A bridge between goals and accomplishments:
Punnagai Paalam’ (PP) literally translates to ‘A Bridge of SMILES’. This project was named so with the intention to bridge the gap between the quality of education that the kids get based on their varied economic status. We help children gain values and education that bridges goals and accomplishments in a smile filled journey. It is also a bridge between ‘people’ who want to teach and children who want to ‘learn’.
Is this project significant, when there is already a process of Teaching and Learning in School?
India is a big country and there is severe strain on her Educational infrastructure to educate large number of people. Hence the Teacher to Student ratio in our country is not the best. Also it is a well know fact that in India, teaching profession is not the first choice of the best and brightest for variety of reasons. This has an adverse impact on the quality of teaching happening in our educational institutions.
The following Horace Mann quote depicts this situation exactly “A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron. “
In PP we intend to fill this gap, by providing the children extra care and coaching. The PP volunteers are highly successful and competent professional in their own field of work, who by choice decided to give back to the society by ‘Teaching’ the underprivileged students. As someone rightly said “The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.” Our PP volunteers are indeed a few of the best teachers we have met in our lives- highly inspiring and supportive. This project also answers the often repeated question, ‘what else I can do other giving money? ‘The answer is to teach these children, give them knowledge. As part of Punnagai Paalam project our volunteers provide extra coaching for the students in their subjects, conduct preparatory tests, provide with tips and guidance for scoring higher marks.
We first started the PP project in Govt Waltex Home in the year 2005, a year later moved on to Govt Kosapet home. Currently under this project we cover close to 200 students and with 10 active volunteers, and some more volunteers who provide their service on and off.
In the past 5 years since we have stepped in, we have witnessed a marked improvement in the quality of performance from the students in these centers.