Our school in Kanjanur Village was founded in 2004 and currently consists of 220 students and seven teachers. This was not always so, when we first started in 2004 we had only four students and one small roofless building in which to teach. The children all come from the small groups of villages clustered around the school in Kanjanur. The main focus of our independent school is to teach more (and better) English to the children. It is our belief that learning and knowing English is a vital necessity in modern India. English is a prerequisite for any form of higher education in India. However, despite this fact, English was not taught to a reasonable standard in the village areas in any of the schools.
Kanjanur Village is located in a rural area of Tamil Nadu in South India, an hour’s drive from Pondicherry – a popular French colonial beach destination. Despite this proximity, the village suffers from huge rates of unemployment, lack of proper nutrition or health care, lack of awareness of a range of issues (environmental and social) and lack of education. Like many rural villages in India, these problems are not addressed by any government authority.
The first step we took to try to tackle some of these issues was to form the school. The school currently consists of two basic classroom buildings where all the grades sit together. We are looking to make many modifications and upgrades to our simple classroom structure but for the time being we are making the most of our resources. The school is an English Standard school, which means that English is heavily integrated into the teaching system. We are always looking for English-speaking volunteers to come join us in Kanjanur to help with English pronunciation and teaching, to provide the children with new cultural experiences and just coming to have a good time.