Some Innovative CSR Initiatives in Education

03 Nov 2016

Innovative ideas, concepts and practices can positively impact and create a multiplier effect in society. Some companies have been implementing unique CSR interventions in the field of education, to reach out to the remote areas or target a range of beneficiaries. Some of these initiatives are mentioned below:

Volunteers Make a Difference
Supported by companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Google, Ebay etc, MAD (Make a Difference), a youth driven, non-profit organisation works to ensure equitable outcomes for children in orphanages and street shelters.

Registered in 2006, Make A Difference reaches out to over 4,250 children in 81 shelters across 23 cities in India, through 4,300 strong volunteer network. Volunteers commit a year and spend between 2 and 10 hours every week mentoring, teaching and interacting with children in order to ensure that they get the support and care they need during childhood.

The Programmes include providing after school support for Math, Science and English; enabling children to build their career paths in sync with their interests, aimed at those who are poised to pass out from shelter homes; and empowering children to make informed decisions by providing a support system that enables career awareness, skill building and self awareness through experience-based learning.

Libraries in government schools
Reliance Life Insurance Company (RLIC), part of Reliance Capital Limited, in partnership with Room to Read, a global non profit organization aims to set up over 100 libraries in government primary schools and reach out to over 10,000 children across the country through this CSR initiative.

Reliance Life Insurance and Room to Read is creating and maintaining libraries in Municipal Corporation Schools across Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Through this initiative, Reliance Life Insurance aims to compliment, support and strengthen the efforts of the government to improve the quality of education in India.

Reading is fundamental to success in life and it is Room to Read's mission to ensure that every child develops the habit and skill of reading, thus ensuring children become life-long readers.

A growing community of leaders
Since 2011, Thermax Social Initiative Foundation has been the platinum sponsor for Teach for India (TFI), supporting 45 fellows in 10 Schools under TFI. From FY 2015-16, TSIF is also lending its support to 100 fellows in Pune.

The TFI programme which began in 2009 aims to reduce India's educational iniquity. It places India's outstanding college graduates and young professionals for two years as full time teachers in municipal and low-income schools, to improve quality of education while dealing with the everyday challenges.

Thermax not only supports the programme financially, but also provides infrastructure and government liaison when required. Thermax also encourages its employees to take up the two year fellowship of TFI to make them more sensitive towards the social challenges.

Education for destitute
Siemens supports Welfare Society for Destitute Children, Mumbai (also known as St. Catherin’s Home) in addressing one of the most pressing issues facing urban India – homeless, destitute children. Since 2004, Siemens is providing holistic development to the vulnerable, less-privileged children and enhancing their standard of living.

Apart from providing boarding and educational support, Siemens initiatives also focuses on refurbishment and upgradation of infrastructure; recreation activities; Happy Feet - a counselling program based on arts and life skills education; Career counselling; Vocational training and Support for resource mobilization.

Girls with Goals
In Jharkhand, 6 in 10 girls drop out of school and become child brides, and thousands of girls are trafficked each year according to government and UN statistics.

Lenovo supports Yuwa, an NGO which uses sports and education to help tribal girls in Hutup village, near Ranchi, Jharkhand reclaim their future.

When a girl organizes or joins a Yuwa team, through positive peer pressure she becomes a more regular student. Players elect team captains who keep track of school attendance, and many girls attend daily study sessions at Kicking It New School. She pays attention to her own health and to the health of her teammates. The girls also joins academic bridge program. This includes dynamic workshops about the importance education, assistance transferring to better schools, remedial math and science classes, daily English classes, an intensive summer school, personal tutoring, and computer classes.

The Lenovo YUWA partnership started 2 years ago with the USA Cup and continues to grow. This year, the goal is to help the YUWA girls to raise funds to build their school by showcasing their exploits at the Donosti Cup in Spain.

Public Private Partnerships
Bharti Foundation has partnered with Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan State Governments through PPP model to support and contribute towards quality education in government schools.

• Government of Punjab under the Adarsh Scheme: Bharti Foundation has set up model Senior Secondary Schools in rural areas with a capacity of around 2000 students. Apart from construction, the Foundation handles day to day operation and management of school, appoints necessary school and project staff, and implements academic and non academic processes.

• Quality Support Model with Government of Haryana and Punjab: The Quality Support Model intends to strengthen and improve quality of education in Government Schools. While the Government continues to own the school with its existing teachers, funds and resources, Bharti Foundation offers technical expertise and guidance on mutually agreed need based interventions that contribute towards improvement in academic and non-academic processes, infrastructure development, capacity development of school leadership and teachers, and advance academic and skill development support for students.

• Partnership with Government of Rajasthan under the Rajasthan Education Initiative: The objective of the project is to improve the quality of education by way of effective school management and holistic educational intervention in the schools. While the State Government and Education Department continue to remain the owner of schools, Bharti Foundation adopts schools with existing infrastructure, students and work towards improving the quality of education.

Innovative Science Labs
To improve the quality of education for children from economically and socially disadvantaged communities, Bosch India undertakes several initiatives through its CSR including setting up Computer Labs with software, AMC, Tables, Chairs, UPS and a Computer Teacher; simulating Science teaching through ‘Mobile Science Lab’, ‘Lab in a Box’ and ‘Lab on a Bike’; providing interactive learning kits and English teachers; and providing training on soft skills and life skills through Value Education program. Some of the key initiatives are:

• Mobile Science Lab catalytic channel that is fun, engaging and interactive, aimed to raise awareness among disadvantaged children and teachers of the value of learning - with a focus on science. Each MSL travels to doorstep of remote schools with 200+ hands-on science models covering a wide range of topics in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Math for Class 5 through 10.

• Lab in a Box refers to sets of 10 boxes are filled to the brim with experiments on Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, covering more than 70 concepts in total for the Lab in a Box (LIB) Program. A rotation scheme is followed for the distribution of LIB boxes.

• Lab on a Bike is a variation of the LIB program wherein an instructor uses the LIB to conduct hands-on science classes in the schools. The instructor travels to different schools each day along with an LIB which fits onto the side of his bike.

Disclaimer: Information compiled from secondary research over internet