“Learning and wisdom are superfluities, the surface glitter merely, but it is the heart that is the seat of all power.” -Swami Vivekananda
What would you do if you see children in your nearby community not going to school?
We talk about every child having the right to education but are we actually able to implement it?
Well, These questions lingered in the mind of one of the teachers in our partner school.
Ms. Bharti, a primary school teacher of Government Primary School in Singena Agrahara saw a problem of low enrolments in her area. Regardless of well-managed classrooms, skilled teachers and enough space for extra-curricular activities getting children to school was a challenge. After, doing the survey she found that the Rag-Picker community residing in the locality do not prefer to send their kids to school. This was because of the lack of awareness among the parents about the importance of education.
Despite many attempts, she was unable to reach out to the community because of the language barrier as it comprises of migrant families. Irrespective of these hurdles, she refused to give up and reached out to our team members Prakash, Basavaraj Divatagi, and Nagesha. They work as a field associate from Mantra in the same cluster. All of them discussed the situation and decided to work together. They planned to conduct a research in the community to understand why children were not going to school. Some of the key observations are as follows:
- Well-off families in the area prefer private schools over government schools.
- Although some migrant families enroll their children in government schools, attendance of these children is a major challenge.
Post- collaboration, Mantra team along with teachers started visiting the place regularly and also conducted various enrolment drives. The aim of Enrolment Drive was to build the credibility of Government schools in the eyes of these migrant families with the help of SDMC and Gram Panchayat members. The team also focused on convincing them to send their children to schools.
The teamwork has resulted in more than 20 enrollments. They have been engaging with these parents on a regular basis which has also increased the attendance rate. Even though there is a lack of transportation facilities, children are now enthusiastic to come to school. It has also stopped the practice of child labor prevailing in that area.
It is heartening to see an increased participation of parents in the School Development and Management Committee (SDMC).
The Cluster Resource Person(CRP), Ms. Krishnamma has voluntarily started working with teachers for resolving the problems of communication barrier in order to motivate these children. Our team members are closely working with community people to keep a track record of activities and attendance of enrolled children.
As I write this post, it gives me a lot of happiness to see the collaborative efforts bearing fruits of success. The children are now open to the new surrounding and are blossoming in happiness. We hope that education will help these students flow ahead and dream beyond the garbage that surrounds them.
Written by Mr.Basavaraj Divataji, Field Associate, Mantra4Change