It’s Back to School Time

June is “Back to School” Time in India

Do you remember the anticipation of a new school year? Brand new supplies, a new teacher, new classmates, maybe even new shoes? On the first day of school, maybe you had sweaty palms as you walked into the building. Maybe you hoped a special someone would be in your class. Maybe you determined that this year you would not procrastinate. Or maybe you just wanted the cafeteria lunches to be better.

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It’s hard to believe that while we here in the U.S. are just heading off on summer vacations, the teachers, students and staff at all 106 Good Shepherd Schools are preparing for the start of a brand new year.

Dalit kids all over India are making sure they are ready for that first day, teachers are planning lessons, and staff are making sure that the facilities at each school are ready to receive children.

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Starting school is always exciting. It’s always a beginning. It’s always an opportunity. So, here at the beginning of school in India, we want to say thanks. Thanks to every person who supports a Good Shepherd School, whether it is through sponsoring a child, providing a scholarship, giving so that new classrooms can be built, or supporting a teacher or community health worker. Good Shepherd Schools wouldn’t exist without you!

We also want to remind you of some of the differences between the education system in India and the U.S. Here are a few:

  • Just like in the U.S. a high school education requires 12 years of schooling. The difference is that children begin with Lower Kindergarten at about age 3 and complete the 10th Standard at about 14 years of age.  This means that typically students complete lower secondary education earlier than their U.S. counterparts.
  • Upon completion of the 10th Standard students’ high school education is considered complete, and each student must take a final exam. They are issued a certificate if they earn passing scores. Good Shepherd Schools provide government-approved education through the 10th Standard with a general studies curriculum. (Note: not all GSSs yet have the infrastructure to provide a full 12 years of schooling, although that is the goal.)
  • Students may further their education by completing Class 11 and 12, called “college” or “higher secondary education.” During this period, Indian students may choose a specialty to focus their studies.
  • After students complete the 12th Standard and pass the examination, they may enter University to earn a higher education degree.

We hope you will join us in celebrating the start of a new school year and wishing each of the 26,000 students who attend a Good Shepherd School a successful, peaceful, and safe school year.

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Once again, thank you for supporting kids in India. You are making a difference, not only in individual lives, but in families and communities, and we appreciate your faithful and generous gifts.

You can still help a child go to school this year through DFN’s “Plus One” campaign.  Here’s how!  Each $30 gift fully funds a needy child’s education for a month. Thank you for your partnership through Dalit Freedom Network.