My experience interacting with the children in the government schools supported by Bharti’s QSP has been eye-opening. I was initially shocked by how happy the children were with everything in their school. It was amazing seeing the children make use of every aspect of their school activities from the sports equipment to participating in clubs. I don’t believe there was a single child that I interviewed that was not part of a sports team or had not taken part in competitions which illustrates how engaged the students are. It was also very intriguing to see the student’s level of obedience and respect.
Whenever we entered a room the whole class stood up and didn’t sit down till they were told to do so. I couldn’t help but compare this to my own schooling which was vastly different. I could see the effect of the QSP on the students as well as teachers as they were all excited to show us displays of all the activities done by the club members. One aspect I noticed whilst interacting with the students was that those who held leadership positions in clubs were a lot more confident when answering interview questions whereas the others were reserved and shy.
I was happy to see that even though most students in the government school could not speak English, they all tried their best to communicate using a few words and phrases. In one of the secondary schools, I took the opportunity to sit and read aloud a poem from one of the textbooks to a class. This was a fun experience as the student seemed enchanted for most of the time and shouted out words they recognized. I tried my best to teach them a few words by using hand gestures and pointing objects out (like books). I also shared some wisdom about not cutting trees down as the poem was about trees but am unsure as to whether the students understood. Some nodded and smiled which I believe is a good sign. This experience made me feel as though the language barrier lifted, just for that moment as the children laughed and listened with such interest. It has been amazing to interact with the children in these government schools where the impact of QSP is evident.
By Dharshanaa Murugan
Job Description Academic Mentor