Our education programme began with a very small number of children enrolled in the School-support and Non-Formal projects. Currently the education programme consists of the Montessori Project, Primary Project, Non-Formal Project, School support Project (including mainstream schools) and ECA (Extra Curricular Activities) Project. In 2018-2019 there were over 750 children enrolled in the above projects.
We believe the different projects instituted will ensure all children between the age of 3-17 years have access to quality education.
Children are enrolled at Ek Tara at the age of 3 years and above under the Montessori Section. This entire project is designed along the lines of mainstream pre-schools and Montessori houses. Classes are run by full trained Montessori teachers with the help of assistant teachers. The teacher to student ratio is maintained at 1:20. Each group also have a dedicated caregiver. The aim of this project is to ensure that our children are equipped with a strong foundation which can help them cope well in formal mainstream schools.
The Montessori project is divided into 3 sections based on the age of the students-
3+ years or Level 1,
4+ years or Level 2,
5+ years or Level 3.
These sections are further divided into smaller groups who move from one learning station to the other. Classes have been designed in a manner so that each child has access to stations on Literacy, Social Development, Physical Development and Numerical ability to name a few.
At the end of each cycle, the students are assessed and sent for admissions to various schools- private and government schools
In 2014, Ek Tara set up Class 1 for students who passed out of the Montessori section. What began as a group of 35 students April, 2014, has increased to 340 students in the current year.
The syllabus is designed in line with mainstream schools and there are trained primary school teachers to ensure there is no compromise in the quality of teaching imparted at this level. The children are divided into four sections of 25 children each, in keeping with their abilities.
Subjects such as Health and Hygiene, Digital Literacy and a host of Extra Curricular Activities are also a part of the regular routine.
In the years to come, the Primary Section will move to Middle school and house classes till Class 8.
SCHOOL SUPPORT PROJECT
Ek Tara runs a school support project for over 170 children who are enrolled in various formal schools around the city. Ek Tara bears all expenses of these students, by paying for their admission fees, tuition fees, books, meals and transport. Everyday after school, the children are then given out home work support classes in Ek Tara’s community centre along with classes on various Extra Curricular Activities. Teachers, volunteers and counsellors make sure the children get all the help they need to perform well in school.
Support is also extended to students outside Ek Tara who need our assistance to continue their school education.
Presently, students go to English medium schools such as Jyotirmai Vidya Mandir at Garcha Road, Indira Academy at Elliot Road, Simon Day School at Ekdalia, Simon Day Academy at Kasba, Jewish Girl’s School, The Park English School and Loreto School, Sealdah. We are constantly trying to bring better schools under the school support programme and have successfully mainstreamed some of our brightest minds into leading schools of the city as mentioned above.
NON FORMAL PROJECT
This group consists of older children between 8-15 years, who are either school drop-outs or have never been to school before. Based on their competence and knowledge skills, these children are further divided into groups and handled by trained teachers, who work to strengthen their knowledge base. At the end of 1 year of training, an assessment is conducted to check the academic level of the children for them to be placed into schools (in age appropriate classes). For those who do not have the bent of mind for regular academics, this bridge course is continued until they are old enough to be put into the Vocational Training Unit
Over the years, the number of students in this group has decreased owing to successful transfers into regular schools or vocational training.
Ek Tara announced the launch of Utkarsh, an initiative to use Tablets , Computers , Smart Boards and the internet to provide high quality educational content along with a learning management system for children.
Utkarsh provides high quality digital content that meets the specific and general needs of schools in India. Currently Utkarsh targets children in the age group of 3-12 at Ek Tara.
In keeping with Ek Tara’s objective of enabling holistic development, it is imperative to offer all beneficiaries access to opportunities which develop their skills and talents. As we deal with urban slum dwellers who in the long run need to be integrated into the mainstream, giving them exposure to important aspects of mental and physical development, right from an early age are very important.
Traditional and Contemporary dance forms are taught to selected girls who can pursue this as a career path in the future
Right from an early age, music classes are conducted for all children. Special training in vocal and instrumental music is imparted to selected children, who comprise of our Ek Tara Music Band.
Art and Craft
All beneficiaries are given art and carft classes to not just learn the technicalities but also as a form of expression.
Younger children are exposed to story telling sessions with specialists.
Drama helps children develop an appreciation for the culture and arts. Our children put up a performance of ‘Ali Baba aur Chalis Chor’ for the 2016 Annual Day Function.
A karate teacher comes to our centre so that our children can achieve great physical fitness and enhance their concentration power.
Children from the Primary Section and School Support Group have library classes as a part of their routine.
In 2018 over 100 students were trained in different sports ranging from swimming, Karate, Football to name a few. Children who excel in these are given advanced training to hone these skills further.