As well as welcoming the Mumbai monsoon, June also sees children across India return to school. Gathering at the school gates with butterflies of anxiety and excitement, returning to old friends, meeting new teachers; whether you’re in Mumbai or Manchester, so much about this experience is universal. Continue reading Back To The Books
Last week Reality Gives staff, volunteers and supporters joined forces with an incredible team of India First employees, and 8ft ‘Doreamon’ and ‘Chota Bheem’ mascots (popular children’s cartoon characters), to deliver Royal City School’s first ever annual sports day.
With races for children from Kindergarten to Standard II and even the mums and dads competing, it proved to be an incredible experience for all involved. Reflecting on the day Letizia De Martino, Reality Gives Executive Director shared, “In our vision we say that we want to build a world where underprivileged communities have equal access to opportunities and resources. I think today we did it! Our children got an Annual Sports Day as any child should deserve to have”.
This week children across India don their satchels (often larger than they themselves are), polish their shoes until they can see their faces in them and begin the new school year with a sense of nerves, anticipation and, hopefully, excitement. What many of these children won’t realise is that their teachers are feeling much the same.
The 15 teachers Reality Gives supports at Royal City School (RCS), Dharavi, are no different. Trained in the muktangan method (a model of education which provides quality, child-centred and inclusive English-medium schooling) these women cover junior and senior kindergarten, standard one and for the first time this year standard two. We sat down with Krishna Vaishy, 27, a first standard teacher at RCS, who got married in the summer holidays to discuss her feelings on returning to RCS for her second year.
A good family friend of Reality Tours & Travel CEO, Stephanie, Aliza recently spent three weeks in Mumbai exploring the city while learning about and volunteering with some of Reality Gives’ projects. A resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee, she recently graduated from high school and will attend Middlebury College in Vermont in the fall.
A resident of Sion, Krishna recently joined the Reality Gives team. She is in her final year of graduation in commerce. A teacher of Grade 1, Krishna also went through a training in which she “learned more there than in [her] whole life.” At the commencement of her year with ELS, Krishna had no confidence. Through the application of her training and practice in the classroom, she now manages her class with ease. When not in the classroom, Krishna enjoys reading both novels in Hindi and bedtime stories in English.
One of the youngest members of the ELS team, Farheen is 19 and has 5 siblings. A native of Mahim, Farheen is currently pursuing graduation in the arts. She is unmarried and enjoys playing badminton and carom with children. As several other teachers mentioned, she enjoyed learning theory behind the Muktangan method during her training. At first, she found difficulty in presenting a lesson in front of students and collaborators. Today, however, support from fellow teachers and staff members has transformed her into a confident, capable teacher.
Akila, 23, has recently completed her undergraduate in commerce. After one year of training and just a few months of classroom experience, Akila has experienced no great challenges. At the beginning of the school year, Akila’s Grade 1 students knew very little English. Through Akila’s instruction, the children’s English is improving and they now utter words and phrases in English (as opposed to their mother tongue). As fellow teachers can attest, she leads a very active class. Outside of her class, she is also active and enjoys dancing, listening to music, and reading.