Billboard erected in Mullipakkam village congratulating student's success on the S.S.L.C. and 12th grade examinations. From the left are C.John Degler, Sengkharani, Prakash, Ayappan and Caries Wilson

SAVE-INTL and its partner, Tamilnadu Village Outreach, have continuously sponsored since 2008, a free after school study program in Mullipakkam village, one of the poorer socially disadvantaged villages in the Tiruporuur District of Tamilnadu. Because of the very large number of students attending the school sometimes more than 150, there are two separate evening sessions and three paid part-time teachers, all of whom are highly dedicated to the goal of preparing the local rural youth to compete for jobs and professions in a rapidly growing and developing India. On their own, these three teachers organized a special coaching program for 10th and 12th grade students in Mullipakkam and surrounding villages who are obligated to take tough statewide qualification exams at the conclusion of their school year. These test are crucial in determining a students future educational opportunities and are quite tough with many students failing one or more sections resulting in passing certificates being denied them. Continue reading “MULLIPAKKAM'S OUTSTANDING TEACHING ACHIEVEMENT”


The Malar Trust, based in Northern Italy, and dedicated primarily to increasing the availability of Higher Education in Tamilnadu among the poorer and socially disadvantaged classes and communities, has been the partner of SAVE-INTL on several projects in 2011. Together we funded and managed the rebuilding of the toilet facilities for the 200 students in the Amuur Panchayat one through eight grade government primary school, a project now successfully completed. Additionally we together sponsored, funded and managed a pilot program of free coaching for the crucial Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination given statewide in Tamilnadu and India at the conclusion of the 10th grade. The latter was such a success that the project has been expanded to approximately six more free coaching centers starting in September 2011.

A report from the Malar Trust on our joint activities can be downloaded here:

Scroll down to pages 4 and 5.

Curtis John Degler


S.S.L.C. students, Instructor Mr. Gnansekharan and C. John Degler pose in front of the blackboard and a test problem in polynomial algebra

With little more than two months to go before the crucial multi-day S.S.L.C. (Secondary School Leaving Certificate), coaching in test-taking and remedial instruction in math continues at the Community Center in Ellandoppu Village under the direction of Mr. Gnanasekharan. The class is offered at no cost to local students, with poor students being offered the incentive of reimbursement for transportation costs and the distribution of free notebooks, pens and test taking materials and guides.

Handing out free notebooks to attending S.S.L.C. coaching students

The class is open 5 hours a  day on all Saturdays and Sundays, and extra guidance is available on the weekdays during regular evening Tuition class hours. The class, seen as a pilot for a more extensive program to be launched in several villages in June 2011, we hope will help the poor rural student better compete with the urban middle class student whose family can afford to send them to special and often very expensive examination coaching classes. If the student is able to score in the upper ranks, he may be able to obtain a scholarship to attend a higher ranked 11th and 12th standard academic institution, pathway to admission to a Public University or school of engineering. If the student is merely able to pass the exam, itself not a mean feat, they will have an opportunity to be admitted to a vocational or technical school and able to obtain permanent employment in a factory or office.

Demonstrating the solution to a math problem

Math seems to be the weak point in most student’s skill set and is the focus of much of the teaching. First Mr. Gnanasekharan demonstrates the method of solving past exam problems,and then poses a similar test question which the student has to solve on their own, which he then grades and reviews.


Solving a test math question.
Test question papers are then reviewed and graded

The S.S.L.C pilot coaching program is generously funded by the Malar Trust of Italy but managed by SAVE-INTL and TVO.

Coaching Program For S.S.L.C. Examination Launched

C.John Degler of SAVE-INTL and teacher Gnanasekaran inaugurate the S.S.L.C. Coaching Program in the Ellandtoppu Village Community Center

With the full financial support of the Malar Trust of Italy, SAVE-INTL and its local partner TVO inaugurated a new experimental pilot program on December 4, 2010 at the Ellandtoppu Village Community Center. We will be offering free coaching for 10th standard (grade) students who will be required to take the Secondary School Leaving Certificate exam given at the end of February and the beginning of March 2011. Coaching classes will be held every Saturday and Sunday for 5-6 hours until the exam date. Participating students will be given free notebooks and pencils, plus we will have available special coaching books and texts and other materials as well as practice exams that can be taken on the required paper using special fountain ink pens. All students in the 10th standard are invited to attend. Mr. Gnanasekharan is the teacher conducting the class with C. John Degler also present at the inauguration. For our first class we had six students present but expect more tomorrow and in the future as the word gets out and also as the weather improves as today we are having heavy monsoon rains making transportation difficult.

If the free coaching program proves to be a success, increasing the pass rate for weak students and getting top scores for strong students, we hope to expand to other village areas in the 2011-12 school year and also include 12th standard exam preparation.

Students who score high marks in the S.S.L.C., but who are financially unable to attend a school with standards commensurate with their abilities and potential, may be able to secure a scholarship for tuition expenses from the Malar Trust, along with room and board at one of the Malar’s hostels if their chosen school is distant from their home.