Monday, 4 April 2016

Experiences of a learner-facilitator

                                                                                                                                          - Deyone (Centre Co-ordinator and Facilitator)  
           At GUBBACHI we are trying to learn and find solutions to issues of school dropouts among migrant children at Kodathi, a peri-urban area of Bangalore. The first question we had was why are children out of school? And during the survey before we started our centre, we realized that out of a multitude of reasons there were these  3 reasons which were immediate in the child's experience.
1.     Children need to stay back at home to take care of their younger sibling(significantly higher in case of an older girl child, though there were exceptions)
2.     Bad experiences during previous schooling stint.
3.     Fear of parents of their children getting abducted on the way to school 
         As an intervention we had to address these issues in order to bring children to the centre. The first step was to start a preschool centre, for the younger siblings of the school going children, adjacent to the main class room so that older children are at peace to engage in learning and not than taking care of the younger ones.
        We assured the children that they would be physically and emotionally respected. They didn’t believe in us in the beginning. Their experience at the centre is helping them trust adults better.  Now, there are moments at the centre when children just appear and take admissions by themselves and we have to go and find their homes/parents. Existing Gubbis and government school children are our biggest champions: our brand ambassadors.

       Next immediate point to tackle was the fear of the parents that their children may get abducted. Solution was to talk to the construction company and the community to make arrangements so that one person from the community brings the children to school and takes them back in the evening back. Inspite of of all our efforts we have lost one child to this fear...we have not been able to convince the parents of Rahul, an extremely bright boy, to send their precious child to us and we will take care of him as ours  
    One failure can't put us down. We have 57 children at the centre now... Our simple first steps to help children begin to experience the learning space.