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Preparing for the future
Juili Eklahare | Wednesday, 27 July 2016 AT 11:02 PM IST
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Pune-based NGO, Global Research Education and Training Foundation (GREAT), along with Bakliwal Tutorials, will be training underprivileged students for four years to prepare them for entrance exams to the IIT and NIT.

Proper guidance and the right kind of training for children can go a long way in building their careers. City-based NGO Global Research Education and Training Foundation (GREAT Foundation), which has been working for underprivileged children with a focus on education, has come up with Project Udaan that aims to train less privileged Std IX students in government schools or low-fee English schools in Physics, Chemistry, Math and Logical Thinking.

Bakliwal Tutorials (which specialises in training students in IIT entrance exam) will train students, from Std IX to XII, free of cost for four years to prepare them for entrance exams to make it to the IITs. The selected students will also be trained by GREAT Foundation in spoken / written English and personality development, to create confidence and good communication skills. Most of the children belong to minority and low-income communities whose parental income is less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.

The vision is to train 50 such students from Pune every year. “We got in touch with several schools and now we have up to seven schools whose students, totalling 40, are training with us,” says founder at GREAT Foundation, Viney Kirpal adding, “The students do not have opportunities to go far, because they lack a sound education, or because of financial difficulties. Our programme will give them the extra push they need to do well in life.”

Building a foundation-

Kirpal goes on to say that when such training starts at school level, it builds the students’ foundation and helps them stand a better chance of going to IITs / NITs / IISER / NDA. Even if they don’t choose any of those fields, the training will help them in their board exams and getting admission in good engineering or science colleges. It is more of a capacity-building project.

Besides the income level of the students’ families, the participants have been selected on the basis of an entrance test, which measures their ability to cope with the course, which has a lot of logical and out-of-the-box thinking. “The students are being trained by the faculty of Bakliwal Tutorials-IIT, who are former students and faculty of the IITs. A teacher from GREAT Foundation will be training them in English,” Kirpal explains adding, “Thirty-five of the students are trained in a centre opened specially for them, every Sunday, starting on July 24. Besides, four students have already started the programme in May at the Bakliwal centre in Hadapsar (every Saturday), and one student at the Vimannagar centre (every Sunday). Three hours are dedicated to a subject each week.”

A student advisor-

The students are given a lot of homework for practice once they are done with the three-hour lecture. It does happen many times that the students cannot understand or that they face problems while doing the homework. To help them, a teacher from GREAT Foundation is present in class one hour before it begins. This gives the students the opportunity to get their doubts cleared before the class starts. They also have a dedicated student advisor who is in touch with the students and parents on a one-on-one basis. The student advisor guides them to be regular, advises them on how to make up for missed classes, etc.

Classes made fun-

The classes are held three hours a week and the training is not conducted in a bookish or blackboard-chalk manner. “We make sure that the students do not feel overburdened with studies,” says Kirpal and continues, “The subject concepts are explained through games, activities and puzzles, which makes it easy and at the same time fun for them to understand. They are given examples and case studies as well.”
Exploring their career path-

Once the students enter Std X, they will also be given counselling sessions to help them pick a career path after school. “Some students who joined the training are very clear about what they want to do. They have already made up their minds that they want to make a career in Astrophysics or Engineering. They are aware that there are many avenues available for them which they would like to explore,” says Kirpal.

The writer acn be followed on twitter @juilieklahare

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