Teacher’s Diary: ‘The school where villagers tied their cattle is now imparting education to their children’
Vivek Kushwaha, an assistant teacher at the Upper Primary School in Dahena, Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh tells the story of how he brought back a school from a cattle shelter it had become.
Vivek Kushwaha 20 May 2023 2:34 PM GMT
When I was in the 12th grade, I started coaching others to earn some money. I also taught mathematics to my classmates when I pursued a Bachelors in science. Money was always in short supply at home. My father worked at a gas agency, so the income was never enough.
I wanted to become a teacher so I pursued Bachelor of Education [B.Ed] soon after completing my B.Sc.
In 2015, I took up the job of a teacher at a primary school in Dahena village, and saw that the school was taken over by cattle. They were tied up in some of the rooms while the other classrooms were used to store fodder. There were no teachers, and the school barely functioned as a space for learning or teaching.
The first thing I did was clean the rooms. It was impossible for me to do it by myself. Some villagers suggested I ask the administration to provide help since the government had appointed me to teach here. That worked after some persuasion. Then, armed with a list of names of students who had dropped out, I began to track them down at their homes. There was stiff resistance sometimes. Either the fathers would abuse me and send me away or the mothers who said their children helped them in the fields and I should mind my own business. "Our children work in the fields, what will they do with education," were the words I heard the mostly.
I managed to persuade 17 children to enroll and began to teach them. The school had no toilet, so with the help of the village head, I got one constructed. Within a year and two months, 63 children joined the school.