Our Snehalaya English Medium School was originally established in 2010 to provide education to the children living in our shelter home. Many of its original students were children of sex workers and/or living with HIV/AIDS. At the time, schools in our city refused them admission. Since 2015, our school has been welcoming students from our neighbouring communities providing affordable, quality education to lower-income families.
In this time, admissions from outside our childcare institution have risen to 80% of our total student population. Considering the discrimination one-third of Indians still have against people living with HIV/AIDS, and we are proud of our students and their parents who see beyond our children’s statuses and backgrounds, studying alongside each other in our 12 levels of classes.
We believe parents are partners in their child’s education and communicate with them daily on their child’s progress face-to-face when dropping and collecting them from school and via Whatsapp. To complement this, our first parents-teachers meeting was held on 15 July. Nearly 170 parents attended to learn more from our school principal about our annual academic plans, school rules and fees, bus and homework schedules. Our Principal then introduced all of our teachers and school staff describing their roles, rules for our students and the responsibilities of parents.
Our Vice Principal gave further information about our school committees, announcing the new parents and teachers committee and inviting more parents to participate in our other committees. We hope to engage with more parents to enhance academic and extracurricular opportunities for all of our students and strengthen their communities as part of our community engagement strategy.
The parents were then given a full tour of the school and facilities before meeting with their children’s class teachers to review their individual development plans this year.
Integrating children and making their parents and communities active participants in helping our school in tackling discrimination and its development and children’s learning are some of the many reasons we have been shortlisted in the World’s Best School Prizes Top Ten for overcoming adversity and we are hopeful that initiatives like this will secure our place in the Top Three in September!
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