Teacher's Diary: 'Reaching out to the mothers helped increase attendance in this school'
Chhavi Agarwal is a teacher in Banpurwa Primary School, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh went beyond the classrooms to educate the parents of her students, which led to an enhanced enrolment.
Chhavi Agrawal 20 May 2023 2:56 PM GMT
When I joined the Banpurwa Primary School in 2009, it was nothing like what it is today. A few children would come in, more for the mid-day meals than anything else. I thought about how I could change things around. The way to do it, I decided, was to work with the parents of the children who were enrolled here.
I interacted with the mothers and gradually, its impact began to show. To start with I taught them all how to write their own names. I also started a Health Club, which conducted regular check ups and held awareness campaigns on menstruation awareness.
To motivate the girls in the village, the school decided to gift a bicycle to the girl student who scored the highest in class. We have train girls in self defence so that they can look after themselves.
Gradually, I roped in the local community to help in shoring up the infrastructure of the school that would make it more attractive for the students to be more regular in their attendance.
In the beginning the students sat on the floor on ragged mats. Slowly with some monetary help from the community we got some furniture, improved the classrooms, cleaned up the bathrooms and so on. I use art and craft to engage the children in grade one. They love it. I pair the weaker students with the stronger ones in the class, so that the child can learn and understand better from their peers. It also enhances their leadership qualities.