We invest in the lives of children from desperate situations, developing leaders to love and serve India.
In light of this vision, Child of Mine wants to ensure each child has the opportunity to participate in post secondary education. Upon completion of their program the child is able to enter life beyond the home with a higher education. This opens the door to finding a career that will help to set them up for a successful life; one without the poverty they once knew.
The students begin their post secondary journey in grades eleven and twelve by participating in career counselling. A counsellor travels to the homes to work with the children and staff to facilitate and guide the students. The counsellor shares the different programs available to take and helps to direct them in choosing a program based on their passion, interests and potential. To help with this process aptitude tests are taken and a self-evaluation is conducted to give a better sense on what would be the best choice. It is emphasized to the students that they need to have a plan, be focused, to work hard and to know that a career is by choice not by chance.
Before Child of Mine, post secondary students were partially funded for their programs and had to raise their own funding to make up the difference. In a developing country such as India, raising funds is a challenging feat. With Child of Mine funding post secondary education the pressure is taken off the Directors of the Homes and the students themselves and they are free to focus on their studies.
Secondary education begins in grade 9 and lasts until grade 12. Grades 9 and 10 are referred to as General/Lower Secondary School and Grades 11 and 12 are referred to as Upper/Senior Secondary School. When students have reached Upper Secondary school they are to choose a stream or a concentration of study, science, commerce and arts/humanities. Determining which stream to choose is based on their grade 10 exam percentage. The students have to carefully consider what they want to study after grade 12 because it will affect their career. If they choose the wrong stream, they will not be able to pursue the program they want to take. Also, each school has a percentage requirement for admission. This is another factor of whether or not they can enrol in that stream. The students really need to focus on their studies to get a high percentage in the exams.
If you have ever had the chance to visit one of the homes you will notice that by a certain time of day, about 6pm, the students have disappeared. What you will have learned is that the evening time is for studies. The students know how important their studies are and what it means for their chances of post secondary education. Studying is a part of the daily rhythm that starts early on in elementary school. It isn’t taken lightly.
Enrolling in a stream mainly depends on the performance of the student in the previous exam, their interests, the availability of the stream in a particular school and the availability of seats in those streams in the school. The science stream has more options after grade 12 allowing students the opportunity to change their subjects after grade 12 without having to repeat grade 11 and 12 classes. The commerce and humanities streams have fewer options.
High School in India is until grade 10. Secondary education is grades 11 and 12. (This called plus one and plus two.) This is where the students choose their stream; science, commerce and humanities/arts. College and University is typically 3 years of duration which can be followed by two years of post graduation studies or a one year certificate program. Students need to take an entrance test; if they pass they need to go through an interview process by the School for them to be selected for admission. They also have to be fluent in English.
Child of Mine is helping to support these students on their journey through the education system in India. Without the funding that is raised through the generous giving of our monthly sponsors and one-time donations these students wouldn’t get this opportunity to receive an education that sees them through from elementary school all the way through post secondary education.
While a higher number of children in this country of 1.3 billion people attend elementary school the numbers decrease as the education level rises to the point where 40% of students attend grades 9-12, and a mere 10% of students attend post secondary education. A struggle within the education system is the absence of teachers showing up for work every day, schools that have no drinking water, no toilets and in some cases not even any walls. All of these are factors that contribute to the challenge of the education system and students getting the education they need.
With your support the students from the homes are receiving an education within well run schools that are able to offer drinking water, a bathroom and teachers who show up, are well educated and truly care. Their education isn’t interrupted with factors that we could not even begin to understand. Their education gives them qualifications for a variety of job opportunities such as administration, banks, and the police. We have students who right now are studying medicine, nursing, law, architecture, education, accounting, business, theology. This education allows them to stand on their own two feet to support themselves but also their families. An education gives them respect in their society. Most importantly it allows them to serve society and to help others.
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do so the children of the homes continue to receive the education they so deserve and work hard to achieve.