The month of March is intense at schools in India. Children have been hard at work at exams which are coming to an end now. This period is particularly important for class X and XII students, as it has a great impact on what they will do next.
During the school year in addition to regular school work they do theater, listen to visiting speakers, go on small field trips, have library discussion groups, participate in Science fairs, run Social Science clubs, and work with community initiatives in their towns and villages. These activities help them become confident, articulate, and hopeful about their future. But in the month of March the focus is entirely exams.
About 20 students each are taking the class X and class XII exams in the Seed Narpanigal project. Seed Narpanigal runs after school study centers in the Karumbalai cheri in Madurai. Students who had dropped out in earlier classes or were in the danger of dropping out have been encouraged to come back to school and get interested in learning again. Asha Fellow Karthik Bharathi is particularly good at encouraging such students, with individual care and attention, so that they become productive members of society instead of aimless youth.
About 100 students in each of the 10 high schools Sahanivasa works with in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh are taking the class X exams. Sahanivasa conducts after school study centers on the government school premises, for government school children. Class X pass rates have shot up since Sahanivasa’s intervention. They were at around 30+% when we first started this project, now they are over 90%, with some schools achieving 100%. After volunteer Sadhana’s recent visit we are beginning to discuss how we can help the students with career counseling and other support after class X.
Mobile Science Van
The Mobile Science Van in HD Kote taluk in Mysore district in Karnataka works with over 20 high schools. About 2000 students are taking the class X exam, as the Mathematics and Science teachers wait with bated breath to see the results of their efforts.
Viveka Tribal Center for Learning
Students across India are taking the class X exams – at urban centers, small towns, rural villages. So are students in the tribal school deep in the forest near the Kabini river in Karnataka at the Viveka Tribal Center for Learning. For the last 30+ years this school has been tirelessly working to help tribal students succeed in mainstream society. At a recent visit a student told volunteer Melli, “I want to create a business for tribals.”
In an area where education of girls is the last of a family’s priorities, change is coming through BSPES. As the class X girls take the exams, we look forward to the second student, Surbhi Kumari, who will be visiting the United States to spend a year in a community college with 100% scholarship. This is part of the Community College or CCI program conducted by the United States. After Bandana, we are so happy to see this success.
Kamalakar Memorial Trust
At the Vikas Bharati school run by the Kamalakar Memorial Trust in Hyderabad, students of migrant families in the surrounding area are focusing on their class X exams. They hope to keep up the 100% pass rate achieved last year and ensure that everyone joins junior college like they did last year.
We wish them all the best!!