Of Quality Education: what defines quality?

Running a children’s charity would mean providing the little ones the basic necessities of life which they are deprived of for various reasons. Akshaya Patra opened its doors to Indian children in the year 2000 by providing them mid-day meals in government schools and government-aided schools. Vision: No child should be deprived of education because of hunger.

Ever since India began its Mid-Day Meal Scheme, the drop-out rates have decreased and enrolment rates in schools have increased. However, Mid-Day Meal is only one of the factors in making this possible. With the help of central and state governments, Akshaya Patra, an NGO in India, has been providing mid-day meals to school children for the last 16 years.

Now with more and more children in schools, the country is focusing on Quality Education – one of the goals proposed by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). In 2015, the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) proposed Sustainable Development Goals to 194 countries. Among the 17 aspirational goals with objective to transform the world, the fourth goal is Quality Education. Akshaya Patra is playing a vital role as an NGO in India in education sector, highlights the understanding on Quality Education.

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What is Quality Education?

According to a paper presented by UNICEF, five points define Quality Education.

  • Learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, and supported in learning by their families and communities;
  • Environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide adequate resources and facilities;
  • Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace;
  • Processes through which trained teachers use child-centered teaching approaches in well-managed classrooms and schools and skillful assessment to facilitate learning and reduce disparities;
  • Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society.

(Source: unicef.org/education/files/QualityEducation.PDF)

The first point talks about students who are ‘healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate.’ This very objective is followed by Akshaya Patra in its large-scale feeding initiatives.

Quality Education, we believe leads to remarkable success. With literacy rates rising, we should also focus on providing inclusive and quality education to ensure progress.

UNDP states: “Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education.”

Akshaya Patra’s Food for Education initiative embraces two most critical sustainable development goals – Zero Hunger and Quality Education. You can show your support by sponsoring a child’s meal for an entire academic year. Make a charity donation and win tax exemption in India.

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We, the people of India Creating Equal Opportunities

Independence to Republic Day: In 1930, The Indian National Congress christened January 26th, that is the last Sunday of January as Independence Day. However, it took us more than 17 years to become independent after that. On January 26th, 1950, it was named as the Republic Day. On this day, India’s constitution came into effect. 

The Republic day 2017 marks 68 years of officially being a Republic. As we continue to build our nation one step at a time, let us pledge to make a difference. As we remember the birth of our constitution and recite our preamble, let us believe in creating a healthy community. As we talk about equal opportunities for all, let us ensure that equal opportunities reach those in need.

Achieve Zero Hunger

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Quality Education

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Empower One Another

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Transform Lives

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Make a Difference

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We hope your Republic Day celebration begins by feeding the hungry to create a healthy India. Happy Republic Day!

The Beginning of Quality Education

‘Education for all’ has been resonating in everybody’s mind and yes, India is on the path to achieving this. However, education does not always synchronise with quality. United Nations, in one of their papers presented at The International Working Group on Education Florence, Italy in June 2000 defines quality education in five points:

  • Learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, and supported in learning by their families and communities
  • Environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide adequate resources and facilities
  • Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace.
  • Processes through which trained teachers use child-centred teaching approaches in well-managed classrooms and schools and skilful assessment to facilitate learning and reduce disparities.
  • Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society.

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The first point in particular talks about children who are well-nourished learners. What Akshaya Patra, a charity for children, is focusing through their Mid-Day Meal Programme is – increase a child’s nutrition intake as well as ending classroom hunger. Through charity fundraising activities, the Foundation receives sustainable help from several people and corporates across the globe.

Divya, one of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries, says she likes ‘warm and nutritious food.’ This one incentive that children receive every day encourages them to pursue their education without fear and also makes them aware of societal issues. Some of our beneficiaries testify that they would want to grow up to help the society – a value that helps spread kindness.

As we expand our Mid-Day Meal Programme to more schools and locations, we urge the people to contribute to a healthy future. Akshaya Patra’s donors can avail 100% tax exemption for donations above Rs. 500 as per section 80g of income tax act. This article gives you an overview of how you can avail the exemption and why it is important to donate for education in India.