Following volunteers were present: Bhaskar, John Baul, Kasturi Easwaran, Paripoornam, Rajaraman Krishnan, Sundaram R, Venkataraman M, and Venkat.
* Decisions are highlighted in blue.
1.Ratification of Minutes of the July Meeting
Minutes of the monthly meeting held on 28 July 2019 .were unanimously approved.
2. Updates from Trimble
Rajaraman gave a brief account of his meeting with the Country Head Finance of Trimble. He seemed to be well aware of what Asha Chennai was doing for fulfilling CSR obligations of his company. He was looking at their CSR support as something ongoing and for the long term. Rajaraman hoped that that we should have positive response from Trimble.
3. Accounts Updates
Accounts for FY 18-19 were handed over to the Auditors. As suggested by the auditors Block Registers of Assets have been cleaned up. Durables costing over Rs 5000 per item were charged off by transferring them to the school where they have been handed over. . Similarly assets like Toilets which consist of both Material and labour costs are accounted as an integrated asset and transferred to the respective schools.
Asha Chennai placed on record its deep appreciation of diligent and dedicated efforts of Radha during the last few years. Ramakrishnan has volunteered to take over the supervision of maintenance of Accounts hence forth.
4. Allocation of Amounts Project wise for 2019-20.
While these were discussed and approved in the previous meeting, the exact amount of allocation for Poorna Vidhya, Thulasi and Sangamam projects were not stated last month as they required the May 31st balance. Now with that information, the following allocations were once again presented.
Funding Allocations for 19-20 INR
May 31st Ending Balance
Fund Raising Target
Allocations From & To Buffer
Funds To BE Transferred
Mangal (Both Locations)
Project Right Start
Avalurpet CP/MR Centre
These allocations for the various projects were unanimously agreed upon. The amounts to be transferred to the various projects from the funds in the US were also unanimously agreed upon.
5. Asha Kanini Updates
IIT Interns have submitted their analysis of correlation of “written assessments” and “oral assessment” with various factors like parental background, poverty, medium of instruction etc as desired by Asha Chennai. The paper on oral assessment has been submitted for publishing in the Technology for Education (T4E) IEEE conference. More work on a larger database is called for. DivyaShree from Silicon Valley USA has promised to further research and study to establish some kind of framework in this regard.
Asha Kanini App latest version has been updated with bells and whistles. Its pamphlet and CD were released. It was stated that it was available online too and registration of users by email and SMS will be available shortly. Efforts would be made to bring this impactful application to the TN Educational authorities so that its use is spread to all schools in TN. Tremendous labour and efforts over the years have gone into this project , particularly of Asha Chennai teachers.
6. Sick Leave Salary For Janova
Janova , one of the oldest teachers with Asha Chennai, has been on sick leave for three months. A loan of Rs 30,000 was approved as a special case on humanitarian grounds to be adjusted against future salary payments.
7. Updates on New Schools and consequent redeployment of teachers.
PEARL Dropped Ayyanar Ootru
Added three schools Govindanpatti, Karadikulam Colony and Karadikulam. We still need to send a computer teacher to this and another school at Etunaikkanpatti.
Two teachers from Ayyanar Ootru redeployed in the new schools above.
Computer Teacher who was going to Ayyanar Ootru, now goes to School at Panicker Kulam
POORNA VIDHYA Kattankulathur, Kamarajapuram - One New Computer Teacher and one new class teacher for Guduvanchery Area .
THULASI Gangavaram , Kolathur KG Teachers for Kamagaram, Kanniyampoondi
THIRUVALLUR Ellapuram block - Guruvoyal, Kadambathur - Polivakkam,
Poondi and Thrruvalangadu Blocks -- No changes. We may take up one more school in Ellapuram block at Arkampattu.
8. Assistance to Rajatalab Varanasi
Mr Suresh Rathor of Rajatalab had been in constant communication and will be visiting Tiruvellore to attend the Training Session in Mid September’19 along with 2 or 3 teachers. Originally Rs 1,30,000 was approved for covering just one teacher. In view of the increase in the number of teachers sanction was accorded for the expenditure of Rs 3,20,000 to assist Rajatalab.
9. The discussion paper on constituting an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) was discussed at length. Some of the key issues were
- If the scope can be increased beyond sexual harassment to include other forms of abuse like bullying and taunting by caste name etc
- Should there be a ICC for each project?
- Prescribing slabs of penalty corresponding to severity of crime or damage to the reputation
- Educating stewards on the provisions of ICC
- Will ICC have the final say or the Administration as a collective body can over rule, modify the penalty etc
Volunteers were requested to flag their concerns and view points and mail them to Mr. Venkataraman. It was also decided to consult a member of TN State Council for Women . It was expected by October’19 we should have a draft ready with all views duly considered for Asha Chennai to adopt in its monthly meeting in October 2019
10. Teachers’ Training
An assessment overview of Asha Teachers’s Training was given by Rajaraman. It was observed that . the results do not measure up to expectations. There were two parts of the training, skill development and pedagogy both in Mathematics and English. It is the skill development which poses a challenge and is indeed more formidable in the case of English..
After considerable discussions it was decided, for the present, to continue sending weekly work sheet assignments. We can mix it with worksheets in Mathematics too. Existing training using weekly assignments and Spoken English Sessions could continue.
The next intense training sessions are due in September’19. It was decided to drop English training this time to take a closer look at the methods and resources deployed so far for English. Therefore, it was decided to have 3 Days training Sep 24 to Sep 26 with two days for Mathematics and one day for Computer. John Baul was requested to inform Teachers from Pearl as they have to book their tickets in advance.
11. Attrition and pay rise to teachers
Bhaskar pointed out the difficulties of retaining teachers after recruitment in Pearl project.. Reasons are many: marriage and consequent relocation to husband’s place, family circumstances associated with child bearing , looking after infants and small kids in tradition bound homes etc In some rural areas there are other complex caste factors which act as deterrents in continuing for long. Asha Chennai does not profile teachers on an any other criteria except merit.
Asha Chennai picks good candidates as the pay compares favourably with market salaries. Despite this more meritorious candidates look for greener pastures. On the other hand, it has been the experience at Asha Chennai that teachers who just barely make the grade if recruited stay loyal to the organisation. For them it appears salary is not a major criterion and are satisfied with a lower entry level salary.. After some discussions Bhaskar was requested to introduce a grade of Teacher called Teacher (Intern) on an entry pay of Rs 4000 or Rs 5000 and against those vacancies recruit teachers just below the cut off marks in the entrance tests.
There are 3 Libraries in Pearl, 2 in Thulasi and 1 in Tiruvellore. General discussions were held regarding both the maintenance of the existing ones and establishing in new locations. Activites being carried out at various libraries include the following.
Giving books to children.
Story reading sessions.
Access to contents on computers and Internet.
Giving free books to children who read a minimum number of books.
Group reading with multiple copies of books.
Puzzles and games for children to play.
Science, Craft and other activities by our teachers as well as external resources.
Library for adults (newspapers, magazines, exam preparation books etc.).
Stewards were requested to explore these and other possibilities.
This page has no comments.