Who are we?
Opportunity School is a 52 year old school providing education to the underprivileged children living in and around IIT Kanpur campus. It came into existence because the children of people working as domestic help had no hope of getting education. It has progressed from 6 students and a Type-2 house to about 300 students and a block in Kendriya Vidyalaya.
Where are we?
Education to the underprivileged children is the only way to brighten their future through self-empowerment. And it is also the best way to eradicate child labour from society. The school has been functioning all these years by adhering to the principles of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. We try to help our children acquire skills, habits, and attitude to adjust well in the society.
At present the school runs classes from 1 to 8 and is recognized by the UP Board of Education. We are trying to go up to class 10 as many children, especially girls, drop out of school after class 8 because their parents are not prepared to send them to expensive schools outside the campus.
We have also started identifying individual talent and providing opportunity to hone them by inviting specialized teachers for dance, art, jewellery making, quilling, mehendi application.
Our students have also started acquiring computer skills, using an interactive science lab, and learning book craft and home science.
History of the Opportunity School
The history of the school begins from its conception in 1964. The history is too long to be described vividly in words. In the early stage, there was no schooling facility for the boys and girls especially in and around the IIT Campus for children of daily wagers. Because their parents were underprivileged and lived below the poverty line,they could not bear the expenses to send their kids outside the campus. Most of them were illiterate. That was why a large number of boys and girls ended up doing trivial jobs.
Taking it all into consideration,some of the great-souled and large hearted people came forward to establish and erect a platform as the Opportunity School. They put their heart and soul to see it as a full-fledged school. People who worked in the residences of the campus began to send their wards to the school. The school started with a few students i.e. from 2 to 6 students. KendriyaVidyalay and Campus School were meant for the children of IITK employees and administrative officials only. By and by the number of students went on increasing till as many as 300 students at present. Those who dreamt a dream and laid the foundation of the school are really worthy of admiration and applause.
The main aim of the school is to provide education so as to make the children dedicated and conscientious citizens of India. IIT Kanpur provides a helping hand and financial aidwithout which our school would not have been a school of reputation as it is now. The school is a boon for us all, granted and provided by IIT Kanpur. The alumni of IIT Kanpur have brought a revolutionary change in school. The Director Prof. Manna and the administration do stand by us and provide us unconditional support. KendriyaVidyalaya, Campus School and Kislayaschool also play a crucial rolein helping us with material and teaching resources.
In July 1967 a teacher named Mr. R S Shrivastava got an opportunity to serve in the Opportunity School. At the that time,it was a Herculean task for him to run the school. He had to collect donation from hostel students, from employees salary. Some of the faculty members also did a lot to raise funds for the school.Mr. R S Shrivastavaspared no efforts to take the responsibility of the school. He was only male teacher and had to manage all problems of the school. As time passed by he was given the entire responsibility to manage the school activities. Some years later,he took over as a principal of the schooland proved himself to be an architectof the school through his untiring efforts and dedication towards the school. He has devoted his whole life for the welfare and all round development of the school. His service towards the school is phenomenal and exceptional. The school owes a lot to his outstanding services and far sighted vision.
Prof. H C Verma, the current Chairman of the Opportunity School management committee has brought a sea change in the school.As a result of his extraordinary efforts the statusquo of the school has entirely changed with respect to raising-funds, appointment of new teachers and recruitment of non-teaching staff.Some of the radical change brought in by the new appointees are praise worthy and note worthy especially in changing the educational atmosphere of the school. All the teachers and staff are working well together.
The services renderedby the ex-principal Mr. R S Shrivastava will ever reflect as hallmark on the school’s history.
He has dedicated himself for the welfare of the students from the deprived families from within IIT Kanpur and neighbouringareas. I would say that it might have been the God’s grace and willingness that he has serve the school for a long time that is to say nearly 40 years. Some of his sincere and incredible ways of working have become unprecedented traits to be followed by one and all.
Now our school beenrecognised up to Junior high classes from U.P.Board. Long-waited and long-desired affiliation was fulfilled through the commendable efforts made by Chairman. DrH.C.Verma and Mr. R.S.Srivastava.
There is a vision to launchhigh school classes in near future. Despite some hardships and hurdles,high school will start within a spam of a year or two. The dream will be real and true and the high ambition of Dr. H.C.Verma will be realized soon.