The school starts at 9:30 am but Mustafa leaves home at 7. So what does he do in that time period?
Travels? No, he lives nearby.
He plays? No.
He spends time with friends? No.
Mustafa is on a daily mission during this time, where he makes sure that he takes along maximum students to school. As there is irregularity and attendance issues, he visits homes that even fall out of his way to school.
The 13-year old boy even talks to parents about sending their wards to school regularly. Mustafa who is in 7th Std. even asks his seniors who don’t come to school, but they fend him off.
Why does he do it? ” Because exams are coming and if they don’t come they’ll fail’.
Why are you so bothered? “Because i don’t want any one to work in stone quarries”. Most villagers either work in fields or in stone quarries in Mewat to earn a living.
After some more digging in, he told how his father worked in a stone quarry and would sustain serious injuries frequently while working in it. He works no more and stays at home.
A crusader, a torch bearer – Mustafa is an example for all of us. Such souls will definitely show the path to their community and will also go on to grace the world with their light.
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The school starts at 9:30 am but Mustafa leaves home at 7. So what does he do in that time period?
14- year old Subeena was an ordinary girl studying at Govt Middle School, Kherla when her parents decided to pull her out of school as now she was a grown up and it was normal for a girl of this age to drop-out and adorn home and indulge in household chores rigorously. She was in Class 7 then and the year was 2014.
Her school going friends told her about the activities in school, prizes won in different competitions, visits to Gurgaon and the happenings around campus which now she could only imagine. While her attempts at getting back to school proved futile, her desire to get back to school grew even stronger. After a year long struggle which consisted of persuading parents and breaking social norms, she is back to school and it was October’15.
The moment her parents obliged, she couldn’t wait and stitched her uniform within two hours and was back to the place which had been in her visions and dreams-School. “Subeena has caught up with the lost time and has come back strongly. She’s doing well in her studies and is unbeatable at co-curricular activities. She’s also the monitor of her class” Savita Ratta, Principal boasted of one of her students.
Salute to the girl extraordinaire, kudos to her grit and determination to continue studies. Subeena you’re an inspiration to million such girls who are pulled out of schools. You’ve shown them the way
School Level Workshops on STRIVING for QUALITY education were held at Kanwarsika BA Pur amidst HM’s, teachers, parents, key figures of the village and the members of the SMC (School Management Committee). The workshop started with addressing the stakeholders present in the workshop about the current challenges and issues that are curtailing the quality of education in the school. From students’ attendance to teacher’s performance, from disposal of unused furniture to potable drinking water, all possible issues that are impediment to quality education were brought to light and were discussed upon. The resolution bearing those issues came out as a collective effort of the stakeholders.
In BA Pur, teachers and parents of the students had a few issues among them which was amicably settled when both the parties agreed on emphasizing on certain points which will complement both the parents and the teachers. In the presence of Sarpanch, SMC members and teachers, Infrastructural matters were also dealt to make the campus cleaner, spacious and to make optimum utilization of the building which should ultimately contribute to the imparting of quality education to students. Attendance and dropout rates of the students were critically reviewed and steps to keep it under check were discussed with the teachers, parents and the others present. Till date the workshop has taken place in Kanwarsika, BA Pur including Sonkh, Rehna, Salaheri and Kherla, but the buck doesn’t stops here and will cover most of Govt. Schools in Mewat.
The workshop brought all the collaborators together and they discussed key points that are obstruction to quality education. The confluence of all the stakeholders led to an understanding among the community that not one but all will have to strive for quality Education and contribute towards the bright future of the students.
Orientation sessions for Swachh Vidyalay Program were conducted at Govt. Schools across Mewat Govt. Schools. The HM, teachers and students were familiarized with the objectives of the Swachh Vidyalay Program and were told about the 5 points comprising it. The points are: School Campus Cleanliness, Attendance and Regularity, Health and Hygiene, Discipline and Utilization of Resources.
For the student, of the student and by the student is the mainstay of this Program. The students were encouraged to take initiative in the Swachh Vidyalay cause and they readily agreed. A Head girl, a head boy and 3 students for each point have taken on the responsibility to adhere to the points and also to ensure that it is mutual among the fellow students. The nominated students will be guided, monitored and will report to a lead teacher who will support them with inputs whenever needed. The Orientation /Bal Sabha was possible only due to the HMs who were co- operative and arranged to conduct Bal Sabha along with the teachers who despite of classes managed to contribute and took part in the orientation.
The program is an initiative of the SRF Foundation and the orientation was headed by Rakesh A. along with Pragati Goel and Shakeb Alam from the Foundation and was supported by Nisha Juneja, Kamleshwar Mishra, Amir Khan and Shakeel Ahmed from the Field Team. The Program aims at instilling leadership qualities in the students and also to develop an instinct to take initiative for different causes. Along with this, the Program aims to inculcate different habits that need to be practiced out by the students which will make sure that they attend school regularly in their school uniforms. In a way the Program addresses major issues which will holistically impact not only the environment of the campus but also boost the capability and spirit of the students.
What happens when a role model who is an inspiration to the youngsters and somewhere you aspire to be like him or her comes in front of you in flesh and blood? You are awestruck and amazed by the person present. That’s what happened to the students of SP Nangli when on Tuesday i.e. October 20th Miss India 2015 Aditi Arya paid them a visit as part of Support My School Campaign (SMS), an initiative by Coca Cola and NDTV in collaboration with SRF Foundation that provides infrastructural support in schools. The beauty queen not only charmed the students with her poise but also inspired the students specially the girls for achieving whatever they want. For most of the time spent in the school she talked and motivated students of Shahpur Nangli and urged them to dream and strive to achieve it.
Before that she received a warm welcome by the students who took her around their school with hand in hand. They took her to the Library, Classrooms, Playground, Science Lab, New toilets and through the corridors. She even gave a try at badminton with other girls and yes, she was good at it. She also met girls who went on to excel at State level Handball Championship and was introduced to Wasima who is the Brand Ambassador of our Swachh Vidyalay Program and also a product of UDAAN. At the Principal’s Office she was briefed about the village demographics, the students, achievements of school and was introduced to the key persons involved in the SMS Program by SRF Foundation’s Mr Rakesh.
While talking to girls she shared an anecdote: “When my Mom asked me to wake up and study, I felt like not waking up and felt lazy, at that time it felt terrible to get up and study. But now, when I look back, I think that I did the right thing when I curbed my feelings, got up and studied. I have been crowned Miss India and going for Miss World, it’s all because I got up and did what was at that time difficult for me.”
Apart from that, students talked about what they aspire to become and she motivated and made them believe that they can be what they want to be. It took the efforts of Coca Cola, NDTV AND SRF Foundation to make the visit possible for Ms. Aditi who not only inspired the young and the energetic lot but was instrumental in motivating them. While bidding farewell she was moved by the gesture of the students who presented her with Good- bye cards and requested her to come again.
The Vibrant Khor-Basai GMS
According to Mr Shaminder Kumar, head-master of Khor-Basai Government Middle School, his school boasts one of the highest attendances in the whole of the Mewat District. The high attendance may be attributed to the variety of co-curricular activities which students can participate in. These activities include music, sports, arts and craft and even dance, catering to the students’ varied interests.
As we stepped into the school, we were struck by how vibrant the student life at Khor-Basai GMS was. We sat down with their head-master and found out what some of these activities are, his reasons for implementing them and how he went about doing it.
Co-Curricular Activities at Khor-Basai GMS
Mr Shaminder Kumar recognizes that co-curricular activities play a vital role in the development of his students. These activities are also encouraged by the State Government and the SRF Foundation.
As such, he has made it a point to ensure that the school offers a variety of activities, which are well implemented. Together with his staff, he introduces physical activities, arts and crafts, music, and other things which are not found in the textbook.
The students of the school play games such as kho-kho and rope-skipping during their break. They also take part in sports such as badminton and volley-ball. The students take these activities as an opportunity to exercise their bodies. Team sports also allow them to learn about the importance of team-work. According to Mr Shaminder Kumar, students of the school have actually taken part in state level competitions, where they performed very well.
In addition to sports and games, yoga sessions are also conducted during morning assembly.
Arts and Craft
Arts and craft play an important role in the classroom. They are used as a means of imparting important lessons in a manner which interests the students. They also let the students express their unique creativity. One of the teachers of the school shared with us that the students find joy in making art pieces and are able to absorb the information better. The pieces made by the students are used to adorn the walls of the classroom, making the place more beautiful and stimulating for learning.
PT Show (Physical Training Show)
Students of the school are taught how to make music using the musical dumbbell and the lazium. The dumbbell and the lazium are percussion instruments which the students play while making synchronized movements. The activity, which combines music with physical movements, is known as the the PT Show, or Physical Training Show.
They practice constantly in order to achieve harmony. Led by a teacher on drums, the students perform in sync, moving their bodies and beating their instruments as one. The students of Khor-Basai GMS put up dumbbell and lazium performances during important events in the school calendar such as festivals and national holidays.
Every Saturday morning the school conducts a bal sabha, which is an assembly for the students. During the bal sabha, students are given a platform to showcase whatever skill they desire. When we visited, we had the privilege of seeing a couple of students sing, dance, and act and even perform a comedic routine. Two students even did imitations of animals, which had the whole school laughing.
Implementing Co-Curricular Activities
Mr Shaminder Kumar told us that implementing so many co-curricular activities required the coordination of the staff, the community, and the students. It could be difficult at times, he admitted, but he has been blessed with a committed staff and enthusiastic students who are passionate about school.
A difficulty he encounters is getting the cooperation of the students’ parents who fail to see the value of education, and of co-curricular activities. The head-master said that it takes a lot of convincing, and he stresses upon the parents the importance of education and the benefits that it will have on their children and on society, as a whole.
The head-master, during the interview, gave credit for the school’s success to everyone except for himself. A teacher told us that the head-master is actually the secret ingredient. He is the backbone of the school, and he has a unique ability to motivate the students and the teachers. At the end of the day, leadership from the head-master plays an extremely important role.
Motivational Talks at Morning Assembly
In addition to co-curricular activities, the head-master also highlighted the school’s practice of giving motivational talks during assembly as an important factor to the students’ development.
During the school’s morning assembly, the head-master asks members of the staff and students to share motivational speeches with the school. These speeches aim to encourage students to work harder in school, and also to become morally outstanding citizens in the future. When we visited, Mr Parveen Kumar, an English teacher in the school, gave a talk on the importance of finishing school, and how doing well in school will make their parents, teachers, school and village proud.
Such talks instill important values one might not learn in the classroom. Being given by their teachers and even their peers, the students are also able to relate to the advice better.
A Vibrant and Motivated Student Population
The students of Khor-Basai GMS are an enthusiastic and lively bunch. During our visit, they were extremely friendly, and encouraged us to join them in their games. We believe that the school’s variety of activities, which are well-implemented, and the motivational talks, have made a significant impact on its students, giving them an opportunity to grow and to shine.
All over Mewat, head-masters are putting into place innovative practices which are improving the education of the students in their school. Over the month of December, three interns from the SRF Foundation visited 7 of these schools to document the practices and to interview the head-masters.
With these reports, they seek to give recognition to these schools, and to share with the world little bits of progress that are being made, even in the most rural of places.