Changing Life & Living: Children of Tomorrow
EDUCATION SUPPORT PROGRAMME: Education Support Programme is a special programme organised in the very remote areas ofJharkhand and West Bengal.
The aim of the schools is to ensure that the children from very poor, tribal families who could not have ever imagined that they would wear school uniforms and get access to colourful school books in the pre-primary level are actually getting educated in the kindergarten schools.
Good Hope Schools are special schools located in remote regions to provide quality pre-primary education to grass-root children. The schools deliberately focus on English as a medium of learning to break the traditional idea that only urban children have the scope and inclination to be taught English.
A group of educationists with vast experience have put in their efforts to develop the curriculum for the schools. The focus of the schools is not just education but an overall improvement of the quality of lives of the children. That is why special days are organised – Independence Day, Children’s Day, Environment Day, Literacy Day etc – to help build awareness among the children. An environment-friendly proactive mind is created through efforts like sapling distribution and care among the children.
Another special focus is the health of the children. In these remote areas, health services reaching to these children is negligible. Moreover, there is the daunting task of low consciousness about nutrition.For this purpose, intermittent health check-ups are organised for the children. Doctors check-up the children for the identification of diseases in the children, if any. It also helps to monitor the health and nutrition levels of the children. Mothers of the children accompany the children so that health and nutrition related suggestions can be provided to them.
GOOD HOPE SCHOOL- KADMADIH: Supported by: AHP Foundation: One such Good Hope School is located at Kadamdih. This Good Hope School has received kind support of AHP Foundation.
Kadamdih is a small village located in the Mosaboni block of East Singbhum district of Jharkhand. Almost all the population here are tribals – dominated by the Santhal adivasis. The inhabitants were originally settlers who were brought in to work in the mining and related industries. Overtime, these inhabitants have settled in these areas and some have acquired very small plots of farming land. But the majority of the population work as labourers – the men mostly work as construction or daily labourers in the nearby town of Ghatsila or in cities like Jamshedpur. Some even work in other states. Some work as marginal agriculturists. The women work as support labours in the brick kilns located in nearby areas.
The primary school is located nearby but there are no pre-primary education centres offering quality education. The Anganwadi centre in the vicinity offers nutritional support to the children but not any form of real education. In order to get quality pre-primary education the children have to go to the nearest town of Ghatsila but to go there they have to ferry through a river which is a near impossibility for the children. Moreover, the Montessori schools there are too costly for the comfort of labourer parents. Being working in the cities, the parents are aware of pre-primary and Montessori schools but were so far unable to provide such education for their children in their village premises due to socio-economic reasons.
The Good Hope School has given them a good opportunity to provide for quality, holistic education for their children.
FUNCTIONING OF GOOD HOPE SCHOOLS: There are 20 enrolled students in Good Hope School at Kadmadih. The average presence in school is about 15. The teacher of Good Hope School is Gracy Kisku. Gracy has passed her higher secondary school.
Gracy not only is a diligent teacher but also updates herself regularly with teaching techniques through interaction with Saswati Roy- Secretary of Swadhina as well as a well-known teacher.
The teaching technique is totally different from that of usual schools, which make learning interesting as well as less burdensome for the children.
A VARIETY OF FLEX BANNERS ON HEALTH,
NUTRITION & HYGIENE HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED
-The school offered many first opportunities for the children. On the occasion of Children’s Day, on 14th of November 2016, the children got an opportunity to know that a special day is earmarked for children where their presence is celebrated. Special songs were sung and the children recited rhymes.
CHILDREN PARTICIPATE ENTHUSIASTICALLY IN SIT-N-DRAW CONTEST
-A special drawing contest was organised for the children on 7th of December 2016. Crayons were distributed among the children. This was the first time that the children ever got to use crayons. Their enthusiasm reached sky-high. With little fingers the children produced beautiful little drawings.
The children tasted delightful chocolate cakes – for many this was the first time that ever got to taste one!
At the end of the programme, the children were given little stationery items as gifts. And being the beginning of Winter Season, each child was given a woollen sweater.
THE LITTLE CHILDREN GLADLY ACCEPT THEIR WINTER WEAR
Coming from poor, marginalized families, for them these woollens are their only winter wear.
-The Final Evaluation for this batch of students took place on 24th of February 2017. Each child was provided an Evaluation Sheet. The teacher helped the children fill up the evaluation sheets. To make the atmosphere a fun celebration, each child was given a packet of chips.
Their grade assessment based on their evaluation is ready for distribution.
The new session would begin from April 2017.
FOOD & NUTRITION ENHANCEMENT THROUGH KITCHEN GARDEN: Due to constant motivation of the mothers, as well as the women of the region, women have begun to use their kitchen garden for nutritional requirement of their families. Normally dependant on rice, dal, potatoes, the families have now begun to consume pumpkin, Red Amaranth, spinach, papaya, gourd, okra, brinjal as a part of their daily diet. This has helped improve the diet and nutrition of the children and women as well. Some women have also sold surplus vegetables in the local market.
Payel Hansda & Kunami Hansda: 5year old Payel and 3year old Koonami Hansda, both are students of Good Hope School. They have two older sisters. Ram Hansda and Sabitri Hansda want to ensure that all their four daughters get good education. So, while the young ones are sent to Good Hope School, the older ones study in classes five and eight in government schools. Ram is a temporary auto driver, while Sabitri grows a vegetable or two in the little plot of land that they have. For the parents, looking at their girls learning to write English alphabets is a dream come true.
Reshmi Majhi: Little Reshmi Majhi is all of five years old. Her father is a daily labourer. Her mother used to be a brick kiln labourer but due to the birth of a baby boy, she is currently at home, looking after the six month old baby. When Reshmi goes to Good Hope School, her mother gets some time to rest – as otherwise the little girl and the baby keep her too occupied. She feels happy that Reshmi is learning words that she has never known about!
Shureeta Murmu: Shureeta is the only child of her parents. Her father is a daily construction labourer while her mother is a brick kiln worker. Her mother drops her to school on her way to work. For her mother, this provides a relief to know that her daughter is safe and secure in her school. While her parents hardly know to read or write, Shureeta has learnt to write from 1 to 10 with much confidence.
Rina Majhi: Four year old Rina has a two and half year old brother. Her father currently works in the mines. They have a small slice of land which they use for growing paddy or some local vegetables. Rina’s parents are very hopeful that their daughter would excel in her studies and make them proud.
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