Happy Schools, Happy Children
The Happy Schools project of Rotary India Literacy Mission comes into focus in November. The project aims to adopt 1,000 elementary schools across India to provide infrastructural and/or co-scholastic facilities to make them secure, attractive and happy learning-teaching places for students and teachers.
Under the Happy Schools project a school may be selected for conversion into a Happy School if five or more of the below mentioned requisites are absent:
- Painted, well maintained and secure* school building
- Clean and hygienic separate toilets for boys and girls
- Safe and adequate drinking water for both children and teachers
- Library facility for schools
- Uniforms and footwear for every child
- Play material, games and sports equipment
- Benches and desks for better student-teacher interaction and
- Well maintained space for teaching staff.
[*In this context, ‘secure’ means a school building secured with boundary wall or fencing and entry-exit gate/s with locking facility. This facility (of secured school premises) and those at sl. nos. ii, iii, iv, v (uniforms) and vi are mandatory under the RTE Act.]
- The Club President and Club Literacy Committee Chair (CLCC) must visit both urban and rural schools in its vicinity and talk to the Head Master/Mistress of the school to find out if there is a School Management Committee (SMC) and an Annual Development Plan as mandated by RTE Act.
- Conduct the survey, using the School Information Form in the shortlisted schools to assess the existing facilities.
- Select the schools where club can provide/upgrade atleast five criteria and on development all eight criteria will be fulfilled.
- Work out in detail with the school authorities the modalities of taking up the school facilities as per the survey —
in particular, the sequence in which the works of providing the facilities ought to be taken up and the time slot/s suitable to the school authorities for this purpose.
- Take ‘Before Pictures’ of the facilities that are to be upgraded / provided before the project is implemented.
- The project details have to be uploaded for approval.
- Upload the project details, cost estimates, and ‘before pictures’ of the project etc. for approval prior to commencement of the work through the Grant Application Form in the format available for this purpose on the
www.rotaryteach.org website (select ‘Project Upload’ Tab to the top left of the homepage, click ‘Upload Projects’ then click ‘New Projects’ and select Happy School Grant Application Form online).
- Once the project is approved start implementation.
- On completion take pictures of the new/improved facilities. The work will be assessed on the basis of ‘Before’ and ‘After’ pictures uploaded.
- Visit the schools periodically (without prior notice) to check that the facility is being used and maintained.
- On completion of the project, submit report giving documentation as required by the Happy School Grant Application Form. The reimbursement will be released only after proper documentation.
- The club that takes up this scheme will be entitled to ‘reimbursement’ of 50 percent of the actual cost incurred, subject to an upper limit of ₹ 2,50,000. (Rupees two lakh fifty thousand).
- The clubs who do not apply for grants for developing Happy Schools must also upload complete project details on the website www.rotaryteach.org.
- There are awards for the top three districts in the Best Performance by District in Happy School project.n
Annual School Development Plan
The SMC in every government or government-aided school must draw up an Annual Development Plan.
- This plan must be published in the community the school serves.
- If the Annual Development Plan exists then it should be studied in detail to find out whether it covers any of the areas that are provided for under the Happy School project. If the plan allows Rotary clubs to develop at least five of the criterion and provides for the remaining three then it may be considered for adoption under the Happy Schools project.
- If the Annual Development Plan covers the elements provided under the Happy Schools project and the school plans to implement it within one year then this school will not be eligible for converting into a Happy School.
- If the school does not have an Annual Development Plan then it may be considered for selection provided all other requirements for developing a Happy School are met.