“At age 10, I was in school and liked to continue. But then my parents told me they would need me to earn money to see our family through, so I left school and looked for work,” says Veeramani.
Children and youth from low income families in rural areas are more likely to drop out of school because of poverty or poor access to affordable quality education. More than half of the youth and young adolescents (18 – 24 years) in Tamil Nadu live in rural areas. Without a secure future, the dropouts and unemployed migrate to cities. Many will work as casual laborers in unorganized sectors facing exploitation and discrimination.
We are committed to reduce dropout rates in schools by improving access to quality school education and vocational skill training in rural and slum areas. In primary and secondary schools, in technical vocational training centers and colleges we encourage and empower youngsters to achieve educational success, to complete school education and skill – training to be placed in jobs.
According to available statistics, more than 10 percent of children in Tamil Nadu, aged 6-16 years, never attend school, or attend only occasionally. Among the 40,000 school children who drop out of school every year in Tamil Nadu, girls outnumber boys.
Quality of education and access to education are the two major concerns in rural government schools.There are not enough committed and language-skilled teachers in these schools; nor do the students have adequate learning materials. The social gap between unqualified rural and urban youth vs. engineering graduates with excellent job opportunities is widening fast.
Impact of our projects:
We recruit school dropouts when they are about 15 years old. We teach them basic numerical ability, in reading and writing and then train them in specific vocational skills relevant to the needs of the industry. For instance, in Basin Bridge, Chennai, the Salesians share partnerships with various companies to train dropouts, according to curricula set up by the partner companies. Thereby we achieve job placements for nearly all of the students.
Those who graduate successfully after the first year may also opt for the next level of training which would give them better prospects in the job market. Their skills can be further upgraded in the technical colleges that we Salesians are running in several places.
This technical school and college system of the Salesians, under the banner of DB Tech, is well known and highly respected in India; it aims at reducing school dropouts and unemployment in rural and slum areas and at empowering the marginalized youth for successful careers in various industrial and / or commercial sectors.
Conducting night study centers in many places throughout the Salesian’s Province Chennai e.g. in Basin Bridge in Chennai, in Cuddalore or in Dharmapuri and Katapadi we aim at