"For the most high-risk children, enriched preschool environments and excellent primary grade instruction can be a deciding factor between success or failure that will follow them all their lives... No time is as important, or as fleeting, as a child's early years of life and schooling. Herein lies our greatest hope, and our most practical and effective opportunity for prevention."
Mountain View School for the rural poor opened in June 2015 to bring quality English-medium education to impoverished villagers for whom such education is unaffordable. We started with LKG and UKG and having been adding a grade level every year. In 2017, we also started a 2nd LKG class and will add a 2nd class at each grade level as these children move up. We are providing quality English-medium education at rock-bottom admission fees that poor families can afford. And for those that cannot even afford this, we have a scholarship plan so that no one is left out.
In 5 years time, we estimate approximately 500 students will be directly impacted, which indirectly impacts approximately 425 poor families in the community. In addition 32 locals are employed as teachers, ayas, maintenance men, watchmen and gardeners, and drivers. We employ and train local women for our teachers and staff to illustrate the usefulness and importance of the female's contribution to the community. Their salaries provide a very helpful income to their family.
More classrooms are desperately needed. Please visit the donate page if you would like to help.
When girls get educated, they are able to become income earners and therefore less of an economic burden on their families. In fact, all of our teachers are from local villages and therefore are able to make a significant contribution to their families. Good education for boys which incorporates values and civic responsibility is also necessary if attitudes towards females are to change.
We place a strong emphasis on LKG and UKG as there is a statistically significant gap in educational attainment across the socioeconomic gradient by the time children are 6 years old. This gap grows wider until by school leaving age poor children are far more likely to leave school without qualifications than their more affluent peers.
We are employing modern preschool activities which emphasise providing a nurturing environment conducive to positive learning experiences. We use modern and innovative early-learning techniques and activity-based learning that fosters the blossoming of the child's natural development. Many of our teaching methods are drawn from the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential. Thus, the children get a good foundation for the rest of their studies.
We continue to provide interesting and stimulating education through the Primary Grades, again training our teachers in latest teaching techniques, such as Whole Brain Learning and Multiple Intelligence. Smart Boards provide excellent educational support and expose the children to well-spoken English without the very strong accent that most of our teachers have, coming as they do from local villages.
Our building plan emphasises a pleasant school environment with a campus that makes the children proud to attend. This encourages them to relish their learning experience and in the long run they are more apt to pursue a longer education. It all begins with their early learning experiences.
At Mountain View School we also employ practical ideas that add benefit to our local surrounding local environment as well, such as rain water harvest, tree planting and solar panel power. A new study explains the link between run-down schools and lower test scores and academic achievement among students.
Lorraine Maxwell, an associate professor of design and environmental analysis in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell Universityfound a chain reaction at work: Leaking toilets, smelly cafeterias, broken furniture, and run-down classrooms make students feel negatively, which leads to high absenteeism and in turn, contributed to low test scores and poor academic achievement.
“School buildings that are in good condition and attractive may signal to students that someone cares and there's a positive social climate, which in turn may encourage better attendance," Maxwell said. “Students cannot learn if they do not come to school."
Maxwell found that poor building conditions, and the resulting negative perception of the school's social climate, accounted for 70 percent of the poor academic performance.