SGS India Provides Practical and Educational Support to Local Schools
SGS India prioritizes providing education, eradicating hunger and malnutrition, and ending poverty in its community activities.
With 70% of India’s population living in rural areas, we are committed to supporting education, promoting healthcare and providing safe drinking water through projects that improve infrastructure and support teaching efforts.
In 2016, we adopted a government funded school in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu. We have made a five year commitment to support the school by helping students to develop English and computer literacy skills, as well as offering educational and practical support. Some of the ways in which we have supported the school so far include:
- Building a safe fence around the school to improve security and keep children from wandering onto the main road
- Carrying out essential maintenance work on the school building
- Providing children with uniforms, shoes and identity cards
- Establishing a library
- Replacing obsolete computer equipment
- Providing teaching aids, such as blackboards
We also sponsor staff, including:
- Full time housekeeping staff
- Part time English teachers
- A special educational needs teacher
- A full time computer teacher
We ensure that the children receive physical education through activities such as yoga and dance. This is important given the low level of awareness of the need for physical exercise.
The SGS India management team visits the school on important dates throughout the year, including Independence Day, Republic Day, Children’s Day and Teachers’ Day. During these visits, we encourage the children to participate in games and activities, and we award them prizes.
We have also initiated parent-teacher meetings to encourage more interaction between parents and teachers. We regularly engage with parents to gain feedback on the actions we are taking and learn how we can further support the children.
In 2017, we supported a school near our laboratory in Kolkata. During the rainy season, rain lashes the city between June and September, supplying it with most of its annual rainfall. With no drainage, the rains leave the roads flooded, meaning that children have to walk through the water to reach school. Working in collaboration with the administration, we improved the road. A proper drainage system has been installed, so children can now walk to the school without getting soaked. We also supported the construction of a school library with study tables and chairs, lighting and air conditioning, and we planted a garden to encourage the children to play outside.
The Victoria Blind School, near SGS India’s Chennai facility, is home to 200 partially sighted students aged up to 16 years. The disability commissioner of the state informed us that the school’s most pressing need was a separate toilet block for girls, because the school only had communal facilities. We worked with the Public Works Department of Tamil Nadu and provided financial support for the construction of new toilets.
We also supplied the school with computers, established a computer room, created a recreational area and enabled the installation of a CCTV camera outside the school to monitor the safety of the students within the school grounds.
As the school is on a main road, and some students choose to walk to the nearby shops, we plan to construct perimeter fencing around the school and create safe walking routes to the local shops in 2018, to ensure the safety of students at all times. In response to a recent request by the principal of the school, we are supporting the creation of pathways within the campus to allow children to walk safely from their classrooms to the hostel.