In December 2008 we recruited a new faculty which now comprises nine teachers with experience, expertise and a sense of dedication. All of them, except those who are teaching Hindi, did their schooling in an English medium school and have a good academic record. I am attaching the bio-data of the teachers at the school along with their photographs. I would like to make a mention of two of our senior most teachers, namely, Mr. Jehangir Khan Suri and Mr. Amit Kumar Jha. Mr. Suri after doing B.A. (English Hons.) and M.A. in English worked as an executive in a firm but switched over to teaching because of his interest and flair for teaching. He is widely traveled and taught English in schools in Saudi Arabia for more than 8 yrs. His experience of teaching English spans over two decades. Shri Jha studied in a well known school in Ranchi , Jharkhand and was holder of All India Merits Scholarship. He became a textile engineer and worked with the Aditya Birla group for 13 yrs. He resigned as an engineer because of his passion for teaching and he is particularly happy that he now has the opportunity to teach underprivileged children. In view of the qualification and experience of the new teachers the compensation have been increased ranging from Rs. 7,000/- per month to Rs. 11,000/- per month.
The academic year ended at the school in December 2008 and the annual examinations were held in the last week of the month. 120 children at the school took the exams, most of them being in primary and junior classes. There is only one boy in class VIII and four in class VII. As it may be not be possible to run a senior class i.e. class IX for one student we shall get him admitted in a reputed school. The school sessions in Patna like in the rest of the country begin in April.
It is indeed extremely gratifying that 524 children appeared at the entrance test for the pre-school class. Musahar parents had brought their children, many covering over 30-40 kilometers. This was in sharp contrast to the reluctance of the musahar parents to send their children to the school which we had to face initially. This also debunks the perception among many that musahars would rather have their children working in the fields along with them than send them to school. It is true that the musahars like many other underprivileged communities are reluctant to send their children to the village schools but this is because these schools are really non-functional and a waste of time. Teachers are frequently absent, are totally de-motivated and in most cases ill-equipped to teach first generation learners. During my numerous visits to the villages I found the school teachers blaming the children and their parents for non-attendance and the parents claiming that the teachers seldom came to the school and sending the children to the school would be a complete waste of time. Their time would be better spent working in the fields and earning some money for the family. The message that our school means business and is determent to provide quality education has spread rapidly and hence the response.
We are in the process of establishing a computer centre at the school. The NIIT has kindly donated 12 computers. The centre should become functional by the end of this month. Mrs. Geeta Prasad, W/O the regional head of IDEA a telecom service provider owned by Aditya Birla group heard about our school from a common friend. She had her schooling and college education in Hyderabad . She visited the school and was take-in by the project and volunteered to teach spoken English to the children thrice a week. I am sure she will add great value to the school.
Like last year, we shall hold a welcome function for the new children joined the school later this month. By then the examination paper of the children of the school will have been corrected and results finalized. I shall then update you with the developments at the school.
J. K. Sinha
Shoshit Seva Sangh