A Kolkata school is handholding one in a village in Darjeeling district to provide them with curriculum support and teacher training at a time when the hill school is struggling with dropouts after a two-year gap.
Silver Point School in Kasba will be providing academic support to Chintan Academy in Takling village, about 25km from Kalimpong.
The school was set up in 2012 by a headmaster of a government school who used his own land to build the institution. But he did not have the resources to make a brick and mortar building.
“Before the pandemic we had about 75 children but now there are 40. We have to push the parents to send their children to school. Many of them say that they cannot continue without sponsorship. The help from Kolkata is a huge support,” said Sabina Lepcha, principal of Chintan Academy, whose husband Patrus Lepcha started the school.
He passed away in February and his wife is determined to keep his dream alive.
Silver Point School and Chintan Academy signed a contract recently. “We will provide them with curriculum support. The teachers, too, need guidance and so we plan to invite them to our school in winter when they can be trained in our school,” said Sucharita Roychowdhury, principal of Silver Point School, which has shifted to CBSE from the state board.
Roychowdhury had intervened in her private capacity after a friend mentioned about the school facing scarcity of funds some years back to her on a flight to Bagdogra.
The bamboo and asbestos room was replaced with a building following the intervention of the Rotary Club of Calcutta in its centenary year, three years back.
Former Rotary Club president Purnendu Roychowdhury generated funds from the club in Kolkata and in Europe which was used to construct a 4,300 square feet two-storey school building.
“The funds were given to the trust of Chintan Academy. Initially, they built one ground floor. We wanted them to build the second floor, which they did within six months,” said Roychowdhury.