As part of our efforts to improve the school at Thimmaiyanadoddi, we arranged for volunteers from Vagdevi Vilas School to come and assess the system.
The teachers who came assessed the school and found the teacher there to be quite knowledgeable and was doing a good job with the teaching using a variety of creative teaching aids. The classroom was well organised and decorated with different charts and concept sheets. A teaching assistant also helped with the activities in the school.
The students were tested on their lessons frequently. The volunteers checked through the question papers prepared and found them to encompass what was necessary. Students on a whole seemed be quite regular in attending classes. The problem found, however, was in the lack of involvement of the parents in their child’s education. This consequently led to a lessened motivation in the students. A possible solution to this would be to educate the parents so that they valued the education of their children.
For one test conducted during the assessment, a few students only showed up when Prema (the community worker) coaxed the parents to send them. The students seemed serious about the test, yet were not able to answer the questions well. It was also noted that none of the students did any homework. This issue was also linked to the lack of interest from the parents and their inability to help their children complete assignments. The teacher suggested that every evening, one parent should supervise their children’s home work for a short time at the school.
Aside from that, the school infrastructure could also be improved. If the ground in the school compound was levelled, then there would be space to accommodate a few playground equipment to be used during school break times. Other needs of the school like the ceiling fan in the classroom and shoes for the children could also be addressed.
Continued support for the school would need to be provided in the form of teaching materials and activity plans for the children. A special programme for Children’s day would also be organised. But most importantly, a method of educating the parents would be the key to improve the school system in Thimmaiyanadoddi.
This was achieved by our community worker and the volunteer teachers who set up a system of rotation where by two parents came to the school beyond school hours to ensure parental involvement.
There were very few kids who completed primary education here, who were able to cope with the middle school education in government schools close by. Many of them ran back home, unable to cope. With continual efforts from Prema and the volunteers, one girl was motivated to study further. YogaKshema managed to support her. A few more students showed interest to continue on to middle school bu the time we left the village.
The costs of traveling to the village is prohibitive to sustain our efforts. Moreover, primary school education is not our forte. Our measures to get corporate companies to fund/include this village in their CSR didn’t work out. Quality education for the kids of Thimmaiyanadoddi is a passport out of penury, and we are still hoping for a guardian angel to descend onto Thimmaiyandoddi.