In Gazna, North 24 Parganas, our local partner Kishalaya Taruntirtha (KTT) is running a private primary school for 200 children between the age of 3 and 10 years. Kishalaya Academy was established in 1996 and is the heart of our local partner organisation.
Until April 2014 Kishalaya Academy were housed in two old dilapidated buildings constructed with bamboo, reed and clay. The buildings were located on borrowed land just beside a mainroad with heavy traffic.
In years KTT has saved money from the students’ tuition fees and by that has been able to buy a piece of land close to the old buildings. Now KTT has started the construction of a new school building.
In 2014 the ground floor of the new school building in bricks was finished, including 4 classrooms and an office. However, the 4 classrooms are not sufficient for the school’s 200 children. At the moment 3 out of 4 classrooms have been divided in two by reed walls. At the same time the school borrows a couple of rooms from KTT to be able to perform the teaching, while the school is being built.
However, the school economy is poor and as a result the building process is only proceeding slowly. The only income is the tuition fees, which are kept on a minimum, because the school’s students are coming from some of the poorest families in the area of Gazna. Thus the organisation has limited funding options to finalise their school development project, without any outside help.
The minimum income and the ongoing school construction leads to low wages for the 15 employed teachers of Kishalaya Academy, whose work partly can be considered voluntary. The teachers are dedicated and passionate to give their students the best education. But the low wages means that it is difficult to attract and retain the best qualified teachers to the school.
In UBU we wish to assist KTT in providing better working conditions for the teachers and to make sure that Kishalaya Academy can provide tuition of high standard for children in Gazna area. We believe that improved facilities and further education of the school staff will ensure a sustainable operation of Kishalaya Academy in future.
The focus in UBU right now is to help getting funds for the completion of the school, as it is a necessity to get the physical framework in place, before focusing on the capacity building of the teachers.