To all those who actually missed my posts in the past couple of days, I apologize. To those that are pulling their hair out, reading my name in their inbox, I apologize to you as well. I’m back and this time I think you might want to pay attention because what I have to post this time is interesting.
I recently joined an NGO in Jaipur, Rajasthan called ‘Bodh Shiksha Samiti’ who are solely responsible for an infinite number of deprived and under-served kids across Jaipur and Alwar, Rajashthan in India being educated in the past 25 years. These schools have served as valuable areas for experimentation and innovation, acting as a locus for support activities in neighbouring Government schools. Did that catch your attention?! If not, there’s more. These schools not only address the educational needs of scores of children in the slums of Jaipur but are an expression of the belief that equitable quality education is every child’s right. Demonstration of uncompromising quality can be offered to children coming from most deprived and challenges situations and learning through these schools. For more information on this organization, please visit www.bodh.org
I would like to narrate a class taken for fifth graders yesterday when the children were given a lesson on sign language, which I attended. When Divya Singh (the teacher) asked the kids what problems they would face if they couldn’t speak, one of the kids screamed out very importantly, “We won’t be able to talk on the phone!” Well, that wouldn’t have been my first guess but I was pretty shocked that a 10 year old would see that as a PROBLEM?! That was on a lighter note but to go on with the class, the kids went on screaming (which 10 year old talks?!) things like, “We wouldn’t be able to talk to our parents.” “We wouldn’t be able to buy things.” “We wouldn’t be able to understand each other.” At that, Divya broke the line of screaming to ask what they could do in such a scenario and surprisingly they were all aware that you could use sign language. I didn’t know how to use sign language when I was 10 years old but these kids do now, as a revolutionary change to their syllabus.
Divya went on to teach the class how to make letters with your fingers through sign language and I sat there with rapt attention, listening to her along with the kids and now, can make a deaf person understand what I’m saying. Children tend to grasp things faster than us and they were making words in sign language by the end of the class, with me struggling to keep up. We have a fellow staff member who is deaf and it made me smile thinking that there were 16 more people who could now communicate with him, due to the changed syllabus.
The teaching material at the schools run by Bodh is all based on board games and activities. If you visit any of these schools, you won’t see children sitting in rows in front of the blackboard; you’ll see them sitting in groups helping each other out and discussing with each other what they were taught. Bodh stresses on quality and innovative education for the children and a lot of work goes into preparing these classes for their wholesome education. You see smiling faces, happy to be given a chance to attend school, running around and being what they’re supposed to be… CHILDREN!! As I sat in that class, wishing my classes had been more fun… I thanked my stars knowing that my unborn children would be given a chance to learn through fun and games thanks to organizations like Bodh Shiksha Samiti. I salute them for making a revolutionary change in the education system and hope that their work gets noticed all over!!
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