The Foundation started with one class in June 2004 in a village called Nagore near Bhuj in Gujarat, India.

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What has been achieved so far

The Foundation started with one class in a community room in June 2004 in a village called Nagore near Bhuj in Gujarat, India. We opened with seven girls and one teacher. In a few days, we had 12 students registered at the school out of which 3 girls are only in education because we have put a school in the village. They would have been otherwise been working or housebound at the age of 12.

The nearest other secondary school is 3 miles away but the fees are prohibitive to the local people. A two acre land was donated to us by a local resident of Bhuj. This land, about a mile away from the village and the villagers felt it was too far to walk for the children in the summer when it reaches over 40 degrees celcius .

The Nagore village council applied for some government land situated close to the village but the bureaucratic process took its time. The Foundation had to wait for this land to be acquired before construction could begin on the new school. 11 students took end of year exams and passed. They are now allowed by the State to carry on into year 9. We started with year 8 and we could start year 9 and 10 as the class moves on ever year.

June 2005

The new school year has started with 3 teachers and 2 classes. We have the 11 students who have moved up to year 9 and we have now taken on 11 more students into a new year 8.

November 2005

As the first language for the school is Gujarati, we are in the process of starting some English language evening classes for the students of the village. The idea would be to have extra classes in English for two hours every evening.

December 2005

After trying for over a year we have finally been given some land by the local government to build the school. It has taken over a year for this process as the government could not charge us for the land as it was for a school but to donate the land they had to go through a long bureaucratic process.

January 2006

On January 16th we were finally handed the papers for the land and a land blessing ceremony was done. We expect construction on the new school to start over the next few weeks to try and finish by June or July 2006. This would enable the new school year to start in the new building.

May 2006

The construction work is well under way and the work is due to finish in July and hopefully we will have 24 people from Leicester at the opening ceremony on July 17th 2006. The new school year starts June 12th with three classes but they will have to have to work from the old building for the first few weeks.

July 2006

We had the opening ceremony for the new school building om July 17th 2006. It was attended by 24 people from Leicester which included students and teachers from Rushey Mead School Leicester and over 300 people form the community. In the evening over 500 people attended the celebrations. The sign outside says RUSHEY MEAD SCHOOL.

May 2007

The first group of students in year 11 took their national SSC exams. The results was not great but we had made a start with 28%. After the earthquake, the government of India started tax free zones or SEZ - special economic zones in the Kutch district. This brought in investment in the form of large factories and job opportunities. After visiting some of the new companies, we chose to put more emphasis on exam results. In one of the companies we visited, in order to get a job even as a cleaner needed a 10th grade SSC pass incase the person had to work near a compute operated machine.

May 2008

The year 10 students in Nagor, Gujarat have a achieved a 93% pass rate in the national SSC exams. A great leap after the first ever results last year and also way above the Gujarat average results. We took a groups of 16 people from the UK to India for a two week exchange of ideas visit.

2009

All the hard work has finally paid off. The year 10 exam results were a resounding success. We got a 100 per cent pass rate. We also took out another group of youngsters from the UK to India in July 2009. They spent a week at the school and another week touring Gujarat. While walking through the poverty stricken Ashapura district of Bhuj, it was suggested that there was a need for a classroom in the neighbourhood to provide basic education to the local children. As they could not read and write properly, they would avoid going to school as the teacher had her hands full with a large class let alone and therefore had no time for the weakest students.We started the process and construction started in November

2010

In January 2010 we opened the classroom and it cost £700 to build. We started with over 50 children in the room and over the next few month we brought up the skills of dozens of these children to make them confident to go to the local school. The exam results at Rushey Mead School was a disappointing 63 per cent pass rate.

2011

The results were more successful this year and back to 100 per cent pass rate. One of the girls Ridhi, who passed the exam comes from a poor one parent family but her ambition is to become a doctor. We will keep on supporting her and will let you know how far she gets.The classroom type basic education idea was so successful that we have taken the plan elsewhere. We started our first programme in Pakistan with 2 classrooms in rented building in Karachi and Hyderabad. We decided to do this as there is a lot of poverty in Sindh province and a lot of the children were missing out on education.