In the Indian educational system there is one absolutely critical set of examinations during a child's schooling, at the end of Class 10 when the children are aged 15-16. Pass these exams, and you are admitted to 'intermediate college' for two years, the gateway to higher education or a good job. Fail them and you are classed as illiterate. You won't be able to get a bank loan to start a business or buy a house, and your job options will be extremely limited.
SLA and our Indian partners are intensely focussed on getting the children through 10th class because greater numbers of children are reaching 10th class age.
The results gained in Class 10 are generally accepted across India to be the best measure of the quality of a school. Thus we are very happy to report that in 2011/12, 28 out of 28 children at the Tuni Home passed their Class 10 exams, the only school out of 60 in the surrounding area to achieve a 100% pass rate. This success, which builds on previous years excellent results, was enabled by some teaching innovations established by the school staff. These included an intensive study course introduced between January and March and the policy of beginning the Class 10 syllabus before the end of the previous academic year. The 10th class graduates are studying a variety of academic and vocational courses at intermediate college.
Even more encouraging is that several of our oldest children have graduated from intermediate college, and are going on to higher education at degree or diploma level.
When you take into consideration that many of these children had no education before coming to our School, these results are an inspiring achievement. Now our dream of liberating these children from oppression, exploitation and poverty is becoming a reality.
As the years pass, more of the children are reaching college age and so now almost 10% of the children from the Light of Love home are in further education. Intermediate colleges charge fees: between £400 and £800 a year. This has placed an extra financial responsibility on SLA and so we have established the Further Education Fund specifically to assist children to pursue their education and establish for themselves an independent life.