The dropout and illiteracy rate of the poor communities of Chennai city were at a very dangerous level when Karunakarya began operating in 2001. The children who did attend school did not do very well as they were not motivated to learn. Most parents are illiterate as well which means that they are not in a position to help their children in studies. The running of tuition and activity centers is a very relevant function as the conditions of these families are socially and economically on the edge of existence and needed to be reintegrated into the society.
The tuition facilities are solely after-school coaching classes to help the students keep up with their school work and to help them in subjects were special attention was required. The tuition classes were held based on holistic education models to give them an intellectual and emotional, as well as a linguistic and physical development experience. Many aspects of these were not provided by the government schools where all the children from the villages and slums attended. The tuition classes are tailored according to the class level of the children, taking into account the fundamental knowledge requirement for each class level. Many of the middle school students were behind in reading, writing and comprehensive skills. We focused on attending to these needs. Special attention was given to the students who were preparing for their final board and state level examinations.
It is a widely accepted view that the integration of extracurricular activities in the education system is very important in the development of children’s individual personality. Children learn how to create time and space for exploring their interests and also learn how to develop and handle interpersonal relationships. Government schools often lack the integration of extracurricular activities in their curriculum. We organize many extracurricular activities and children’s programs to provide the students who attend our tuition classes so that they also have the opportunity to gain the experience of activities which are not school-binding. Annually we conduct many programs with the children which they do not get to experience at school such as a Christmas program, a weekend field-trip and educational excursions, summer camps, and so on.