Thursday, January 2, 2014
COMMITTED runs two kinds of sponsorship programs: student and teacher.
The student sponsorship program is up and running. Government schools provide tuition-free education. But, many families still can't meet some of the most basic of expenses--admission fee, exam fees, tie, belt, school bag etc. While the Social Business for Education project (the Fishery) is in the process of being set up, which will eventually cover ALL the expenses of school (education-related expenses of the children, teachers' salaries, resources etc.), for those families struggling to cope now, we find funds to cover the expenses either through individual sponsors or otherwise. As and when we receive notification of struggling families, for whatever reason, we attempt to find the necessary fund.
The cost of sponsoring a student, depending on the grade, is anywhere between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000 per year (amounting to between US$50.00 and US$100.00 at the current exchange rate).
The cost quoted above does NOT include any administrative costs nor do we ask for one. In that way, our sponsorship program is very different from many others. We basically collect the funds from the sponsor and pass it on to the school management committee to manage the needs of the child. We (COMMITTED) do follow-up with the child but we don't create a personal relationship between the child and his/her sponsor. If you decide to sponsor a child, please remember that you will not receive any letters from the child or progress reports or photos etc. I would like to believe that if you sponsor a child's education, you are doing it for the child and not for yourself.
Should you sponsor a child, each year we'll send you the revised cost for that year, and you'll be asked to make a single payment.
The teacher sponsorship program is not ready yet. We are planning on setting it up so that instead of personal sponsorship, group of individuals or organisations would/could sponsor them since teachers' salaries are considerably higher. The justification behind this program has to do with the fact that we have, as far as salaries go, three different tiers of teachers working at our school.
The first and second tier teachers' salaries are paid for by the government and "Rahat" (relief in Nepali). (Rahat is a program run and funded by a consortium of multi- and bi-lateral donor agencies. It's not clear for how much longer this assistance program will continue.)
The government and Rahat allocated funds for teachers' salaries is fixed both in amount and the number of teachers it pays for. The actual number of educators required to run a school however is generally higher. The school and/or the community employs the additional and essential teachers to make up the difference. And these are the bottom tier teachers--they earn considerably less than the other two for the simple reason that the community cannot afford to pay them as well. Some of these teachers make a third of what the other two make!
While the first and second tier teachers make around Rs. 18,000 a month (about US$180), their bottom tier counterparts make around Rs. 6,000 a month (about US$60).
Details of families and/or students and teachers needing help will be posted here.