Information on Under-Utilized Scholarships and Financial Assistance Schemes
Delhi, India, 27 July 2010 - To make information on government scholarships more accessible to socially and economically marginalised communities and available in a user-friendly form, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has published a directory on financial support schemes for school education in India.
“The directory has been published in response to the large numbers of eligible and deserving children who are unable to take advantage of these schemes because they do not know about them,” said Rowland Roome, CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation. “Even schools and education officials are not well informed on details about scholarships. The result has been under-utilization of these scholarships and allocated budgets.”
The directory, entitled Scholarships and Financial Assistance Schemes for School Education in India is an attempt to fill this information gap. The document publicises numerous scholarships, financial assistance schemes and incentives set up by the Government of India and seven State governments to help ease the burden of the financial costs of school level education (class 1 to 12). The document was produced with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency.
While information on financial support schemes is publicly available, its communication is generally scattered through various channels, such as websites, newspapers and circulars that are difficult for remote and under-developed schools and communities to access. For the first time in this form, the directory pools information about these schemes under one cover.
AKF plans to share the directory with NGOs working in the field of education, funding organizations and key education department officials at district and sub-district levels to spur wider dissemination of the scholarships and schemes for school education.
“We hope this document will serve as a handbook of benefit to students, parents, schools, education department officials and all stakeholders in school education,” said Mr. Roome.
A soft copy of this document is available in PDF format (link at bottom of article). It can be made available copyright-free on other websites. The publication of the directory is part of larger education programmes undertaken by the Foundation, the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) and other agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
The Aga Khan Foundation has supported school improvement programmes targeting early childhood through to elementary education for over 20 years. Throughout, the focus has been to reach marginalized groups, foster innovative approaches at the community and school level, and support local NGOs involved in improving access and quality of education.
Aga Khan Education Services’ (AKES) education activities in India date back to the beginning of the twentieth century when Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah established the first Aga Khan School in Mundra, Kutch, Gujarat in 1905. AKES manages 10 non-denominational schools across Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, and a hostel in Hyderabad, and runs an early childhood education programme which emphasises child-initiated learning.
Aga Khan Foundation’s Programme for the Enrichment of School Level Education (PESLE) impacted with lasting effect the quality of school education available to poor and disadvantaged communities by addressing the key issues of enrolment, retention, learning and achievement.
The growing AKDN area development programmes all include education activities (e.g. community early childhood programmes, school improvement programmes, literacy projects) as relevant to the needs and opportunities in each of the target areas of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Nizamuddin basti in Delhi. AKF and AKES support school improvement in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. They also work through Bodh Shiksha in Rajasthan and other NGO partners in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, with a special emphasis on marginalised groups.
As part of educational efforts in India and internationally, AKDN is building an Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh. Part of a global network currently under construction, the Academies are being created out of conviction that home-grown intellectual talent of exceptional calibre is the best driver of a society’s future, that excellence in education is a key ingredient for developing this talent, and that girls and boys who can benefit from such an education should be selected on the basis of merit alone regardless of family background or ability to pay. The network of Academies will feature a curriculum based on the framework of the International Baccalaureate (IB).
AKDN’s Education programmes are supported by the Government of Canada (CIDA), Sir Ratan Tata Trust, the US Embassy, New Delhi, and His Highness, the Aga Khan.
For more information, please contact:
Aga Khan Foundation
In India, programmes of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) span the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The programmes work to address a broad spectrum of development issues ranging from cultural restoration to education quality, microfinance to health care, and rural and urban livelihoods. The core of these initiatives is community-based engagement and institutional support, including to schools and educational centres, clinics and hospitals, a rural support programme that has benefited over one million people in four Indian states, and the restoration of Humayun’s Tomb in the nation's capital.