Friday, 26 August 2011

Update The Wisdom Academy - August 2011

It’s the rainy season in Jaipur, temperatures have dropped into the lower 30s (Celsius), so school timings are back to normal.

The schools were closed for two weeks for a summer break. In Jaipur, students attending public or private schools have two months summer holidays (May and June, the hottest months of the year). But such a long interval wouldn’t be effective for the pupils of The Wisdom Academy. These children still have to develop a habit of learning, without having much encouragement and support from their parents. A long vacation would mean that students’ school discipline would have to be re-established, and that students would have forgotten much of what they had learned before the holidays.

The Wisdom Academy has rented a third room on the premises of the Nirman Nagar school, to be used for classes and as audio-visual space.

School in Nirman Nagar

The school in Nirman Nagar is serving two slums: a slum very near to the school (a few minutes on foot),  and another one some kilometers further on. Students from the second slum are being transported to and from the school by auto rickshaws. As the attendance of children from this second slum fluctuates greatly, The Wisdom Academy will soon start giving classes inside the slum. Hopefully, providing education closer by home will increase the number of students going to school daily.    

Besides the above activities, The Wisdom Academy is running educational programs in two more slums (in residential huts). Here, the children are present regularly. For the time being, family huts will continue to be used as class rooms.

Some girls were struggling to combine classes and responsibilities at home. The Wisdom Academy managed to convince their parents to let their daughters go to school, and have them do the work at home afterwards.

Math lesson

The children who started attending classes a few months ago are beginning to learn the basics of the ‘serious’ school subjects. As almost all students never went to school before, it’s a daily challenge to have them settled into the routine and structure of the class. Coming to school on a regular basis, sitting still, listening, learning good manners, and taking interest in studies; it all takes a lot of time before the actual studying can start.