MARAWLI MARATHI SCHOOL: 2nd April’11
Marawli Marathi School in Chembur and its H.M. “Jag dish Babban Lalge” stands as a representative example of the school change programme of S.E.P. that started some 8 months back in Mumbai Municipal Schools. Marawli Marathi School is a small school located near Marawli church ahead of Chembur colony. There are 377 children enrolled in this school and the building is undergoing a repair and a new construction work. The children who come to this school are from very poor families whose parents are mainly labourers and rag-pickers. When the H.M. Coach went to visit this school initially in the month of December’10 it was headed by a D.H.M. and I worked with her for 2 months and then this new H.M. arrived. “Jagdish lalge” the new principal, arrived in March’11, he found the school in a very poor condition. In this school the teachers were never on time, he started with that.
ü Teachers coming on time, where as in the previous cases every time maximum teachers used to come 15-20min. late and when I told the D.H.M. to convey this in the staff meeting, she used to say that the metro construction work is going on, so buses do take a lot of time. But this H.M. ensured very strictly that every one comes to school on time without any train or bus excuse.
ü Teachers coming from the classes and talking in the corridors was completely stopped in this school.
ü Regular H.M. visits to classes.
ü School repairing work got speeded up and I could see the progress clearly.
ü Cleanliness in the school was seen though repairing work was going on.
In the earlier phase he did not respond to the H.M. coach (sahyogi). But later after having interaction with him and discussing about each and every aspect of that school made him trust on this project and what kind of change we are talking about? He started planning and the way he used to discuss the milestones made me feel excited and enthusiastic to work in that school. The H.M. and the H.M. coach had a parent teachers meeting once before which we had planned an art activity and after that the agenda of the meeting. Since this project has started, we cannot directly see the results but can actually see the whole process that will do justice with this case study for sure:
The meeting was very well organized and the Content that the H.M. spoke was something that made the meeting complete in all aspects. His planning was thorough. He was the person who was telling me the key points of planning and how it differs from school to school? His agenda was so clear that while hearing you can make out. He made the D.H.M. Usha madam speak first and then the he started. The best part was that he started by wel coming the parents and thanking them for being there on time and said that please express your problems, stories, queries so that I will learn from you and respond to it. The parents were actually very interactive and bold. The questions that the Parents raised were:
i. Teachers do come to school but is not in the class, may be busy with the admin. Work or so.(7th class)
ii. Language of the children and hitting and fights with other children. This point came after Usha madam’s speech where she mentioned that 7th class children are eldest in the school and so they need to know that their behaviour is a kind of role modelling for others.
iii. Completion of course.
iv. Children skip the schools and don’t come.
All these were the parents concerns. H.M. first appreciated and thanked them for expressing their views so openly without any shame or fear of any authority. He started with that the 5-6 hrs that a child spends in school and learns, is what he or she should take back home whereas in this school children bring their bad language which their hear in their community and outside school, their chit-chats and gossips that actually affects the other children in the school. They bring cards and other playing things which are not the part of school’s atmosphere. I want that my all 377 children should take back home good things that they learn in the school, and try to make their community and place better. They should take the things from school to home whereas the reverse is happening and affecting the school’s environment. Children are influenced by the company in which they stay and so a good company is equally important. He stressed s lot on the language of the children. The H.M. said that when he goes for visits in the class he especially uses word like “CHANGLA” which means good again and again so that the child can assimilate it in his behaviour. He asked the teachers who were sitting in the meeting that can they tell him that how many times he has used that word when he visited their class. Is it 7 or 8 or 10? That time I felt that he is extremely planned and is very specific whatever he speaks. He then said that if my children are not able to take this then how they are going to understand the meaning of the word “good” that is hidden inside the word ”Good morning”? How they will feel the sweetness of that word “good”?He said that for him that is the most important learning when he comes to school because the day starts from that word and if you are not able to feel it, what is its use?
When he was addressing the parents he said empathising them that even he is a parent like them and understands that what happens when children don’t listen and when they make excuses for not going to school. For the teachers not being ion the class he said politely that I will take care of it and in the future this thing will not happen. If the teacher is not in the class he himself will take the class he promised. He added about the 7th class teachers issue that madam is the senior most teacher and is the in charge of many things like scout guide, exam related things etc. And more over is engaged in many official works. He told all the official work of last year to the parent to make them realize that teachers really have to work a lot in addition to teaching. He also said that his team was busy with census also. He added that this information is what the reality is and you people have full right to know all this. But at the end said that we all have some responsibilities which we should understand.
He also discussed about the 27items that are distributed in the school. He told the parents that when he was in school he was not having shoes in his feet and might be many of the people who were sitting there also faced the same situation. He said that that my heart cries in pain when I hear child saying that the rat has eaten up my shoe. The shoe that costs Rs280. Now tell me that who is responsible for taking care of that? Then he told the parents about the examination structure.
He told the parents his past experiences of being a teacher in a private school and a government school? He also told the story of 2 of his students who are earning very well and have studied in government schools. The stories were really inspiring and motivating. He said that the day when all my children will understand that teacher who is standing in front of them is just a physical image or is a source and the real teachers are the books, that day my objective of educating my children will be somewhere feels to be done.
He also talked to the parents about the career of the children. He gave a very good example of a papadwala and connected it with learning and education. He told that while making the papad the child discusses the materials which are present in it, its spelling, what it is called in another language and the source of peer learning that takes place through it. He then emphasized a lot on:”LIFE SKILLS” and how that helps in moulding a child’s future? Education is just not passing the exams but inculcating these life skills in the children.
He also talked to the parents regarding the discipline. One of the teacher commented “ this school never had so many parents in any of the parent teachers meeting.”Further a week later Dupare Sir took initiative of helping every class to conduct monthly parent meetings to keep parent in touch with the school and the process is still moving ahead.