First time ever School-Goers at Pardada Pardadi!

15 February 2010

On Sunday January 31st, teachers were scrambling, schedules were being finalized and buses were roaring. The staff for Pardada Pardadi’s new school was conducting a drill run for the first day of school.

Two hundred new female students, born into the poorest of poor families of the area, and many of which are from Muslim households, would be stepping through the front doors of PPES’ new school.

PPES’ team of 6 teachers headed out door to door on the narrow alleys of Anupshahr on a 1-month drive. They mobilized the village families from most undeserved communities to send their girls to PPES assuring that PPES would be a guardian to their girls. In one month, about 200 families were guided to ensure a better future for their girls.

The kids between 4-12 yrs, are all first time ever school goers. They had never known what a school looked like before joining PPES.

‘Sam’ as Mr. Virendra Sam Singh is famously and lovingly called, decided to launch the initiative when he realized Muslim girls were grossly underrepresented in academic/vocational schools across Anupshahr.

With a goal to transform the community as a whole, Sam was dedicated to ensuring this truly meant greater opportunity for the girls. About half the girls are coming to the school from the most downtrodden Muslim tribes. These communities are segregated in terms of their perceived menial job, caste, and low socio-economic status among others.

This school is a step forward to transform the current hierarchical strata of society by ensuring inclusivity of these girls.

On Monday February 1st 2010, the girls were thrilled to pull up to their new school, where fresh paint had been applied to a brand new set of swings and slides. They literally sprinted off the bus, racing towards a delightful morning in their new playground.

During the school day, girls are immersed in a world of rhymes, numbers, letters, dance, prayer, cartoon movie and Hindi, English and Urdu languages.

Two weeks after their first day, students cry out answers to teachers’ questions, competing to demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge. It is evident that they are learning more than the curriculum, they are learning that education is both fun and stimulating.

Another great aspect of the school is the new leadership. A group of PPES girls from class IX are training as teachers at the new school. Alongside professional trained teachers, they are kept very busy, tending to the needs of these new learners and leading classes themselves. One can say the student has become the teacher. These leaders are easily identifiable, clad in a new uniform- bright yellow shirts with an important statement strewn across the front – “We are the change”.

These new leaders and students are the change-the change that will transform the society, by blooming into socially and financially independent beautiful young ladies.


Jean-Francois said...

Most interesting and soul-warming report! Thank you

debby said...

Good luck in this new endeavor that will certainly benefit these new students.


julye williams-augustine said...

Congratulations on the expansion of the school to reach even more girls! What a blessing for them indeed!