India CSR News Network
MUMBAI: Ronnie and Zarina Screwvala’s Swades Foundation today announced its partnership with the Department of School Education and Sports, Government of Maharashtra.
The foundation has signed an MoU with the Government today to collaborate on bringing qualitative and quantitative improvement in primary and secondary schools over the next five years.
This strategic collaboration will cover six Talukas of Raigad District that Swades currently operates in namely, Mhasala, Tala, Poladpur, Shrivardhan, Mangaon and Mahad and in future extending to other districts in the State of Maharashtra.
The Swades Foundation’s mission is to empower 1 million rural Indians every 5-6 years, creating a permanent, irreversible change in their lives. Swades believes in a holistic 360-degree development with a focus on five verticals – Community Mobilisation, Water & Sanitation, Agriculture & Livelihoods, Education and Health & Nutrition. Swades’ strategy is to Engage, Empower, Execute and Exit by creating a Sustainable Model for rural development
Presently in its Education vertical, the Swades Foundation supports 1,275 schools (Government & private), 806 Anganwadis and 39 Junior Colleges in the six Talukas – impacting 124,000 children (Anganwadi to Junior College).
Through this MoU, the Swades Foundation aims to strengthen its efforts towards the betterment of school education in its chosen geography of work.
With support and collaborative efforts from the Department of School Education and Sports, Government of Maharashtra, the Swades Foundation will be able to scale up its current interventions for whole school transformation in three focus areas: First to change mind-sets via Principals’ and Teachers’ training, strengthening of Anganwadis, School Management Committees, Bal Panchayats and Library Management Committees.
Secondly to create a joyful and enabling environment of truly experiential learning via maths kits, open access libraries, computers with educational software, mobile science labs and also water and sanitation facilities. Thirdly to ensure a better career for children via career counselling and 1000’s of scholarships for higher studies.
The Swades Foundation, through its various interventions, aims to create centers of excellence for children in rural India by working in collaboration with teachers, school leadership, the community, and other like-minded organisations to leverage their expertise in their respective domains and deliver quality education at scale.
All of the interventions implemented by the Swades Foundation are in alignment with the Maharashtra State Government’s multi-year programme ‘Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra’ launched in June 2015 to tackle the challenge of low learning levels and ensuring age appropriate competencies in students by providing an enabling environment for quality education, teachers, students and administrators.
Speaking about the partnership, Shri Nand Kumar – Principal Secretary, Department of School Education & Sports, Government of Maharashtra said, “”We are happy to partner with the Swades Foundation and look forward to taking their holistic education model forward. Their interventions are transforming the lives of students, teachers and the school management alike in Raigad. Their initiatives align with our Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra programme and we would like to help them in achieving our common goals and objectives.”
Zarina Screwvala, Founder Trustee of the Swades Foundation, added, “We at the Swades Foundation, believe in transformational learning that is joyous, experiential & empowering, not only for our children but also Principals & Teachers.”
“We work hard to ensure all children receive an education that helps them to fulfil their dreams when they enter the workspace and also enables them to be socially aware citizens of our country. We are honoured that the State Government has agreed to support us in taking our vision forward and would like to collaborate with us in reaching out to more communities.”, Zarina Screwvala added.
The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is a step towards creating a sustainable model of development in school education and will help develop a long standing collaborative relationship in the field of education.
A District CSR Committee set up by the State Government will facilitate quality assurance through collaborative monitoring mechanisms.