Since 2008 we have had an exciting partnership with the Dornakal Diocesan schools in the Cathedral Compound at Dornakal, Telangana, India.
There are various different schools on the site: two primary schools and two secondary schools - where pupils are taught either through the medium of English or through Telegu; there is a school for the Deaf; and the Dornakal Junior college - like a 6th Form college.
We are partnered especially with the Dornakal Diocesan English Medium (DDEM) School. The partnership between the schools forms part of a wider Diocesan partnership between the Diocese of Gloucester and the Diocese of Dornakal. Both King’s Senior and Junior Schools are in partnership with the Dornakal English Medium School.
Over the years, the schools have received Global Curriculum Grants from the British Council and worked on joint projects – Food, Family life and Energy. Also, there have been reciprocal visits of teachers and pupils. Although the funding from the British COuncil has now finished we are continuing with our joint projects. For example, the Second Form at King’s completed a history of King’s and Gloucester for the Dornakal School and a selection of Independent Learning Projects by our First form have been sent to Dornakal.
In November 2013, we undertook to sponsor five pupils at the DDEM School.
The pupils we sponsor are from very poor families or are orphans with no relatives. The DDEM School receives no government funding and has to charge minimal fees. Families pay what they can afford – it costs £25 a year to attend the school and hostels – where pupils board. The hostels are funded by different aid agencies. The area of Dornakal is rural and the majority of the pupils come from tribal families who live in remote villages; many of the parents have had no education and the pupils who come to the DDEM School are the first in their families to receive an education. The tribal families are from the Dalit community and are often victims of prejudice as they are often considered ‘untouchables.’ In 2014 our Junior School’s Harvest Festival raised over £100 to support the sponsorship.
King’s has also provided helped to fund the building of a new classroom at the DDEM School along with the Gloucester Diocese. This was through money raised at a dedicated fundraising day and we are pleased to say that the new classroom was opened by Bishop Prasada Rao on 31st October 2014. The school hopes to use it for science teaching.
The Gloucester Rotary Club has been very supportive and has awarded a grant to the Dornakal Deaf School and its hostels for the refurbishment of the girls’ and boys’ toilets in Spring 2015. These were in the most appalling condition: the roofs leaking, no doors on the cubicles, no running water or washing facilities. This will change the lives of these children immeasurably especially the girls.
We are looking forward to hosting a visit from the Dornakal School in March/April 2015 – two pupils and two teachers – with the help of a grant from The Sylvanus Lysons Charity in Gloucester and generous fundraising from parents and pupils at King’s. The visit will enable us to discuss the future of the Partnership and which joint projects we would like to work on. It also brings the partnership to life, fostering friendship between pupils at King’s and at the DDEM School. The visit provides Professional Development for the teachers who come and a wonderful experience for the pupils. The visit will also provide benefit for the local community as the Dornakal teachers and pupils will visit other schools and churches within the Diocese