Brickwork Foundation, Bangalore is on a mission to adopt and transform government schools in Bhatkal taluka in Karnataka. The non-profit foundation began its work in 2016, by adopting Salemane Govt. higher primary school in Shirali, by tirelessly remodelling the school’s infrastructure and education delivery over the span of three years.
On 30th May, 2019, the school inaugurated its first modern computer lab, an equipped Science and Math Lab as well as a library, well-stocked with Kannada and English literature. The programme was chaired by Sri Venkatesh N Naik – President, Gram Panchayat, Shirali, attended by guests Smt. Malathi Devadika – Member, Taluk Panchayat, Sri. M. R. Munji – BEO Bhatkala Taluka, Smt. Sangeeta Kulkarni, President Brickwork Foundation, Gram Panchayat Members, educationalists and industrialists.
Sangeeta Kulkarni, President of Brickwork Foundation, firmly believes that public-private partnership is essential to improve the quality of government schools and change the perception that only private schools can give good education. This will arrest the declining enrolment in govt schools and give the masses the free and quality education they deserve.
“While the government promotes RTE, we believe in working towards RTQE (Right to Quality Education) for poor students. Only then can we create an army of future thinkers who will contribute towards Nation-building,” she says.
Children should be happy and proud to come to school every morning, so the environment has to be just right. Brickwork strategy started with the launching of “Swachha Shale Abhiyan” campaign, which entailed a deep cleaning of the school’s clutter – including old furniture, unneeded papers and broken equipment. With the help of the entire school staff, renovated toilets were installed, fresh coats of paint were applied, new furniture was introduced and plants were planted across the school’s compound to give the school a complete makeover.
The next focus was practical, hands-on learning combined with holistic education. A math and science lab, a computer lab, a well-stocked library and extracurricular programs for yoga, sports and games, personality development and art were introduced.
All these activities and programs have created a demand for Salemane students in nearby high schools. Mr. Ajayan, Programme Manager at Brickwork Foundation says, “Working on the whole school transformation has been the most satisfying experience for me.”
Brickwork Foundation has now started a similar exercise with Janata Vidyalaya, a government aided high school (8th to 10th standard) and wants to gradually adopt more schools in the area. This year, it will also start rainwater harvesting in the schools, as this area faces water scarcity during summer.