My kids of upper primary classes hardly knew
My name is Rahul Dubey. I was born in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh but have been raised in various cities of India due to my father’s occupation in Indian Army. 6 years ago, after completing my graduation from University of Delhi, I entered into an internship program through which I was placed with ALFA Educational Society, a grassroots level civil society organization in a tribal dominated village Karawara in Rajasthan, India for 3 weeks. I was astonished to see the status of education there and in the nearby villages. Dilapidated infrastructure, absence of washrooms and water supply; and kids of upper primary classes hardly knew to read, write or solve basic math.
I extended my internship for few more weeks and gradually decided to abandon the thought of going back and permanently settled in Karawara. I started taking evening classes of the kids in one of the Youth Centres of ALFA and taught them English, Hindi and Mathematics. Initially kids refrained from coming, peeped from a distance and laughed at me. Only 2-3 children dared to come inside and I used to play games with them, teach them through interactive methods and practical examples.
Gradually, more kids started coming and from 3 in the beginning I managed to conduct classes for 100 of them. I developed good relationships with the community members and tried to analyze the causes, gaps and challenges of poor status of education in the villages. And these loopholes led to the issues of child labor, child marriages and high dropout rates among children.