given us permission to allow even other school students to study in the tuition conducted at their campus. Anybody willing to get assistance for their child in education can send them to these schools for free tuition. Currently, students till eight standard are studying here and we will take these classes for tenth standard students as well in the coming years,” added Rama.
Speaking about how teachers are appointed for this initiative, she says, “Being an educator myself I know what is the need of a child and how we can simplify things for them in terms of making learning easy for them. So we prefer people who may even be housewives but they should have teaching experience or at least should have taught their child until 10th standard. Having a service-oriented mind is a plus. We select them on these qualities and then every month they will be given a training. All these children just need a teacher who can create that interest to learn and build in them the trust and belief that they can do well in academics. Currently, we have the best set of eight teachers who are doing a great job.”
On the difference this after-school tuition gives to a student compared to that of school, she says, “Like schools, we also teach in a traditional way but with less number of students here, it is easy for them to be attentive and focused than in school. We simplify the reading format for the students by teaching them a difficult part in a subject, listing down the key points and telling them what they need to focus mainly. We also separate students based on how they learn. General feedback from the students is, they understand the subjects better here due to the individual attention they get.”
Asked whether KALVI is planning to establish its other centres in different schools, Rama says, “We would first want underprivileged students from other schools to come to these centres and then we will provide what is required for them. Since we have started two centres we want to first grow these centres. However, we are open to stretching it to other schools as well in future based on the increase in the number of students.”
Speaking about the future course, she says, “We want to create more awareness to the parents of the children who are really coming from an underprivileged background, the importance of this free tuition initiative. We are also planning to teach the students important soft skills like team building, leadership, communication and the basic skills that they require in life,” she concluded.