This has been a week of visiting a few schools from which children visit Siragugal.
Thalaiyattumund School held a rally on Monday, 9th of June the to promote rain water harvesting. A last minute CEO directive and a last minute invite to flag off the rally. The children marched through the main road of the area , shouting slogans, holding up placards with very little understanding of what it was all really about. What it was truly about was fulfilling a directive that had filtered down from the top of the education department.
There was an air of positivism in the Main Bazaar Elementary School. Large classrooms had been tiled, walls painted, pictures and charts put up very neatly. One young teacher had been enticed to teach Computers on two days and ‘Spoken English’ on three. The Headmistress was happy because the meager strength of the school had been enhanced by children from a new orphanage. One room had been set aside just to play indoor games.
It was sad to hear that many of the children remained very silent and had to be coaxed to even smile or say anything. And these are small children below the age of 8!
The CMM school Headmistress was welcoming, encouraging and pleasant as usual.She promised to encourage children to come to the library. And to have a career counselling soon.
The Govt Higher Seconday school Headmaster in charge turned out to be an old friend – Prabhakaran. He talked of how interest in the children can turn them around. He had many changes in mind for the school and hoped to be left at the same school so he too could implement them. He too repeated the refrain – government directives every hour by email which keep the headmaster and teachers very busy so the actual teaching gets neglected.
Everywhere, we heard about the children who come to these schools – from single homes, alcoholic parents, abusive parents, abandoned homes.. these are the children who wind up in government and municipal schools. These are the children who need our help. To help them find their potential, to discover hidden talents, to help them fly.