The Migros KIDS-School is a full-time school in Tirupur, a city in the southern province/state of Tamil Nadu in India, which emerged to become a leading center of the global textile and apparel knit industry.
In India there are private and public schools. At the free public schools children often have to study under unacceptable conditions because of crowded classes and a lack of well-trained teachers. Only children of the families which are able to afford the fees of the private schools have a chance for a higher level of education and good perspectives for their later working life. For this reason the objective of the Migros KIDS-School is to offer such a comprehensive education to poor families and giving them an alternative to the still widespread child labour.
Through constant improvements of the quality of teaching and the facilities the school has achieved a very good reputation. The teachers were trained in pedagogical and methodical skills and new teaching materials have been purchased. Also the sport teams are very successful and often win medals in national competitions.
There are the grades 1 to 10 as well as a Lower Kindergarten (LKG) and an Upper Kindergarten (UKG) for children from two years on. In the Indian school system the Kindergarten is often part of private schools.
Besides the full-day care and meals for around 1400 children there is an associated center for medical care for the students as well as citizens of the surrounding villages. Furthermore all children get picked up by bus going to school in the morning and after school back home. Therefore all of the busses have to do two laps/make two trips to take all of them. Of course wells, roof-water reservoirs, electricity and drain facilities are part of the schools infrastructure, too.
History and funding
The Migros KIDS-School was jointly founded in 1999 by Migros, the biggest retailer of Switzerland, and the German foundation K.I.D.S. e.V. Migros raised all necessary funds for the site-development, the building, the furniture and facilities as well as the the school buses. The Migros suppliers were deeply involved into the project from the beginning in order to achieve financial independence for the school and to create a „help to help yourself“ situation. The project is mainly funded by the regular knitwear suppliers of Migros in the region.
The planning and construction work took four years. First, the parents had to be convinced, although it was at no charge, that attending this school would fundamentally enhance their children’s life in a sustainable manner. Only 29 students were counted in the first year attending the school which was not more than a small provisionary construction covered by palm leafs.
On 11th December 2000 the new school building with 14 class rooms was officially inaugurated. The number of students rose up to 43.
Since November 2002, a project coordinator is hired to administrate and coordinate all activities within the project. She is in charge of the smooth development of the project activities in Tirupur and connects the teaching staff, the KIDS Society Tirupur and KIDS e.V. Cologne.
But already in 2005 the building had to be reconstructed and enlarged because of the steady increase of the number of students. For this purpose a suitable estate was bought and all bureaucratic and constructional barriers were cleared.
- 1435 children and juveniles are attending the Migros KIDS-School in the school year 2012/2013
- The schools facilities comprise at the moment:
- 32 class rooms
- Three laboratories for natural science
- A computer room (This year a second room will be furnished)
- A teachers room
- A football- and volleyball court
- Eight school buses
- The staff currently consists of:
- 53 teachers, respective assistants and the principal
- 35 non-teaching employees including:
- Service staff
- Security staff
- Cleaning staff
- Bus driver