BIS #6788 Launching of Village Education Programme at Nandurbar District in Dhadgaon Block

By Fr Clarence Martis for BISMumbai

The Province of Bombay began its venture of education of the poor young in the district of Nandurbar with the commencement of the Village Education Programme (VEP) from August 2022. This programme is being coordinated by Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra (BGVK), Ahmednagar, and is organised in 15 ashram shalas.

The Dhadgaon area is populated with two main tribal communities namely Bhils and Pawra. These two communities are underprivileged in terms of education and livelihood. They have their own dialects which are different from Marathi, which makes it difficult for them to study in the Marathi language.

The project began with the training of teachers on 12 August 2022. Fr George D’Abreo, along with a staff member from BGVK conducted this training. The training has oriented the teachers on the art of teaching and will now conduct classes for the students in the fifteen ashram shalas every day.

Fr D’Abreo, the Director of BGVK, is optimistic about the whole venture. He said: “A quality education is the key to success. Our involvement in the lives of these poor young people will bring about a change in their lives and that of their families.” The teachers who underwent the training programme were enthusiastic about the project. One of them stated: “This programme will definitely help our children in a big way. It will also help the villages in which these classes are being conducted.”

The VEP classes aim to reach out to students of Classes 1 to 4 with special attention to weaker students. It aims at improving the quality of education, strengthening the basics of the students, and reducing the dropout rate. Apart from VEP, the project also aims at conducting career-orientation programmes for the 15 ashram shalas in the district in the coming months.

This reachout initiative takes forward one of the key agenda of Provincial Chapter 2022 namely having a preferential option in favour of the poorest young people. This reachout initiative also helps fulfil the fourth and tenth Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.