EPS Majuli Project

MAJULI, EBION PUBLIC SCHOOL (EPS)

Estd. 2006. Jengraimukh, Majuli, Jorhat District, Assam-785 105
(A unit of Ebion Public Schools chain- in partnership with friends and parents for children)
Run & managed by Society for Promotion of Tribal Welfare and Development (SPTWD), New Delhi-94.
E-mail: sptwd04@gmail.com; Contact No (Delhi) 09899529142 (Assam) 9508068072. 
Motto: Holistic Education beyond Schooling
 
MAJULI, EBION PUBLIC SCHOOL (EPS)
EPS-Majauli was formally called Majuli Island English School (MIES). It was founded in 2006 by Mr. Amuliya Pegu, a local Christian leaders for the benefit of his people. However, the founding members handed over the entire school and its management to Mr. Sem Haokip founding Director of Society for Promotion of Tribal Welfare and Development (SPTWD) in January 2014. The school has 254 students from LKG-class IX of which 166 are boys and 88 are girls. Most of the students come from surrounding rural villages.
 
The school has no proper building and other facilities. It is being run on simple bamboo wall and tin roof house without proper toilet both for staff and students; proper facilities such as office and teachers room and tables and chairs. It has no library, science lab, computer lab, maths lab and other learning facilities.
 
Over 90% of the people are engaged in farming, fishing, dairying, pottery, handloom and boat-making. Home based weaving is a major occupation for the women and young girls in the villages. Majority of the people are living hand to mouth and struggle to support their children’s education uninterrupted. For instance, majority of the parents could pay the school admission and school fees only after the harvest period.
 
SPTWD has taken over the entire management and leadership of Majuli Island English School (MIES) w.e.f 05/01/2014. Since then, SPTWD stationed its team and managed and monitor the admission and staff recruitment and orientation using participatory approach and conducted intensive review of the entire school management and develop long term development of the school in consultation with the parents, staff and the children and also local leaders.
 
So far, SPTWD team has brought in Pratham, education NGO from Mumbai to provide technical support on teachers training and Farm to Food, Jorhat based NGO working on promoting organic farming to help train the poor parents in improved agriculture/farming. 
   
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE SCHOOL
 
With proper guidance, technical and management support, the schools has a lot of potential for growth and serving the needs of parents who want to provide affordable quality education for their children. The following observations that we made during our visit support this assessment.

  1. In our interactions with the parents, teachers and some community leaders it is very clear that the local community recognise and value the important role of education in the growth and development of the children and the larger society.
  2. During our meeting with the parents, the suggestions provided and the challenges identified by the parents clearly indicate that the parents are well aware of what is essential and required for providing quality education for their children (need for small sized classrooms, how high staff turnover effects learning in children, need for qualified teachers for science and maths, need for regular interaction between with the parents and the school a 3 monthly basis, need to have a school management committee that is represented by parents teachers and local community leaders).
  3. During our interaction with students from classes VII, VIII & IX, it was observed that the boys and girls were clearly able to express their views and thoughts in English. When asked what they liked about the school they shared that they liked the commitment and dedication of their teachers. These observations were reinforced during our interaction with the teachers.

FINANCIAL VIABILITY OF THE SCHOOL
Even with the reduced enrolment as a result of mismanagement in the recent past, the school is still able to recover its existing operation costs. This is possible because the school is paying minimum salary to the teachers for now, an average Rs.2500-3000/- per month. We hope to train our teachers and also pay them better in the coming years.
 
The challenge remains to improve the school infrastructure such as Administrative office, School building, Girls/Boys Hostel, Library, Science and Math labs and other facilities to raise the quality of education and meet the expectations of the poor parents and their children so that children from impoverished rural villages have equal opportunity to study and develop their in-born talents to the fullest.  
 
We believe that with the annual increase in enrolment of students, the school will need at least 5-8-10 years to come up as one of the best schools in Majuli Island with proper facilities and infrastructure and experienced and educated teaching staff/team.