Access to education in rural India is fraught with many issues. According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), the key factors behind the massive rural-urban divide in terms of provision of educational opportunities include: Lack of schools and limited access, inadequate infrastructure and lack of qualified and motivated teachers.
SDET has addressed the root cause of these issues, and built a network of institutions that have transformed Manjakkudi into an educational hub. There are two higher secondary schools (one Tamil-medium and one English-medium), and a college, which cater to the educational needs of 300 surrounding villages. More than half of the students who come to study in the schools and college at Manjakkudi are first-generation learners, and every effort is made to help them develop their knowledge and talent to the best possible level. Thanks to the provision of school buses, children coming from villages located farther away are brought to and from school in a safe and secure manner – with little interruption to their daily routines or studies.
The fees in our educational institutions are very nominal as they are subsidised by SDET. Scholarships have been instituted for students who come from financially challenged backgrounds. All of SDET’s educational institutions have been staffed with experienced, dedicated teachers who encourage creativity, exploration and curiosity. Both schools and the college are equipped with the latest pedagogical tools, including smart boards, libraries, computer and science laboratories and sports facilities. It is noteworthy that students from other states enroll in the Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science, as they are convinced of the higher quality of education and learning they get here.
The Semmangudi Higher Secondary School, a Tamil-medium educational institution, was founded by philanthropist Sri. S.S. Natesa Iyer in 1958. The school was established to address the lack of educational opportunities for girls in the village, and was named after eminent Carnatic musician, Sri. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. The school began with 10 students (five boys and five girls).
In 2004, the management requested SDET to take charge of the school, as they were unable to keep up with the requirements of such a large project. Having seen SDET’s work in Manjakkudi, they were convinced that the Trust would be able to bring in value-added developments to the school. After taking over, SDET worked to upgrade the school’s infrastructure. The older buildings were refurbished, additional buildings were constructed and well-equipped science and computer labs were set up. At the heart of it all was the guarantee that every child who sought to study would be given a place at the school. As the quality of education improved year on year, students from Manjakkudi and 35 villages in the vicinity began to attend the school. Forty-five percent of our students are first-generation learners.
(404 boys and 363 girls)
Montessori to Class 12 | Physical training, yoga, music and karate | Spoken English training programme introduced for students from Classes 1 to 5
Smart classrooms with smart boards | Well equipped science laboratories | Cafeteria | Modern toilets and washrooms | Drinking water facilities | Full-fledged library with around 4,000 books
Provide three year Montessori training for children aged 2.5 to 6 years, before they join mainstream curriculum | Investiture Ceremony | Graduation Day | Learning Festival (introduced in 2018)
The Swami Dayananda Matric Higher Secondary School was established to provide quality education in English in the rural region. It began in 2006 with 27 children. Teaching in English in rural India is a challenging task, and SDET employs the best of modern pedagogical facilities and methodologies to foster proper understanding and usage of English. The school has a team of dedicated teachers who encourage creativity, exploration and curiosity to make the most of the learning journey. The school has instituted the Montessori system of teaching for younger classes to ensure that the children gain a holistic system of teaching.
The Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science, a co-educational institution affiliated to Bharathidasan University, was established to provide higher education opportunities for students in Manjakkudi and other villages in the region. The need was felt particularly in the case of girls, who were unable to leave their families and live alone in other cities during their course of study. This institution of higher learning began in 2001, and moved into its current state-of-the-art campus in 2003. The college others a wide range of career-oriented graduate, postgraduate and research programmes. The institution started out with 200 students; now, we see over 1,500 students enrolling in our college year-on-year. Eighty percent of the students are first-generation learners. Students from other states have also enrolled here. The college offers scholarship programme to meritorious students who come from financially challenged backgrounds.
A 900-seater air conditioned auditorium in the heart of the campus is a destination for celebrating a wide range of occasions pertaining to Swami Dayananda Educational Trust. Training programmes, seminars, lectures and concerts are regularly celebrated here. A spacious foyer for exhibits, generator back up for power supply, LED projector along with its highly maintained ambience add to the charm and comfort of the space. With clean washrooms and fire alarm and other safety measures, the auditorium is at par with international standards.
Instituted and inaugurated in October 2013 by SDET, the Swami Dayananda Scholar Programme aims to provide support and encouragement to undergraduate students to excel in their chosen field of study. To be eligible for the Swami Dayananda Scholar Programme, students have to show academic
excellence (minimum of 80% if they are in the science stream, and minimum of 75% if they are in the arts stream) in each semester. The scholarship given amounts to 50% of the tuition fees, and is distributed every semester based on the performance of the previous two semesters. From 2014 to 2019, 170 students have benefitted from the Swami Dayananda Scholar Programme.
Every year, the Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science organises a job fair, which sees the participation of students from the college itself and from (around) 20 colleges in the region. Companies from diverse sectors such as banking and finance, automotive and HR participate in the fair. Several of our students have found jobs in organisations such as Sundaram Finance, Tata Consultancy, City Union Bank, ICICI and other corporate houses through campus placement.
The Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science has been holding Campus Recruitment Drives since 2014-15, and it has been very encouraging to see a steady increase in the number of participating companies and students placed through campus recruitment. In 2014-15, five companies participated (for both UG and PG) in the Campus Recruitment Drive; a total of 245 students took part in the recruitment drive, of whom 79 were successfully placed. Since then, we have come a long way – with over 20 companies participating in the Campus Recruitment Drive and close to 350 students taking part.