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