Education Park Enrichment Materials

World economy is based on knowledge and skills; technology plays an important role in the development of a nation. The majority of the population lives in rural areas where they may have access to government education, however due to limited resources the education is often inadequate. They may not have access to private facilities, or if they do, the costs are prohibitive.

Education Park is a non-profit organization that aims to provide more affordable, quality education and training to K-12 students from rural areas in Madhya Pradesh. This organization is based on three main fundamentals; education, economy and energy.

The education aspect of the project aims to bring the children of poor economic background to the mainstream so that they can compete with others from urban areas. Education will be improved with specialized training for the teachers and hands on learning for the children.

The vision of this organization also includes building the infrastructure with emphasis in sustainability and using green practices such as solar power and recycled materials.

By increasing knowledge and usage of technology, Education Park aims to stimulate the economy and by doing so increase farmer yields and general productivity. This project hopes to provide education to students from 25-50 villages.

Our mission in helping this project is to provide educational support and provide enrichment ideas which would further benefit this program. We have approved a $1,000 grant for Education Park for this year. We hope to be able to provide more funding to this exceptional organization in future years.

The Khargone district, wherein Bhikangaon is located, comes under tribal belt. It has been declared as one of the most backward district of MP.

The economic situation of the area is not very good. There are people below the poverty line and need support for upliftment. As indicated earlier in the text that in the Khargone district more than 80% people live in rural area. The agriculture is main source of income. Most the rural farmers are not rich and lack access to basic facilities like road, electricity, school etc. Because of their poor economic background, a rural poor does not get access to high quality education, which, in future, ensures that a student born in poor family will remain poor. Therefore a school that can provide high quality education at an affordable cost in this area is essential.

Please visit the Education Park website for more information on this program.

Education Park Website

Project Information

About fifty villages in the Khargone district are served by Education Park. Currently, there are approximately 263 students registered in the school. Education Park is trying to add a grade level to the program every year, so that the oldest students (first to be enrolled in 2009) can stay in school and have access to education until they graduate.

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Goals

Education Park is working towards providing facilities to house teachers within the campus, as well as a reasonable salary. This would increase their chances of acquiring and maintaining a well-qualified teacher, dedicated to helping the students achieve. At home, students are not exposed to any additional academic learning. By residing teachers within the campus, students will have easier access to the teachers, and the interactions between students and teachers will increase. Education Park hopes to model such relations after those seen at IITs (India Institute of Technology) and IIMs (India Institute of Medicine).

As well as providing more into teachers’ welfare, Education Park is looking towards providing students with residence as well. If the students were able to stay at the school, the time spent traveling each morning and afternoon would disappear entirely, and enrollment would likely increase. The life of the infrastructure within Education Park is fifty years, minimum. Over this time span, at least 5000 rural youth will benefit from the program.

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History

Education Park began in 2009 in the hopes of providing high quality, affordable education and training in rural India. The three main objectives of Education Park are 1) to provide high quality education, 2) to facilitate economic growth in the region and 3) to promote the use of renewable energy. The program runs schooling at the primary levels, and is working towards adding secondary and higher secondary education. While the facility is not in use in the evenings, numerous programs in vocational areas including solar energy, farmers’ training, English, computer skills are offered to the adults of the nearby villages.

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The Region

Education Park is based in Bhikangaon, in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. The people of Bhikangaon’s main occupation is farming, and many of them depend on rainwater and the water pumping system to go about everyday life as well as tend to their crops. Many areas in the region receive power for about four to eight hours per day. The literacy rates in the villages surrounding Education Park is about 40 to 50%. The quality of education in the area is substandard, and though there are good private schools in the urban areas, they are hard to access and extremely expensive.

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Instructor Testimonial

Teacher Name: Swapna Sharma

Dear ma’m,
Hello ! How are you? Hope fine.. Thanks for your response for education park school.
Ma’m as you know that we (Education Park) are on a mission of providing HIGH QUALITY BUT AFFORDABLE EDUCATION IN RURAL INDIA and we are committed for it. In INDIA there are number of such villages that do not have any type of electricity connections & if they have then they suffer from the problem of power cut. For this reason Education Park fulfills all its requirements of power supply through solar energy that we get from solar panels transplanted here in our premises, since Bhikangaon also suffers from problem of power cut. This is the strongest point that answers the question, Why we should have accommodation facility for students in our school premises?? Secondly whenever anything that is asked from parents to provide in favor of students, even if it is any special copy or any type of activity related thing maximum parents do not understand what to do, how to do?? They also not understand written/oral notices/information send by us regarding school matters. So the students do not get that environment at home after school hours. If they are provided with best accommodation facilities in school campus itself then it will also help them grow and learn more. If teachers will get a proper place that meets their routine requirements in school premises then they will also spend time thinking about school after school hours also, which they generally may not do. It will help in improving TEACHING QUALITY which will over all help students, teachers and Education Park on the other hand. So, I , as a part of this mission will always support the idea of providing best possible accommodation facilities to students and staff both, provided they are comfortable with it.
With regards,
Swapna Sharma.

Education for ALL