This was not necessarily to be expected due to the corona pandemic: IT specialist Reinhold Klass from Gechingen, who leads the project “Wissen creates a future” for Indian children, is enthusiastic about the development of the initiative until now, and the German will also benefit in the future the labor market can benefit from it.
Gechingen – Klass worked for Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India Private Limited, MBRDI for short, a 100% subsidiary of Daimler AG. With the research and development center in Bangalore in 1996, the company opened the largest of its kind outside of Germany. Gechinger worked for three years in Bangalore, the country’s IT capital, and helped set up a department that develops software for Daimler. Klass has not only been involved professionally in the country but also has strong ties with his wife Margret in the association “Nethanja Narsapur Children’s Home Christian Mission India”. The couple from Geching have already organized several cultural and tourist trips to India, and the next one is planned for November.
Fascinating and contrasting country
The association manages and finances five sites in India, spread over an area the size of Baden-Württemberg: twelve children’s homes, three high schools, the school supported by Klass and his colleagues, an electrical and mechanical training center as well as a home for the disabled and a hospital. The association is also involved in the training of nurses. It has been active in India with its Indian partners since the 1970s. “In this fascinating and contrasting country, the Church of Nethanja works with the two main concerns of helping the poorest of the poor and preaching the good news of Jesus Christ”, summarizes the association in its objectives. “Nethanja” means “given by God” in German.
Economically and technologically, the country of over a billion people is still on the fast track, but many people are illiterate and countless Indians have to live on a dollar a day. While there, Klass got to know the Indian education system. In his experience, school education and teacher qualifications are at a very low level. Boys and girls hardly stand a chance after class 10. Klass is also very knowledgeable about the IT industry processes there. His accumulated knowledge eventually gave him the idea to help the poorest of poor children and orphans. The project “Knowledge Creates Future” in collaboration with the association “Children’s Home Nethanja Narsapur Christian Mission” as a sponsor of the schools project was born. For this, the Geching-based company found a project partner who was immediately very impressed with the project: Werner Dürr from IPO.Plan GmbH, Leonberg. The company offers software and solutions for factory planning.
Job Opportunities Abroad
Gifted children have the option of studying in India or abroad. The talents of the children of Nethanja are encouraged and challenged. By optimizing school education in a targeted manner, children can have the opportunity to train themselves as computer experts. And so, of course, the chances of getting a job abroad, for example in Germany, also increase, which can counterbalance the shortage of skilled workers in this country.
“Our project got off to a great start,” Klass reports in an interview with our editors. It started at the end of 2018, a year later the school building in Narsapur in the state of Andhra Pradesh was completed. It was fully paid for, including the administration building. “Initially, a maximum of 60 students had to be accepted, finally it was 140 for a first class of 10.” In the meantime, the 11th and 12th grades have been set up, and there are now 540 students in these two grades. “It was great that the first promotion could celebrate their departure in the summer of 2021”, an above average number of them received a scholarship. In the federal state of Andhra Pradesh, which has a population of around 50 million, a total of 100 scholarships have been awarded, including a dozen to young talents from the project of the association “Nethanja Narsapur Children’s Home Christian Mission India”. . This makes Klass and his comrades in arms proud and happy. His conclusion: The first two of the three phases of the project got off to a very good start.
It is learned day and night
The children at the school are very motivated and are learning day and night. The term elite has a different meaning in India than in Germany. “In India, anyone who has been given a chance, like apprenticeship, feels like they belong to the elite,” Klass says.
Of course, the project could only get off to a good start thanks to the (regular) donations: “There was no drop in donations because of Corona. On the contrary, we received about three times more than usual because it was recognized that the need in India is enormous”. With 30 euros per month, a child can be educated and housed, and a very good teacher can be employed for a monthly salary of around 500 euros, according to Klass. For project sponsorships, the Gechinger was able to win partners from the region and thanks to its professional connections from Frankfurt am Main: “Of course, fixed income securities help us a lot”. Corona has been over in India for about six months – “normality is returning”.
The participants of the next cultural and sightseeing trip led by the Klass couple from November 2 to 20 will discover that India is a fascinating and contrasting country. 16 people can participate. Further information and registration: Mail: email@example.com, telephone: 07056/38 37, 0176/78 90 48 57 or at https://tour-mit-schanz.de/gruppen/klass_indien_2022.
Info: The three phases of the project
Phase 1 (support from grades 6 to 10): improving the quality of education in all schools; to optimize the qualification of teachers; Optimization of teaching in schools, in particular to promote scientifically/technically gifted students; complementary computer courses as well as English and German courses are open to the poorest children, who today generally have no chance of going to school; motivating workshops where computer enthusiasts can learn the basics of computer science
Phase 2 (IT college and Abitur class 11-12/13, computer specialist/Politech/Diploma): The best/most able students have the possibility of being admitted to a house of study after the 10th class. There they receive additional specific support and attend a private computer college until they graduate from high school. For example, German companies send work-study students to provide specialized training support. At the same time, they receive strong support in family structures shaped by Christian values, as well as intercultural training and intensive German language instruction; First practical experience and programming activities.
Phase 3 (training in Germany, three years, outside “Wissen create future” and outside the responsibility of the association “Nethanja Narsapur Children’s Home Christian Mission India”): Studies at the DHBW (Dualen Hochschule Baden-Württemberg) in computer technology Access to a university in India or in the world. In Germany too, the students will then be taken care of in a study house and culturally accompanied in family-type structures. Support from the BW Ministry of Economics is under consideration.